miércoles, 10 de febrero de 2010
China and renewable energies
Recently I have concluded that it is of China’s interest the development of the new technologies aimed to reduce emissions of green house gases. The reason is that China, as The Independent informs, holds about 50% of the world's rare earth deposits and currently produces 97% of global supplies of rare earth elements (REE). These are indispensable for the manufacturing of the generators of wind turbines to catalytic converters, and the batteries on hybrid cars to alloys that dramatically reduce leakage from overhead power cables, rare earths are at the heart of the green revolution. Moreover, the rare earth industry in China is rapidly moving from a role as a provider of rare earth extracts for export, worth a few hundred million dollars a year to Chinese GDP, to a producer of finished REE components worth billions. Would China take advantage of that what former premier Deng Xiaoping said: "The Middle East has oil. China has rare earths."
Few people know that China is today the world’s largest maker of wind turbines and too of solar panels. Vestas of Denmark has just constructed the world’s biggest wind turbine manufacturing complex in northeastern China, and transferred the technology to build the latest electronic controls and generators. Renewable energy industries give too more than 1.30 million jobs and will give more since its development is needed to satisfy the domestic demand of electricity that is rising 15% a year.
Once again, that shows that the development of practicable and economically viable new technologies is the shortest way to convince all countries that it is too of its own interest to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Investment in research for that is primordial. Fixing quotas for countries´ emissions is necessary to push research forward towards capturing and reducing their emissions.