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3rd Biggest Solar Panel Maker in the Country Closes US Operations, Hightails it to China

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 04:12 PM
Original message
3rd Biggest Solar Panel Maker in the Country Closes US Operations, Hightails it to China
from AlterNet:



3rd Biggest Solar Panel Maker in the Country Closes US Operations, Hightails it to China


An article today on GOOD about the potential of renewable energy says, "every hour enough sunlight reaches the Earth's surface to meet the world's energy demands for a year." If only we could utilize such potential! Of course there are folks out there trying, but the solar business, it turns out, is still a tough business.

The New York Times reported today that Evergreen Solar, the third-largest manufacturer of solar panels in the U.S. is closing their American operations and hightailing it to China. Apparently, $43 million in assistance from Massachusetts taxpayers wasn't enough to keep Evergreen Solar's 800 jobs in the country. China, which just became the world's largest manufacturer of wind turbines, is apparently able to give much more support for solar ventures than the U.S. government.

So much support that the Obama administration has been muttering that China is violating the free trade rules of the WTO with all their state subsidies for renewables. (A big meeting between Obama and President Hu Jintao will take place this week and may be hugely significant for the development of clean energy.)

The issue, according to the Times, has to do with prices for solar panels dropping, hugely:

World prices have fallen as much as two-thirds in the last three years -- including a drop of 10 percent during last year's fourth quarter alone.

Chinese manufacturers, Mr. El-Hillow (Evergreen Solar's chief executive) said in the statement, have been able to push prices down sharply because they receive considerable help from the Chinese government and state-owned banks, and because manufacturing costs are generally lower in China.


Perhaps the U.S. government would like to rethink it's policy of subsidizing dirty energy like coal and oil and instead give a little love to the clean tech sector. Our environment could use the help and so could American workers.


http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/440574/3rd_biggest_solar_panel_maker_in_the_country_closes_us_operations%2C_hightails_it_to_china/#paragraph3


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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. The state of Massachusetts needs to sue them to get their money back.
As well as for taking all those jobs out of the area.
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shireen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. +10000!!!
this pisses me off no end!

:mad:

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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. Sustainability has never been given a chance here like it has around the world
Europe is miles ahead and China is a rational state.
America is run by financial vampires and has no chance to add DER (alternative energy) to the macro grid as long as corporatists run things.
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former9thward Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. China is a "rational" state?
I guess that is one way of describing a dictatorship.
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MedicalAdmin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. China is NOT a rational state (in terms of human rights)
But they do put their money into things that will pay off.

The true tragedy of china, at least for the american worker is that the experiment to see if raw capitalism is compatible with totalitarian rule was a success. And now the rich are pulling jobs and assets out of here to go their. Why worry about environmental law and labor unions when you have the police and party officials to break heads and kill anyone who pisses off their briber.

Yes, capitalism has found it's natural home - a repressive totalitarian state. And the US is bound and detirmined to catch up.
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Not 'ethical' or 'just'
but not self-destructive like the US, economically -with a focus on trade, investment, and growth..
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former9thward Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Actually when countries become to big maybe that is the only way to go.
I don't know but I have often thought countries become too big to govern freely. Maybe the U.S. is getting there.
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Too many small countries that are basket cases
or dysfunctional as all hell. China is authoritarian, we are a plutocracy, and Europe is democratic. Apples to oranges, but comparable.
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. Another win for Koch and dirty coal!
Can't wait to see how the Republicans spin this. Yeah, Evergreen ought to pay back the Massachusett's taxpayers who are welching on the investment, but China is where the action is on solar...our Republicans are betting on coal/oil while taking down the EPA so our kids future will be as dirty and bleak as they can make it.
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ladjf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
4. We have no effective Government. The entire operation is a
disaster. nt
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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 05:24 PM
Response to Original message
9. Which is why I never got excited about "green energy solutions" being the engine that would drive us
out of this recession. Those jobs can be outsourced just like earlier manufacturing ones.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
10. Gotta go where the action is.
That is what our "patriot" big business does.
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-21-11 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
13. ..
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