Photo via China Daily
A new industry report claims that China is favoring its local wind power firms, and that it's effectively squeezing out US firms attempting to set up operations. The report suggests that this is particularly unfair since China is going ahead with its controversial investment in a massive 600 MW, $1.5 billion wind farm outside Dallas, Texas with US firm McGarr. Dallas News reports:
U.S. companies are getting squeezed out of the big Chinese wind-power market even as Dallas investors are bringing Chinese firms here via a big wind farm in Texas, according to a new industry report.It's no secret China is vying to become the world leader in clean energy tech--and it seems unclear in this report how exactly China is restricting American involvement. But it certainly wouldn't be surprising if local firms were getting preferential treatment.
"They've used every measure you could possibly think of to enhance production of renewable energy equipment in China," said report author Alan Wolff of the trade law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP.
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk won a pledge from the Chinese last fall to drop rules giving preference to Chinese makers of wind-power equipment. But Kirk's office hasn't seen any evidence that the pledge has been carried out, said spokeswoman Carol Guthrie.
"If you're not operating under a rule-of-law country, if you have no place to adjudicate, and there are places where the country has stacked the deck against you, you may look for somewhere else" to do business, trade council president Bill Reinsch told Dallas News.
Which seems pretty obvious--and those seem like the obvious risks of doing business in China right now, where the state is so steeped in private industry. But I certainly don't think the answer is to get protectionist, and call for the ouster of the Texas wind plant, as some are doing. I think the bottom line here is that we need to take the necessary steps to ensure our domestic clean energy sector is competitive, making it a reliable option for US firms to invest in--and I'll say it again, I think the best way of doing this is by pricing carbon.
More on China and Clean Energy
Why China and Europe Invest More in US Wind Power than the US Does
"Chinese" Wind Farm in Texas : Green Jobs FAIL?