The dispute between China and the US escalated this weekend, after China said the US probe into Chinese subsidies for alternative energy companies was little more than political posturing.
China’s top energy official, Zhang Guobao, said:
Does America want to get fair trade or a genuine dialogue, or get transparent information? I think not – it seems America’s main reason is to get votes.
Chinese subsidies to new energies companies are very small, but the United States subsidised new energy enterprises with $4.6bn in cash in the first nine months of 2010.
So farewell, then, Severn Barrage.
The idea of an electricity-generating barrage across the Severn estuary has been around for nearly as long as electricity generation itself. Writing on the subject several years ago, I was delighted to receive a letter from a reader who had been present at a public meeting to push forward work on such a barrage – in 1929.
It is hardly surprising, as the Severn is an ideal place for tidal power generation. It has one of the highest “tidal reaches”, or differences between high and low tide, in the world.
On the first day of Coal India’s much awaited $3.5bn share sale, which is set to be the country’s biggest IPO ever, the state-owned miner attracted $1.2bn of bids on Monday: a decent start for an offer that will close on Wednesday for institutional investors, and a day later for retail buyers.
In India most bids tend to come in on the final day. That’s why the optimistic bankers working on the deal predict it will be ten times over-subscribed. Investors, it seems, are expecting the shares to perform strongly on the back of growing demand for energy globally.
I won’t write much about BP’s deal to sell $1.8bn worth of assets in Venezuela to TNK-BP, as that has been dealt with in some detail by Stefan Wagstyl on our Beyond Brics blog. But it is worth picking up a point that cropped up in both Stefan’s post and today’s Lex note.
Even before Macondo, it was clear that [Mikhail] Fridman and friends had come out on top, with BP’s Dudley being replaced by a Russian chief executive. The latest deal sees the Russian shareholders gaining further ground – putting the joint venture’s hard cash into international expansion [something BP had opposed in the dispute of two years ago].
The US government’s loan guarantee scheme has come under scrutiny in recent days after the collapse of the JV between Constellation and EDF for a new nuclear plant. But it appears the similar scheme for the solar energy industry is also coming under fire.
A fascinating Reuters report today spells out some of the problems US solar sector has had securing financing on the back of such guarantees. The authors write:
Applicants to the loan guarantee program have complained the process is too lengthy and murky, leading to just a handful of projects winning approval.