- Export plans threaten solar expansion
- Chinese drones used on the battlefield
- Sinolytics.Radar: renewables increase share
- Balloon continues to strain relations
- EU: offensive against disinformation
- Boarding schools in Tibet criticized
- China invests in Guinea iron ore mine
- Heads: gene scientist He Jiankui is back
The deliberations of two Chinese ministries are currently causing panic in the solar industry. The Ministries of Commerce and Science and Technology are considering an export ban on several solar technologies, according to a statement by the authorities at the end of January. The export restrictions would affect wafers, black silicon and so-called ingots. And without these materials, solar manufacturing is impossible.
If this plan is actually realized, the export of solar production technologies will only be possible with a permit. Nico Beckert spoke with experts and took a closer look at what this means for the ambitious plans of the green transition in Europe and the West. The verdict is clear: The development of own production capacities in Western countries will definitely be slowed down. However, the planned export restriction could also turn out to be a shot in the foot for China.
In our second analysis, we look at another of China’s exports: Drones – for both civilian and military uses. The products of the Chinese drone manufacturer DJI are turning up on the battlefields in Ukraine, for example. There, they provide Russia with valuable intel. China is also the world’s largest exporter of military drones – and also supplies US partners in crisis areas, as Frank Sieren analyzes.
About four years ago, the Chinese scientist He Jiankui made headlines around the world for creating the first babies with intentionally altered genomes. Today, the twins lead a “normal, peaceful and undisturbed life”, as he now explained in an interview. After serving a prison sentence, he is now working on gene therapies once again. Joern Petring presents the controversial researcher in the Heads section.
China hinders Western solar expansion
It is a minor announcement that could have a major impact: China wants to place an export ban on important technologies for the production of solar systems. A final decision on this is still pending. A public consultation was open until the end of January. But all China experts consulted are certain that the export restrictions will come. Once a consultation period is over, China rarely reverses major changes to regulations, according to Rebecca Arcesati, an analyst at the German China think tank Merics.
If the plan goes through, the export of solar production technologies will only be possible with the authorities’ approval. “It will not be easy to obtain such permits,” says trade expert Wan-Hsin Liu of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. The application is said to be a complicated process.
First, a request has to be submitted, which is then reviewed based on, for example, security and industrial policy aspects. “Only then are companies allowed to negotiate the deals with potential buyers,” Liu says. If buyer and seller agree on the deal, a second export license must be applied for “with further documents”.
- Renewable energies
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