1Center or American Progress | Shining a Light on U.S.-China Clean Energy Cooperation
Shining a Light on U.S.-ChinaClean Energy Cooperation
New Approaches Needed to Ensure China’s Global Technology Ambitions Do Not Erode U.S. CleanEnergy Competitiveness
Melanie Hart February 2012
Te U.S. Deparmen o Commerce nex monh isexpecedo issue a criical ruling onone o he bigges rade cases o hi he U.S.-China energy relaionship in recen years.SevenU.S. solar companiesclaim ha he Chinese governmen unairly subsidizesChinese solar panel manuacurers o enable hose companies o sell heir producs a below-marke prices and drive U.S. compeiors ou o he marke. Te seven companiessuppor subsidy and dumping peiions led by SolarWorld Indusries America Inc.agains Chinese solar impors in Ocober ha ask he Commerce Deparmen o levy riple-digi aris on solar cells and modules impored rom China.Tis case highlighs a major challenge acing U.S.-China clean energy relaionships more broadly: how o handle he Chinese governmen’s deploymen o massive resourcesoward developingrenewable energy echnologies, many o which are designed orexpor. Indeed, his is an issue ha bedevils U.S.-Chinarade relaionsno jus in cleanenergy, bu also in oher indusrial and services secors, which means ha how his com-plain by U.S. solar manuacurers plays ou may well have much broader implicaions.One o he bigges challenges acing renewable energy in he Unied Saes is ha radi-ional ossil uels are cheaper here han hey are in almos any oher developed counry.Tis is primarily due o he large supply o ossil uels such as coal and naural gas in ournaion, as well as a long hisory o ederalgovernmen subsidiesor developing hoseenergy sources. Te Unied Saes has also ailed o pu a carbon price on ossil uels, soU.S. ossil-uel prices do no include he environmenal and public-healh damage romgreenhouse-gas polluion. Relaively low ossil-uel prices make i paricularly hard orrenewable energy o compee agains convenional energy in he U.S. marke.