Ever hear of neodymium? How about dysprosium or yttrium? Thulium or lutetium? These are just some of the metals that China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is considering either banning the exportation of, or at least severely limiting the amount that it will let leave the country. These precious metals are used in manufacturing new (and sometimes green) technologies, and China wants keep the goods available for its growing domestic use.
every Toyota Prius you've ever seen contains 25 pounds of rare earth elements.
Right now, China mines more than 95% of the rare earth minerals that are taken out of the ground.
New York Times: More Sun for Less: Solar Panels Drop in Price:
For solar shoppers these days, the price is right. Panel prices have fallen about 40 percent since the middle of last year, driven down partly by an increase in the supply of a crucial ingredient for panels, according to analysts at the investment bank Piper Jaffray.
Until recently, panel makers had been constrained by limited production of polysilicon, which goes into most types of panels. But more factories making the material have opened, as have more plants churning out the panels themselves — especially in China.
H/T: Sweetness and Light
WSJ: TCP to Sell Bulbs With Its Name in U.S.
Ellis Yan, the founder and CEO of fluorescent-light maker TCP Inc., said his company will begin selling TCP-branded products in North America this fall and plans to open a factory near Cleveland in about a year.
TCP already is the largest manufacturer of CFL bulbs sold in the U.S., according to industry players.
It produces 300 to 400 million CFL bulbs per year in China, selling many under brands such as GE Lighting, Osram Sylvania and Philips Lighting.
The Freedonia Group Inc. in Cleveland expects U.S. demand for advanced lighting products -- LEDs, CFLs, halogen lights and other products that will replace traditional incandescent bulbs -- to grow nearly 11% a year to $6.8 billion in 2013, driven by legislation that bans the sale of incandescent lamps starting in 2012.
Financial Times: BYD to sell electric car in US in 2010
BYD, the upstart Chinese car company backed by US investment guru Warren Buffett, said on Monday that it would start selling its e6 all-electric sedans in the US next year, a year ahead of schedule.
BYD is a global leader in rechargeable battery technology, but only a recent entrant to the Chinese car industry. Mr Wang, an engineer-turned-entrepeneur, plans to combine batteries with cars to spearhead a green revolution in electric vehicles, with the help of Chinese government subsidies.