Chinese Spending Bolsters All Renewables, US Steel Plate Finishes Week Up 3.5%

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China’s investment in wind turbines and solar technologies in the last two years have brought down the cost of the technology for the entire world, according to Bloomberg Industry Analyst Ethan Zindler.

“Through the ramp up of manufacturing (of wind turbines and solar panels) in China, it has helped reduce the costs of clean energy for everybody,” Zindler, the head analyst for the Americas at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said to an enthusiastic audience of British Columbia’s clean-energy sector in Vancouver.

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While total global investment in renewable energy fell to US $255 billion in 2013, down from a peak of $318 billion in 2011, Zindler noted that Asia, and predominantly China, has become the dominant region. Asia saw $121 billion in spending on renewables in 2013, up from $109 billion in 2012 and continuing on a steep growth curve.

This has also impacted prices of metals such as steel plate, grain-oriented electrical steel and silicon. Chinese renewables prices were flat for the week as Beijing continues to try to modernize its economy, including letting a small solar firm fail, with no bailout, last week. Chinese cobalt cathodes remained unchanged for the week. The price of silicon did not change since the previous week, either. Following a steady week, prices for neodymium closed flat and Chinese steel plate prices held steady from the previous week as well. There’s no end in sight, currently, to China’s “wait and see” mode for much of its economy, but its investment in renewables is one sector showing no sign of slowing down.

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The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Renewables MMI® was US steel plate, which saw a 3.5 percent increase. Korean steel plate remained unchanged for the week. Japanese steel plate remained essentially flat from the previous week. US grain-oriented electrical steel was unchanged.

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The Renewables MMI® collects and weights 8 metal price points used extensively within the renewable energy industry to provide a unique view into renewable energy metal price trends. For more information on the Renewables MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.