Deconstructing China’s Cleantech Charts

If you have been following China for any amount of time, then you will know that China is good for a chart that will shock and awe readers.  Few, if any, in the cleantech space have as much power as the one above, from the Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP study China’s Promotion of the Renewable Electric Power Equipment Industry (download here), and why I chose to pull it out is twofold.

First, just look at what has happened in the wind market over the course a few years time. That, while some have been talking about a “protectionist China” recently, the lose of contracts to domestic firms is actually nothing new to anyone actually in the space.  It is just perhaps more pronounced now that global markets are down and China is all that is left, but anyone who would say that China somehow went local in 2008 as part of the economic stimulus plans has clearly failed to do their homework.

Second, and this is where old habits die hard.  Anyone notice that the breakdown on this chart is between foreign firms and Chinese Manufactures AND JV firms?  Seems a bit odd wouldn’t you say?   Now, I know that I have spoken at length about the role of trade statistics and how politicians often leverage inaccurate counts in their favor, but I am really curious to know just how much of the uptick (and total) for 2008 is coming from JV manufactures who are producing IN CHINA.  A quick Google (using the HK version now), of joint venture arrangements in the last year brought up a few on the front page..

  1. Timken and XEMC Announce Chinese Wind Energy Joint Venture
  2. AES, Guohua build wind generation JV
  3. HK Energy to form wind-power JV in Gansu
  4. GE forms China joint venture in wind turbine sales push

.. and you know there are more where that came from.

Which leaves me with a few questions.. like:

1) What percentage of total wind turbine sales are coming from JV operations?

2) What percentage of wholly owned domestic turbines are filled with the JV produced parts vs. imported parts of the SAME components supplier

3) What would 2009 and Q1 of 2010 look like on this chart?

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