Jim Kent:

"Human change initiatives must work at social, economic, and ecological levels if they are to succeed."

Posts Tagged ‘Energy’

China and Alternative Energy

Posted by Jim on August 26, 2009

Chinese solar pv cornering the world market.  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/25/business/energy-environment/25solar.html?_r=1&

This article from the New York Times was forwarded to me for comment based on my years of work with the informal cultural networks of South China.  I am responding from my understanding of Opportunity Structuring (my term) where a centralized political system and a decentralized economic delivery system provide for almost overnight corrections in meeting their goals of dominating the alternative energy futures.

From my years in China I learned that the Chinese understand diversification (informal geographic based systems) and how to activate them from a central governing structure (formal systems).  Our government and private enterprise companies should be all over China making partnerships and collaborative agreements so that we (our US companies) get a position on production and distribution. There has been trade with the European West for over 500 years.  There has been great accomodation to the ways of our financial systems and how their systems work on “old friend” networks. 

South China as an entry point gives U.S. companies great advantage given this 500 year history of trade and interaction.  I helped US West gain an understanding of how to proceed in  China with their wireless company (New Vector) in 1986 just when the cell phone was becoming available. I started in the Pearl River Delta networking into the area through informal systems out of Hong Kong and Singapore.  The Pearl River Delta is anchored on the north by Guangzou an east/west trade center for centuries. 

The cell phone changed everything for China. For one thing they did not have to go through the wrenching telecommunication centralization process that other advanced industrial countries did i.e. wooden phone polls and copper wire.  There was not enough wood or copper to string all of China.  The cell phone allowed them to jump that whole industrial era of centralized system development and enter the new era without the painful decentralization (Judge Green decision to break up AT&T in the 1970s) process our telecommunications and society had to go through.  This took great time and energy on our part that China did not have to spend.
 
Even with concerns about our energy future, we get caught in yes/no scenarios i.e. coal is better than-oil, gas, wind, etc.  or alternative energy is better than coal, oil, etc.  We grind ourselves down arguing about myths and half truths with our energy dissipated over who is “righter” while China moves to capture the market.  The action is to do what China is doing and move out as  quickly as possible with a bet on alternative energy trusting, as they do, that the market and social/cultural change will bear them out.  They see production of alternative energy equipment as a 80% bet on success even though their system is fueled by coal, but not for long.  They also see that the decentralization of the energy sector world wide, like cell phones did for telecommunications, is not very far into the future.  Therefore they are taking action to be a economic  and political leader in the decentralization of energy production and use.  Rather than “debating” what is going to happen, they are “creating” what is going to happen.  We must do the same if we are to become a player in this major paradigm shift of our last centralized system–energy distribution.
 
Jim Kent

hp
 
 

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