As someone completely new to the subject, I’ve been reading up a bit on China’s government strategies regarding CleanTech exporters. These are my initial impressions and thoughts.
China’s solar and wind manufacturers benefit generally from conditions in China (low labor costs, faster and cheaper construction, expanding engineering base through universities), but also specifically from government aid targeted at their industry: land grants to companies, cheap state-supported loans (from government run banks), streamlined permitting, restrictions on rare-earth exports (raising costs for their foreign competitors), and currency manipulation (making their exports more economically favorable). Additionally, Chinese manufacturers have benefited from rapidly falling silicon prices. The Chinese market seems to be dominated by first generation solar technologies.
On one hand, the Chinese government seems to be doing everything right in promoting its manufacturing companies, which are growing rapidly (nearly doubling capacity each year). On the other hand, their practices may be hurting worldwide innovation.