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CREDIT: "Quantifying the cost savings of global solar photovoltaic supply chains" (2022); cf. EIA, "Special Report on Solar PV Global Supply Chains" (2021): "Costs in China are 10% lower than in India, 20% lower than in the United States, and 35% lower than in Europe."

AP | Korean firm plans $2.5B in new solar panel plants in Georgia [USA], 13 Jan

Qcells, a unit of Hanwha Solutions, projects it will supply about 30% of total U.S. solar panel demand by 2027, including making solar panel components usually manufactured outside the United States.
A new $2.31 billion plant in Cartersville, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) northwest of Atlanta, will hire 2,000 workers and fulfill one of the aims of the climate change and health care law [a/k/a Inflation Reduction Act] that Biden signed in August.

The law included provisions from Georgia Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, both Democrats, allowing companies to claim [federal income] tax credits for making solar panel parts. ...

Philippe Ksiazek/AFP, Getty Image catalogue
Politico.eu.com | Revealed: France's massive 'Made in Europe' strategy
In a letter dated January 9, the French government calls on the EU to accelerate production targets, weaken state aid rules, establish an emergency sovereignty fund [!] and mobilize trade defense instruments -- all in reaction to a recent U.S. bill, the Inflation Reduction Act, which included $369 billion in climate-friendly subsidies.
"Very concretely, the Union should set itself production targets to be achieved by 2030," based on the [US federal] model of the bloc's draft Chips Act, the letter says.
[S.W.O.T.] ....Europe has many strengths and some weaknesses in the semiconductor value chain [P > R - C]....Despite these strengths, Europe has an over all global semiconductors production market share of less than 10% and is heavily dependent on third-country suppliers. In case of severe disruption of the global supply chain, Europe's chips' reserves in some industrial sectors (e.g. automotive or healthcare devices) could run out in a few weeks, bringing many European industries to a standstill....[fail]
The Chips Act is part of the EU's broader effort to ensure Europe doesn't have to rely on countries like China for the < wipes tears > technology that powers modern technology. The bloc is also rapidly reconsidering how it sources its energy [read: fuel, eg. solar radiation, jet stream wind "rivers"]  in the wake of Russia's war in Ukraine.
"These mechanisms could take the form of tax advantages (tax credits LOL!) or direct subsidies targeted at the strategic sectors," the letter states.

Those sectors -- the French say -- could include photovoltaics, batteries, hydrogen, and [mining] critical materials. The letter also suggests only ending the relaxation of these state aid rules in 2030. They are currently due to expire at the end of this year.

It adds that certain small and medium enterprises [SMEs] should be exempted from state aid limits, particularly if they are involved as ["]partners["] in the EU's [worldwide] Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) program. And it argues that aid notification thresholds for environmental or decarbonization project [finance] should be increased to €20 million per company and per project. The Commission's antitrust enforcers are due to circulate their latest draft of the bloc's emergency state aid rules to EU nations on Friday [13 Jan].

< wipse tear >
In order to preserve the fairness of competition rules internationally, France's letter concludes by saying that "the EU's trade strategy should be more articulated around the defense of the European single market." To this end the Commission should make use of trade defense instruments as outlined in World Trade Organization [WTO] rules, the letter notes.
Taiwan's chips plan for Europe exposes Germany's precarious position on Asia, 13 Jan
Taiwan produces 90 percent of the world's most advanced microchips, according to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. TSMC has been increasing its manufacturing capacity outside Taiwan -- with committed investments in Japan and the U.S. state of Arizona [!]. During the call, Wei mentioned the company is also "considering" a second plant in Japan.
Up until now, only [US-HQ] Intel has committed to a European move, pledging to build a €17 billion plant in Magdeburg, Germany.
Koreagate, forthcoming
What can Germany give in return?

It's no secret that Taiwan is not going to lend Europe a hand in building out its chip production capacity for only state aid [read: tax credits]. ... German lawmakers, on the other hand, have been vowing nonmilitary, moral support.

"There's no question to send weapons to Taiwan. That is not the question," Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, chair of the Bundestag's defense committee, said while on a trip to Taipei, adding that the message from politicians and people in Taiwan "is not 'please Germany, send us weapons.'"  

"The situation here is a different one. Our role is less military ... It's an economic question," Strack-Zimmermann said.

Hankyoreh | Growing number of Korean firms leaving China to reshore, 6 Jan
... Since the reshoring support system was introduced in 2014, 126 companies in total have relocated to South Korea, and 77% of those companies (97 in number) were companies that had factories in China. The numbers are followed by 15 in Viet Nam, four in the US, and two in Indonesia....

by Cat on Fri Jan 13th, 2023 at 08:06:13 PM EST
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