Green Jobs In Oz

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports, “The only Australian company which manufactures solar cells is closing the operation. Ilex Solar has announced it will stop making the cells at its western Sydney facility, with 30 jobs to be lost.

h/t to Dave G


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9 Responses to Green Jobs In Oz

  1. gator69 says:

    Gee, coal mines only close when they run out of coal, or when governments run them out of business. Carbon jobs will keep companies and societies in the black. Red is for the greens.

  2. chris y says:

    The head of the Chinese consortium of solar panel manufacturers was overheard at a recent 5-year-plan meeting saying to Jeff Immelt, “We shall supply 90% of the global PV market by 2015. We are Borg.”

    • suyts says:

      They will be default. Unless other nations start mining for REE, they’ll have it locked. Its why companies can’t compete. The Chinese aren’t letting much of their REE out on the world market. We could just mine our own, but what fun would that be?…… trying to be competitive and all that.

      • Sundance says:

        Suyts do you think the REE we intend to mine in California can be mined as cheaply as REE in China? I don’t. By the time the EPA, OSHA and local CA regulations are met, the REE in California will be far more expensive than China. Processing REE is extremely toxic and by the time regulatory agencies approve that process costs in the US will skyrocket compared to China. China just announced they will soon have solar PV at $1.42/watt, low enough to compete with coal without feed-in tariffs. Look what is already happening to Evergreen Solar, Solindra and Solon in the US.Kiss all that stimulus money given to then goodby. Unless some patentable US breakthrough emerges the US has no chance of competing in green power from the manufacturing perspective.

      • Bruce says:

        REE are not rare, they are manning intensive. The mining is the easy bit – and there’s plenty around. The trouble is a classic REE separation SX train requires something like 100 stages, compared to 3 for copper. That means having a lot of cheap highly trained chemical engineers to run the separation rig (REE’s are so similar in chemical properties that the separation is next hardest to isotope separations). So why does China have all the REE refining capacity…?

        Now that the prices have spiked it is economically feasible to use Western manpower, although fewer chemical engineers are being trained in the West, because the kids think it is a dirty evil business and go into feather brained environmental engineering and ecology instead.

        The problem now is that it takes as long as 20 years from rock-kicking to a producing mine in the West – faster in China for obvious reasons, and most REE deposits have radioactives in them – which just makes the permitting harder. So, famine now but wait 10 years and well have a glut of REE’s and the prices will drop down again. The difference this time is the US and the Japanese know it is strategically dangerous to let the market take its course, so they will keep a baseline of capacity out of the hands of the Chinese. That is China’s own foot shooting fault, since they’re the ones who banned exports.

  3. suyts says:

    “They will be default.” …. should read “by” default.

  4. Bruce says:

    The irony is that Silex Systems is a nuclear company which branched into solar to ride the wave of investment.

    I hope they can go back to laser enrichment, where they seemed to be making steady progress building a business.

  5. Germany, Denmark and China are all the more happy.

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