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Overseas energy projects get green light

By LAN LAN and XIE YU (China Daily)

07:53, October 10, 2012

Energy programs are among 15 major international economic projects that have been given the go-ahead in a major effort to boost the country's global presence in the solar sector and provide more opportunities for Chinese companies.

The National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, announced the approval of 15 overseas projects on Monday. Energy projects account for about half. Silicon cell producers Hareon Solar Technology won approval to build a 122-megawatt solar-panel power station in Romania.

Winsun New Energy also won approval to establish solar power stations in Italy and Greece.

Solar panel manufacturers have been hit by trade friction recently but power stations may meet less opposition as they provide local employment, experts said.

Han Wenke, director of the Energy Research Institute under the NDRC, said Chinese companies are increasingly looking at setting up power stations.

"Solar has led a new wave in China's overseas investment," Han said.

Solar companies have the expertise to meet robust demand from overseas, he said.

The European Commission launched a probe into China's alleged dumping of solar products in September and the ProSun coalition, a group of 25 European solar panel manufacturers, requested tariffs of up to 120 percent on some Chinese solar products.

More than half of China's solar products are exported to Europe and the suggested tariff would seriously damage the domestic industry.

The EU's probe came on the heels of the US Commerce Department announcing preliminary tariffs of up to 250 percent on imports of Chinese solar cells in May.

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