Posts Tagged ‘Senkaku’

1 February

China Installed The Most Solar in 2013! China May Possibly Become The Cleanest Country On Planet Earth!

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Sun Will Continue Shining Brightly During Year of the Horse (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

I’ve spent three years advocating for the spread of solar energy, researching, interviewing, learning, writing, posting, traveling in different parts of the world.  Thanks to the existence of internet, worldwideweb, social networks, and forerunners who have accumulated and shared much knowledge and information with us. It’s truly opened my eyes to what the future may have in store for us, in energy, education, and how intricately connected we earthlings all are to one another (despite physical distances).  Even though my original intention of starting Sun Is The Future was to help my on-site students to have better understanding of applications of solar energy and to encourage state of Florida legislators to implement the most effective incentive policy, Feed-In-Tariff, for adoption of renewable energy,  I  am thankful that Sun Is The Future has reached beyond the boundary of a nation or a continent, and has reached 167 countries and hopefully will complete the goal of all 196 nations on planet earth by the end of 2014.

Let The Sun Shine Through (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

This past year, in addition to having the fastest train, the most megacities, and the biggest population in the world, China has also become the Number 1 Country on planet Earth that has added the most solar power in a single year. No other country has ever added more than 8 GW (gigawatt) of solar power in one year prior to 2013.  China is beating Germany’s record of  8GW (or 8,000 MW) from 2010. China’s National Energy Administration announced earlier in January that there were 12 GW (or 12,000 MW) of 2013 solar installations in China. This record means that China has installed more in one year of 2013 than U.S. had cumulatively installed, in total, since the beginning of solar PV module in existence or since the founding of U.S. The Bloomberg New Energy Finance Industry Intelligence database (tracking projects individually, identifying developer, owner, location and often equipment supplier or financier) already records 9.5 GW of projects built in China in 2013.  More complete data will be provided later in March. China’s state-owned power generators China Power Investment Corporation, China Three Gorges and China Huadian Corporation have become the world’s largest owners of solar assets. Head of solar analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), Jenny Chase said,

“The 2013 figures show the astonishing scale of the Chinese market, now the sleeping dragon has awoken…PV is becoming ever cheaper and simpler to install, and China’s government has been as surprised as European governments by how quickly it can be deployed in response to incentives.”

BNEF estimates that in 2013 the global solar PV market had been 39 GW (or 39,000 MW), with an increase of 28% from 2012.  This trend is expected to continue, with a 20% global volume growth in 2014.  In 2014, the world will install as much solar PV in 12 months as the cumulative total installed solar since the invention of solar PV module to 2010. The world’s three largest solar PV markets in terms of new GW (or 1,000 MW) capacity in 2013 were: China, Japan, and the U.S., then Germany in fourth place. To this, I have to say that we all have much to thank Germany for having been the heaviest investor in solar for many years. China and Japan are both much better off keeping their eyes on the prize of solar energy, the ultimate solution to solve problems in Climate Change-Energy-Pollution-Prosperity-Security rather than fighting over the uninhabited Diaoyu-Senkaku. Finally, if only U.S. had come to realized and fully implemented the Feed-In-Tariff as China did, the Number 1 Country on planet Earth that has added the most solar power in a single year in 2013 would have been U.S. rather than China.  Being an Earthling foremost, I applaud China for having implemented Feed-In-Tariff with such fervor, even without having fully appreciated how much impact and speed it would have on the deployment of solar. Now, as Thailand and many parts of Southeast Asia and rest of the world are also becoming believers in Feed-In-Tariff,  I only wish that the state of Florida and many other states in U.S. will learn to appreciate this most effective incentive policy for solar and renewable energy. It is noteworthy that China, Japan, and Germany have all implemented Feed-In-Tariff at higher rate than what U.S. PURPA law required, avoided cost. If China would be able to maintain such an enthusiastic momentum for solar, there is the possibility  of China becoming the Cleanest Country On Planet Earth by 2050! Keep your eyes on the Sun!

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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23 November

Please Consider This Alternative Solution To China-Japan-Taiwan Disputes in East China Sea

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The East China Sea Map, showing surrounding regions, islands, cities, and seas (wikimedia commons)

I’ve been plagued by the issue of China-Japan dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku/Tiaoyutai Islands (please refer to our “Let This Not Be The Beginning of WWIII-Nov. 20, 2013 post) during the past two weeks so much that it’s blocked me from writing my other 20 or so posts on solar energy.  Now, I’ve just read an article in The Washington Post by Chico Harlan about China’s new air defense identification zone in East China Sea (including the disputed islands previously mentioned in our Nov. 20, 2013 post).

For better understanding of the historical friction regarding China-Japan-Taiwan sovereignty over a group of islands in the East China Sea, please refer to the video below:


From family, friends, and some people in my community, I’ve received the question, “why worry so much about something that’s happening so far away?” My response, “because I am a pro-Earther”  Some people may not realize how tightly interconnected we all are on the planet Earth. Whatever happens in one region of the planet will have an impact every where on our planet, be it in economics, environment, ethics, social mores…it’s simply a matter of time before it will show up at our own door steps. Relieving and preventing the suffering of another human being or region will ultimately affect our very own existence.

 

We are living in a time when technology will soon be able to solve all kinds of problems. It’d be a pity if some regional warfare will delay the arrival of this day indefinitely. So, here is the proposal I hope will be considered by all parties directly involved (Taiwan-Japan-China):

Declare 20-30 mile radius within the Diaoyu/Senkaku/Tiaoyutai Islands as International waters. So no country actually has ownership to this region (that applies to air as well as water). Let’s face it, none of these countries really has tremendous attachment to these clusters of rocks of uninhabited islands. What they are all eyeing for is the promise of an oil bonanza in the seabed in the area that was suggested by an obscure 1969 United Nations report. If oil reserve is what they are all fighting over, then let’s target this issue directly: Have an arbitration team of neutral (from country such as Switzerland and without ties to America-China-Japan-Taiwan-Russia) scholarly experts (who are familiar with geology of oil reserves and international territorial rights), selected and agreed by China-Japan-Taiwan, to help develop a company formed and funded by China-Japan-Taiwan (ownership proportions worked out by this team of arbitration experts) to explore and extract the oil reserve in this region.  If there truly is oil reserve, then profits will be proportionally shared by China-Japan-Taiwan;if it all turns out to be a sham, then the loss will also be proportionally shared by China-Japan-Taiwan. To insure total impartiality and delicately focused attention of these arbitration experts, I recommend $20+ million for each of their services.

In addition to my previous analogy of “breaking of the glass” in our Nov. 20, 2013 post, I’d like to share a few lessons learned from experts at warfare to increase winnings in life and battles/wars:

The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”- Sun Tzu (military expert & author of The Art of War)

Statue of Sun Tzu, well-known Chinese military strategist also admired by Japanese (in Yurihama, Tottori, in Japan) (wikimedia commons)

 

Always treat each hand on its own merit, without being influenced by hands from any of the previous plays“-  many expert poker players.

Finally, my motivation for writing this piece is the desire to get on with my writing/posting on solar energy. Truly, the real solution to China’s dispute with Japan does not lie in ownership of some rocks of  uninhabited islands, but in alternative clean fuel sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal energies.  As I’ve repeatedly written, solar energy is:  cleaner, safer,  healthier, more readily available, with great sense of timing, and requires fewer moving parts (in March 4, 2011 post) than fossil fuel or oil. If China and Japan simply cannot break away from their past and need to battle it out, let it be on the solar energy scene rather than over the energy of yester years. Then, it will be a brighter and sunnier tomorrow for all of us here on Earth!

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

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20 November

Let This Not Be The Beginning of WWIII

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Where Diaoyu (PRC)/Senkaku (Japan)/Tiaoyutai (ROC) is located in East China Sea: in red circle above (credit: Wikimedia commons)

Please also see the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PMxZF69lEM:
As I turned on my computer in the morning, there are more  reports of simmering conflict between China and Japan over the three islands in the East China Sea (from September 18, 2013, demonstration march outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, to Japan’s nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe giving order in October, 2013, to shoot down any aircraft, including Chinese surveillance drones, flying over Japanese airspace, then spokesman for China’s Defense Ministry  Geng Yansheng delivering the statement, “Chinese aircraft have never infringed on other countries’ airspace, and China never allows other countries’ aircraft to infringe on China’s airspace, adding that if Japan took such moves, it would be a severe provocation to China and “an act of war, and China will take resolute measures to strike back….” . Now in November, Russian bombers are sighted flying near Japanese air space, putting Japan’s Air Self Defense Force on alert.  What a contrast from our coverage of World Solar Challenge 2013 that just took place in Australia last month, where teams from different countries (including China, Taiwan, and Japan) were all collaborating and full of hope and optimism for all of our future in solar energy. The more reports I’ve read on the China-Japan disputes, the image of “breaking of the glass” of Jewish wedding tradition flashes in my mind’s eye.
 
So, how does “breaking of the glass” fit in? This, to me, was such a bizarre tradition the first time I attended one of my Jewish friends’ wedding. But the older I get and more weddings I’ve attended, the more I have come to appreciate what it represents. It was explained to me as a symbol of:
  1. breaking away from the past in order to start afresh toward the future
  2. breaking down of barriers between people of different cultures and faiths
  3. frailty of human relationships and love and reminding us to treat our relationship with special care
  4. destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem
  5. breaking the glass together-working through challenges together and celebrating successes of life  is best done together
  6. even in the happiest time, we must remember that there is still much suffering in the world

What does it have to do with China-Japan dispute, you might ask.
 

As I’ve previously posted in  my January 4, 2013  post, the Diaoyu Islands (also known as Senkaku Islands among Japanese) are a group of uninhabited islands  east of mainland China, northeast of Taiwan, west of Okinawa Island, and north of the southwestern end of the Ryukyu Islands.  They are currently controlled by Japan and both China and Taiwan claim sovereignty over the islands.  Some of you may wonder why is there such an escalating territorial row between Beijing and Tokyo over these bunch of rocks of uninhabited islands.  Well, the value of Diaoyu islands (Chinese) or Senkaku islands (Japanese) dramatically shot up and became the center of attention after an obscure 1969 United Nations report suggesting the seabed in the area could contain an oil bonanza.  Apparently this document produced from surveys conducted by an international team of experts (including scientists from China and Japan) never gave any estimate of the reserves. It seems, to me, that the mere suggestion of vast reserves that the continental shelf between Taiwan and Japan could hold a staggering 100 billion barrels of oil was enough to set off a territorial scramble.

Professor White, in the Sydney Morning Herald during early part of 2013, wrote that we are now witnessing the types of conditions that have historically led to war, despite the conflict being in no one’s interest.  He further indicated that the war would not necessarily be contained or short.  It does seem laughably unthinkable that the three richest countries of our planet (two of which are nuclear armed) would go to war over something so trivial.  But history reminds us not to confuse what starts a war with what causes it.  The escalation of tit-for-tat without a clear circuit-breaker may lead to some point when shots will be exchanged;once such spiraling to war begins, neither side will win  and it would be devastating not just for China and Japan, but for rest of the planet earth.

Please allow me to reshare parts of my January 10, 2013 post:
Back in July of 2012, China was mulling over the possibility of raising its 2015 photovoltaic target to over 25 GW.  With the concern over sovereignty issue (truthfully, it is an issue over oil reserves) involving Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, need of clean energy sources, and the need to make their economic growth  less dependent on fossil fuel, in January of 2013, China is now aiming to add 10 GW (gigawatts) of installed solar power capacity and 18 GW of installed wind power capacity this year alone.  For a table of China’s renewable energy targets for 2015 and 2020, please click on Reuters.

Truly, the real solution to China’s dispute with Japan does not lie in ownership of some rocks of  uninhabited islands, but in alternative clean fuel sources such as solar and wind energy.  As I’ve repeatedly written, solar energy is:  cleaner, safer,  healthier, more readily available, with great sense of timing, and requires fewer moving parts (in March 4, 2011 post) than fossil fuel or oil.  If one factors into the cost of potential WWIII/nuclear war, it is no wonder the wise leaders in China would have great incentive to increase the rate of installations for solar PV and wind.

Since our initial discussion originated from the territorial row over Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, let’s take a closer look at the cause of the problem numerically.  It is, in essence, a row over the promised potential of accessing 100 billion barrels of oil in that region. But the burning of fossil fuel/oil really would not help the already polluted air quality of either China or Japan.  So, it is a matter of energy/fuel that they are fighting over.  To have a more clear picture of the situation, please view the video clip of Michael Klare, Five Colleges professor of peace and world security studies, available at my January 10, 2013 post:

 
We are in a transitional period when wise, ethical, and skillful international diplomatic politicians are desperately needed who will not only be able to negotiate the last few barrels of oil (without triggering any war), but also be able to convince our government to shift one quarter of our military budget toward research and development in energy alternatives (as suggested by Michael Klare), and cooperate with China and Japan for research and development for renewable energy in the coming century. So we will be able to carry out the most moral and patriotic American path for our future generations. So U.S. , China, and Japan (users of more than half of earth’s energy and producers of half of the earth’s CO2 by 2030) will go down in history not as plunderers of the planet earth but rescuers of the planet earth who worked cooperatively in finding solutions to earth’s energy and pollution problems.

Our planet is suffering, be it in the form of China’s air pollution or Philippines’ typhoon.  What  Russians, Japanese, Filipinos, Chinese, and Americans…all Earthlings need to remind ourselves is that we are all so interconnected that suffering of one or one region will impact all of our planet Earth.  We need to pool our source of time, energy, and natural resources in solving the problem of climate change-pollution-energy rather than wasting them over territorial disputes that may potentially lead us all to total destruction.

 

There is hope! We’ve seen the Chinese government versatile enough to “China does a ‘180’ on air pollution policy to combat its deadly smog” The Japan-China Economic Association will be sending around 180 leaders of major businesses in Japan over to China, in the hope of improving the strained ties between the two East Asian countries. One of the spokespersons for this largest business delegation to visit Beijing since 2011, Fujio Cho, chairman of Toyota Motor Corp,  indicated that they filed a request to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang or Vice Premier Wang Yang. They hope to convince Chinese senior officials from both public and private sectors to start mending ties between the two Asian countries. They will also be showing support for Li’s structural reforms (which includes removing excess production facilities in the country) and government-affiliated firms.

 

At this hour, let’s hope that the leaders in China will receive the business delegation from The China-Japan Economic Association with care. Let’s also hope that the Chinese will offer greater assistance to help relieve the sufferings of Filipinos.

 

Perhaps all of those involved in disputes and negotiations mentioned above would deeply contemplate/visualize the “breaking of the glass” scenario, be free from the historical disputes of the past (be it from China-Japan or Japan-Russia conflicts and sentiment resulting from WWII), in order to break down barriers, protect the frail international relationships, come together to face the challenge of our earthly energy-pollution-climate change problems. Only then, will there be the good luck for us to step into a cleaner, healthier, and safer renewable/solar energy future. Only then, will we be able to call out “Mazel Tov.”

 

(Perhaps if all negotiating members will be breathing in 30-60 minutes of air from oxygen bar prior to all negotiating meetings would also help.)

 

~have a bright and sunny day~
gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

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