Broad Street Capital Group to lead an international Trade Mission to Uzbekistan.

For Immediate Release

BSCGLogoNew York, August 26, 2018. Fresh from its success of developing a pioneering $250 million, 20-year OPIC insured, capital markets financing, Broad Street Capital Group announced today that it will lead an international Trade Mission to Uzbekistan between September 5th and 9th, 2018.

The goal of the Trade Mission is to identify and engage large project development and financing opportunities in the areas of health care, distributed and renewable energy generation, agriculture, ICT and aerospace

With its proven ability to develop and structure complex financing solutions ranging from $100 to $500 mil., and utilizing support of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs)such as US EXIM Bankand of US government development institutions,
such as Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Broad Street Capital Group is uniquely positioned to bring low-interestlong-term financing to projects to be developed by the Trade Mission participants and supported by the Government of Uzbekistan.

The mission participants will also introduce an innovative Grey2White™ initiative designed to assist local companies in becoming more bankable and transparent to western partners and international financial institutions.

Joining Broad Street Capital’s team during the upcoming Mission will be representatives of US, UK and Israeli companies, international law firms and professional organizations. The delegation will be led by Mr. Alexander Gordin, Managing Director of the Broad Street Capital Group and will meet with a number of federal and local Government Officials, project sponsors and company owners in Tashkent.

Uzbekistan represents a tremendous opportunity for international project development and international business cooperation,” said Alexander Gordin. “Policies implemented by President Mirziyoyev have been very effective in attracting foreign investment, supporting technology transfer and focusing on growing key areas of the Uzbekistan’s economy,” added Gordin.

About the Broad Street Capital Group

Based in the heart of New York City’s Financial District, Broad Street Capital Group (www.broadstreetcap.com) is an international private merchant bank, which since 1988 has served several foreign governments, multiple state-owned companies, as well as SMEs in emerging markets. Through its member companies, the Group focuses on developing project financing in the $100 million to $1 billion range, providing political risk mitigation, export management services and cross-border market development advisory. The Firm maintains a permanent presence in Astana, Kazakhstan and Kyiv, Ukraine.  Since its founding, Broad Street Capital Group has done business in over 35 countries, spanning the emerging markets landscape from Bangladesh to Ukraine.

The Firm works closely with all trade and development agencies of the U.S. Government and Export Credit Agencies of several European and North American countries. Since its inception, Broad Street Capital Group has been involved in multiple high-profile cross-border transactions in IT/telecom, aerospace, health care, energy generation, food security, nuclear safety, hospitality and franchising sectors. The firm’s current advisory and export management portfolio exceeds $900 million and expected to exceed $1.5 billion by November 15th, 2018.

For more information contact: Rustem TursynRepresentative for Central Asia
+1 212 705 8765 ext. 707, or via email rtursyn@broadstreetcap.com

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Broad Street Capital and GreenMax join forces in Africa.

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(New York, April 26th, 2018) Broad Street Capital Group and GreenMax Capital Group join forces to develop and finance large-scale energy projects in Africa.

“We are excited to announce a new partnership with Broad Street Capital Group (BSCG), a New York based emerging markets focused merchant bank. BSCG has recently led a landmark transaction in Ukraine that is a game-changer for enabling financing of parastatal and direct state sponsored infrastructure projects. The facility is a US OPIC wrapped bond issue that for the first time offers 100% long-term debt financing at very low financing rates.” wrote Cliff Aron, Managing Principal at GreenMax.

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Owing to GreenMax’s strong Africa footprint and the company’s longstanding relationship with the Broad  Street Capital Group, the Greenmax organization was selected to lead the introduction of this innovative financing product to the African energy sector. The minimum project size is $150M  and the project must be implemented by a State agency, or parastatal.  In the later case, the host Government must provide a sovereign guarantee.

Broad Street and GreenMax plan to formally launch the product for Africa energy infrastructure at the Africa Energy Forum in Mauritius in June. The joint venture is seeking Power Africa sponsorship for this initiative and expects to be able to secure USTDA grant funding to support the preparation phase for any worthy projects. Although many countries in Africa will qualify for the financing being offered, projects in Nigeria, Uganda, Mozambique and South Africa will be of particular interest.

For more information contact Cliff Aron – cja@greenmaxcap.com

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To Merge, or Not To Merge? A One Man’s Opinion

Yesterday’s proposal by the White House to consolidate six trade and commerce agencies provoked a very mixed reaction from my private sector colleagues and me, as for at least a decade, we have routinely and closely worked with all the agencies slated for the proposed merger.  On one hand, improving efficiency of any government agency is always a plus and despite being fairly effective, our country’s trade and commerce agencies can certainly use improvement.  On the other hand, due to the proposal’s highly political nature and its unwillingness to undertake real job cuts and streamline operations for agencies of disparate sizes and different missions, such a combination risks to undermine and destroy whatever positive results our nation’s trade and investment agencies produce.

First let’s take a cursory look at the six agencies, which the President proposes to merge.

USTDA (U.S. Trade and Development Agency) – its mission is to stimulate U.S. exports by funding feasibility studies for projects, which have significant potential for utilization of U.S. goods and services.  It also funds reverse trade missions to expose foreign buyers to the American manufacturers and service providers. It is the smallest Agency of the of the group, with a total operating budget of less than $100 million. It has less than 100 people covering the entire globe and overall is fairly effective in performing its mission. It produces $47 of exports for every dollar it expends.

OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation) – a small and highly effective agency of the U.S. government whose mission is to aid international development.  OPIC provides project financing to projects with significant U.S. involvement and political risk insurance to U.S Investors setting up operations overseas.  OPIC’s staff numbers 200, covers 150 countries, and the agency provides net contributions (earnings) into the U.S. Treasury. Due to its significant foreign policy development slant, OPIC, if anything, may be better suitable for merger with the State Department and not the Department of Commerce.

U.S. Export-Import Bank – an official export credit agency of the United States, Ex-Im Bank employs 400 people and provides financing and credit insurance  for over $20 billion of U.S. exports annually.  The Agency also generates surplus and is a net contributor to the overall budget.  Ex-Im’s underlying focus is jobs and it is subject to strong Congressional oversight and OECD guidelines, which make its operating practices similar to those of other ECA’s in industrial countries.  Ex-Im’s operations could use some restructuring and streamlining to accommodate our country’s growing need for export financing, but over all it is fairly effective in performing its mission as a standalone agency.

Small Business Administration, or SBA as it is more commonly known, is a mid-size agency of about 4,000 employees focused primarily on financing domestic small businesses through its loan guarantee programs.  It is a highly bureaucratic organization, which has a wide footprint of banks across the country who act as its delegated authority domestic lenders.  The Agency has a very small and very little known program financing exports, which almost seems like an apendage to its vast domestic lending practice.  Other than the relatively unknown international program, there is virtually no intersection between the above three internationally focused agencies and the SBA.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)  is the agency responsible for developing and recommending U.S. trade policy to the President , conducting trade negotiations at bilateral and multilateral levels, and coordinating trade policy within the government through the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) and Trade Policy Review Group (TPRG). As a  small 200 person agency, it looks to level the playing field in the international trade arena.

Department of Commerce  (DOC)– an 800 pound gorilla of the proposed merger with over 43,000 employees.  This Department showcases a full force of the vast Federal bureacracy. Comprised of hundreds of departments focused on a multitude of issues from exports to imports to inward foreign investments to patent and trademark protection to standards, economic analysis and much more.  This Department is so vast that if any consolidation is not done properly, the smaller, more effective agencies will simply be swallowed into the abyss of the federal bureaucracy and become invisible departments insulated both from the constituents they serve, and from the lawmakers who provide much needed funding to help these agencies achieve their goals.

There are two fundamental problems with the proposed merger – since it is being proposed on “as is” basis with politics precluding any serious shake up and job cuts as part of the consolidation, what we risk to end up with is all the inefficiencies and complacency of each agency mixed together into an unwieldy and toxic cocktail of impotent organizational culture.  This environment not only will not produce any tangible benefits, but will stifle any existing productivity and effectiveness, which currently exists throughout all the other above mentioned agencies. Any of the so-called future savings will be negated by the lost revenues, consolidation expenses, and degraded morale of the Agency personnel.  If we want to save jobs by attrition, we do not need to merge the agencies. We can review operations of the agencies and earmark certain cuts to make operations more cost-effective. In the process, each agency can induce  people whose performance is not up to par to retire or leave, thus producing tangible  attrition related savings even without benefits of consolidation.

The second problem is focus. Agencies focused on international trade and development have totally different mission, organizational culture and work methodology than those focused on domestic issues. Thus there is zero benefit of lumping together say USTDA with USPTO.  What may make sense is reorganizing the agencies according to their business focus. The Department of Commerce may absorb SBA, which should shed its lone international program and focus solely on domestic operations.  In order to compete in a rapidly changing global environment,  U.S. Commercial Service should be spun out as a cornerstone of the Government’s International Trade and Investment policy.  Then a very thorough analysis performed on whether U.S. Ex-Im, USTDA, OPIC and USTR would benefit from being combined into a single entity under the umbrella of the U.S. Commercial Service, or maybe they should just be left alone or combined by themselves, as has been done in numerous countries. Yet again, any such combination must take place only after the operations of each agency have been carefully reviewed and streamlined to make them lean and more efficient. Otherwise we risk to end up with what computer programmers call GIGO (garbage in, garbage out).

It is unfortunate that political rhetoric and election year strategies hastily try to offer populist fixes aimed at garnering votes, but fail to offer substantive, courageous restructuring steps designed to really improve the way our nation’s domestic and international commerce functions and  our country competes in the global economy.

The article below provides some additional background on the issue. Please enjoy and I welcome your comments.

White House Seeks to Merge Agencies

By LAURA MECKLER, The Wall Street Journal, January 15th, 2012

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama proposed consolidating six trade and commerce agencies, drawing cautious praise from congressional Republicans and business groups, though business expressed concern that some of their favored advocates in Washington would lose clout.

WSJ’s Laura Meckler reports President Obama will propose the consolidation of six Federal agencies that focus on trade and commerce into one. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

As part of his proposal, which requires congressional approval, Mr. Obama would merge the Commerce Department’s core business-related functions with five smaller agencies: the Small Business Administration, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Trade and Development Agency.

Mr. Obama said the consolidation would make it easier for business to navigate the federal bureaucracy, putting several agencies whose primary goal is the promotion of U.S. business, both at home and abroad, under one roof. In this case, “six isn’t better than one,” Mr. Obama said at the White House.

Congressional GOP leaders said the proposal had potential.

“Eliminating duplicative programs and making the federal government more simple, streamlined and business-friendly is always an idea worth exploring,” said Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican.

[REORG]Bloomberg NewsPresident Obama speaking about the size of government on Friday.

But others in Congress and major business groups said they had particular concerns about folding the U.S. trade representative into a larger department, on the grounds that it would lose the clout and freedom that comes with an independent agency. The USTR negotiates trade deals and eases the way for U.S. commerce overseas.

“Taking USTR, one of the most efficient agencies that is a model of how government can and should work, and making it just another corner of a new bureaucratic behemoth would hurt American exports and hinder American job creation,” House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) said in a joint written statement.

John Murphy, vice president for international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, echoed that sentiment, saying the consolidation “makes sense” while questioning whether the USTR should be included in the shuffle.

In an effort to answer those concerns, the White House said the trade representative would stay a Cabinet-level post. Officials pointed to a similar arrangement whereby the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations reports to both the Secretary of State and to the president. The White House argued that the USTR will have access to more government resources and expertise by being housed with similar agencies and that the change will create a more effective agency.

The move also gives Mr. Obama room to argue he is tackling a core concern of voters—the size of the federal government—as well as focusing on jobs. It fixes a bureaucratic oddity Mr. Obama cited when he first suggested the change in his 2011 State of the Union speech. Salmon, he noted, was regulated in one agency when in salt water and another when in fresh water. The reorganization would put all federal salmon regulation into the Interior Department.

President Barack Obama said Friday that he will exercise his executive authority to elevate the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration to a cabinet-level position, Emily Maltby reports on Lunch Break. Photo: Getty Images.

Todd McCracken, president of National Small Business Association, a trade group in Washington, D.C., said some programs used by smaller companies, such as targeted lending programs, might be less responsive as part of a larger bureaucracy. “It really needs to have regular small business input and the bigger the bureaucracy, the harder that is to accomplish,” he said.

Environmental groups objected to shifting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from the Commerce Department to the Interior Department, on the grounds that Interior is focused mostly on extracting natural resources. NOAA, the largest part of the Commerce Department, houses the National Weather Service among other functions. The debate about where it should go was one cause of the yearlong delay in completing the proposal.

In his 2011 State of the Union Address President Obama addressed the issue of making the government more competent and efficient by listing targets for an overhaul of federal bureaucracy pointing out that a dozen different agencies deal with exports and at least five with housing.

David Goldston, director of government affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said his group would lobby against the change for fear that Interior’s culture would overwhelm NOAA’s.

The president requested that Congress guarantee an up-or-down vote within 90 days on any consolidation he proposes that would save money and reduce the size of government. He said he would use the authority for a series of consolidations starting with the trade agencies. The plan is based on authority in place for decades until it lapsed in 1984.

Some lawmakers and congressional aides signaled they were uncomfortable with the fast-track authority. Congress is traditionally unwilling to cede the power to shape details of important legislation.

With the overall proposal pending, Mr. Obama said he would immediately elevate the head of the Small Business Administration to a Cabinet-level post. He can do this without congressional approval.

Officials said that in the merger 1,000 to 2,000 jobs would be cut through attrition. They estimated it would save $3 billion over a decade.

U.S. Plans for Green Exports and thoughts on how to create renewable corps of U.S. Exporters

My friend, colleague and renewable expert extraordinaire Clifford Aron of GreenMax Capital Advisors brought this article to my attention. It finally appears that U.S. Government is serious about focusing on developing systematic national infrastructure for exports in targeted industry segments. Renewable Energy is a very hot sector, which is developing globally and U.S. companies have a terrific shot of winning or at least placing in the race for leadership. I applaud the early efforts and strategic initiatives of President Obama’s Administration, as they are vital in creating the background setting for sustained success of U.S. companies, both large and small. Yet, it is important to recognize that policies and funding availability alone do not insure success. Education and enablement of the exporters are needed if policies are to succeed.

Although we have many companies who export out of the U.S., exporting is not as ingrained in our business culture, as it is for instance in some European or Asian countries. Also, in a developing, and more traditionally European sector such as renewable energy, U.S, companies do not enjoy as great of a competitive advantage as they do in more mature industries such as healthcare, aviation, or agriculture. Thus again, better educational outreach, supportive government policies and simplified financing would allow U.S. Exporters to be more competitive.

U.S. Government, banks and a number of NGOs, conduct seminars and events on how to develop bankable projects, inform on available programs and help process insurance and financing applications. These are all vital steps addressing specific needs of exporters. Yet the educational outreach seems to be missing in-depth training, which would allow U.S. exporters to develop an international mentality, enable them to truly assess their competitive position and prepare them to better compete globally. Another important element for developing a cadre of successful exporters would be funding the development of a screening/selection system, which would only allow the most well developed exporters(regardless of their size) to compete for export funding. This type of a system is no different than those instituted in professional sports leagues where athletes rise through the farm systems and selection process is ongoing, or incubator frameworks deployed by venture capitalists to screen and develop companies before letting them go to markets. Yet nothing like this exists in exporting. Anyone, after reading an article such as the one below, can go and seek to apply for funding to export. This is often done without realization of requirements and complexities associated with such process. Such inefficient approach also needlessly taxes government resources forcing countless hours wasted in explaining programs to potential applicants who have no business being there in the first place. Thus a system of exporter certification and continuing education administered by specially qualified for-profit and non-profit entities would be an effective tool in developing a strong and effective long-term cadre of exporters in every sector including the renewable energy. (You will be able to read more on my thoughts for such centers in the upcoming issues of Fluent In Foreign. Now please enjoy the article below)

US Plans for Green Exports
reprinted from the RenewableEnergyWorld.com
By Elisa Wood, Contributor | February 24, 2011
For the first time the US is attempting to build an export market for renewable energy. Will it succeed?
Washington, D.C., United States – When it comes to exporting green energy, talk tends to centre on whether or not the US can compete with China. But that has little bearing on the international business activity of California-based Greenhouse Holdings, which builds eco-friendly infrastructure.

As a first order of business, the export initiative intends to make sense of the vast amounts of information available about renewable energy development worldwide and to identify countries that offer a high potential return for U.S. technologies. The research will move beyond pinpointing hot markets, and instead try to define exactly where U.S. products can succeed.

With employees that are military and security experts, the company brings solar and other forms of sustainable energy to denied areas, places where little or no energy infrastructure now exists. ‘We’ve found a niche,’ said John Galt, the company’s executive chairman and founder. ‘For us it is not China, but more like Africa, where they need rapidly deployable energy alternatives.’

It is such niches, both large and small, that the Obama administration hopes to ferret out as part of a new strategy to increase U.S. exports of renewable energy. Released in December, the plan includes 23 commitments from eight government agencies to help U.S. companies find opportunities and overcome trade barriers. It is part of a broader Obama goal to double U.S. exports in five years.

‘I love it. I think it was just the thing that was needed,’ said Galt. ‘This policy is going to help companies like ours that have a different segment of the market.’

The Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC), an interagency group chaired by the US Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, pegs U.S. renewable energy product exports at US$2 billion in 2009, up from $1.3 billion two years earlier. These are conservative estimates based only on scant data now available on U.S. clean energy exports. Still, the numbers indicate US renewable energy exports account for only a tiny fraction of the $6 trillion global energy market, of which clean energy is the fastest growing segment.

Many U.S. clean energy companies do not export, according to the report by TPCC’s working group on renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE). Those companies that do tend to focus on only one or two markets. The report blames the low export levels on several factors: a lack available market research, a shortage of manufacturing capacity, unfamiliarity with export logistics, risk aversion to foreign markets, lack of links to foreign partners or buyers, currency fluctuations, and financing snags abroad.

Still, export opportunities appear to be considerable. Together with efficiency, renewable energy received $162 billion in private sector investment globally in 2009, a figure that U..S officials expect to climb as economic conditions improve. Stimulus bills accounted for another $183 billion investment worldwide in the same year.

To help U.S. companies capture rich green energy markets, the government plans to offer new trade missions, financing products, market research and other services. (See sidebar, below) ‘We will identify markets that need to be developed, where demand needs to be created for the technologies that U.S. companies can provide,’ said Adam O’Malley, the director of the Office of Energy and Environment in the International Trade Administration (ITA).

The export initiative creates no new programmes or policies, but instead coordinates and ramps up existing agencies that offer assistance. Therefore, the programme does not require action by Congress, a definite plus given the legislative body’s typically slow pace on energy policy.

Solar development expertise is one key area on which the US could capitalise (Source: Greenhouse Holdings)

As a first order of business, the export initiative intends to make sense of the vast amounts of information available about renewable energy development worldwide and to identify countries that offer a high potential return for U.S. technologies. The research will move beyond pinpointing hot markets, and instead try to define exactly where U.S. products can succeed. In some cases, the countries have no market yet for renewable energy, but offer great potential, if they receive help in developing policy and regulation.

The ITA also points out that hot markets — nations that are expanding renewable energy rapidly — are not necessarily good export targets. There may be burdensome regulation or strict protectionist policies, such as high tariffs or ‘content requirements’ mandating a large percentage of goods be produced within their borders. Transporting the product from the US might prove too costly or too difficult. Or the nation may offer little protection of intellectual property rights, a problem for all companies but especially smaller enterprises that may have their entire business plan secured against a patent.

Where’s the Money?

Another major barrier is lack of easily accessed financing, a problem Greenhouse Holdings’ Galt says stymies him abroad. ‘You’ve got this great project, and you’ve got a company or country ready to sign on the dotted line, but financing is the question,’ he said. ‘There needs to be assistance in how to obtain financing.’

The ITA says that government recognises this problem. U.S. companies find themselves delayed by the inexperience of foreign banks and regulators in assessing renewable energy technologies, especially if they are new and unfamiliar. Further, U.S. companies must compete against firms that arrive with greater financial support from home.

As a result, the new export strategy will place a high priority on finding ways to increase financing and to streamline the application process. These new commitments will build on financing already available through the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

The USTDA already has increased its funding for renewables and energy efficiency from 23% of programme funds in 2009 to 50% in 2010, a commitment it intends to continue. Money is being channelled towards developing and middle-income countries.

In addition, both Ex-Im Bank and OPIC will unveil new financing products and streamlined procedures to obtain funds. OPIC is focusing on private equity funding to make risk capital available to green energy companies, and creating opportunities to lease US-made equipment to remove upfront costs to purchasers. Ex-Im already has created what ITA describes as a highly effective programme called Solar Express, which fast-tracks the approvals of solar transactions valued at $3 – 10 million. Ex-Im says that it can process a Solar Express application in 60 days. The programme offers both direct loans and guarantees with terms that can extend out to 18 years.

Indeed, while the U.S. exports many clean energy technologies, it is solar energy that has proven its mettle so far in the international marketplace. The Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research took a close look at solar exports in 2009 and found the US to be a significant net exporter with PV-related imports of $1.6 billion and exports of $2.3 billion, creating total net exports of $723 million.

Polysilicon, the primary raw material of crystalline silicon PV modules, was the largest solar product exported, accounting for $1.1 billion in sales. In fact, the US was the single largest source of polysilicon with 40% of market share internationally. The report, ‘US Solar Energy Trade 2010,’ says that US trade in the solar industry had proved to be more ‘balanced’ than in the overall economy, which had a trade deficit of $374 billion in 2009.

Beyond solar, it may be services, rather than products, that offer the greatest opportunity for US companies, given that the service sector now accounts for 70% of US GDP. ‘It would be a mistake to overlook opportunities to strengthen service exports such as architectural design of green buildings, energy audits and licensing of U.S. wind turbines,’ said the TPCC report. The government is uncertain about the current quantity of service exports.

What about China?

The trade report echoes what several renewable energy companies say: the nation needs to stabilise its domestic energy policies before it can build a strong export industry. Short-term tax credits leave manufacturers and developers wary of deep investment in the U.S. ‘Firms from countries that have provided long-term incentives and have removed barriers to commercialising and installing RE&EE technologies are challenging US companies,’ the TPCC report said.

China offers tax holidays for certain clean technology companies located in economic development zones and Malaysia gives solar manufactures a 100% tax holiday for up to 15 years.

In the U.S., when federal policy fails, state policy sometimes fills in the gap, providing stability and spurring renewable energy growth. The report says 29 states plus the District of Colombia now have renewable portfolio standards, and 18 states have public benefit funds, surcharges on utility bills specifically for clean energy.

But state policy is not always enough when U.S. companies are competing internationally. The U.S. was dealt a blow in early 2011 when solar wafer manufacturer Evergreen Solar announced it was closing its facility in Devens, Massachusetts, although it had received some $32.25 million in state grant and tax incentives. The closure cost the local area a reported 800 jobs.

‘Solar manufacturers in China have received considerable government and financial support and, together with their low manufacturing costs, have become price leaders within the industry. While the U.S. and other Western industrial economies are beneficiaries of rapidly declining installation costs of solar, we expect the U.S. will continue to be at a disadvantage from a manufacturing standpoint,’ said Evergreen Solar president and CEO Michael El-Hillow.

Production costs at the facility had steadily decreased, beating company targets and even many western manufacturers, but they still remained much higher than Chinese production costs, says El-Hillow. China dominated the wafer manufacturing market in 2009, according to the SEIA/GTM Research report. Its market share was 48%, compared with the U.S.’ 3%. ‘During the month of December [2010], we experienced a 10% decrease in average selling prices from the beginning of the fourth quarter. As industry selling prices continue their rapid declines into 2011, panel manufacturing in Devens, either fully or partially, is no longer economically feasible,’ said El-Hillow.

Despite the U.S.’ problem competing with China’s low manufacturing costs, it remains a strong market for U.S. green energy products and services. ‘China certainly presents tremendous opportunity and a variety of challenges,’ said ITA’s O’Malley.

Through the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, the two nations have made significant strides in removing trade barriers for clean energy, he said. For example, China agreed to remove local content requirements for wind turbines and their components as a result of commission efforts.

In addition, the China/US business relationship seemed to improve in January with a spate of energy deals announced as China’s President Hu Jintao visited the U.S. and met with Obama. They include Duke Energy and China-based ENN Group collaborating to help build greener cities in China and the U.S. The companies created the Future Energy Technology Demonstration Platform to exchange knowledge in a deal expected to help ENN construct China’s first smart energy city in Langfang, near Beijing.

American Electric Power also signed energy deals with two giant Chinese energy companies: China Huaneng and State Grid Corporation of China. The deal encompasses a variety of technologies, including distributed generation and smart grid energy storage. Meanwhile, Florida-based wind power developer UPC Management negotiated a deal with the China Guo Dian Corporation. The two will form ventures to develop new wind facilities up to a value of $1.5 billion.

Whether it is the vast market of China tapped by Duke and AEP, or the smaller markets found in under-developed countries that are pursued by Greenhouse Holdings, export appears to offer new opportunities for U.S. renewable energy companies. But competition is stiff, and success of the export initiative rests on the U.S. government’s ability to overcome significant trade and financing hurdles. ‘These are really the first steps being taken by the U.S. government to coordinate our efforts in this space, and there is a lot to be done,’ said ITA’s O’Malley.

Sidebar: A New Export Strategy for Renewables

Released in December 2010, the export strategy was developed through the US Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Working Group on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, which includes representatives from the departments of Commerce, Energy, State, and Agriculture, as well as the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US Trade and Development Agency, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

‘Spurring domestic clean energy innovation to meet America’s needs is only half of the picture. Empowering US business to create and deliver those new technologies to energy-hungry foreign markets is the other,’ said US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, writing in the White House blog in late December.

The strategy includes several new services to help US clean energy companies export products and services:

• The federal government launched a new online portal to provide clean energy companies with easy access to government export resources.

• The Department of Commerce committed to an increase in the number of clean energy trade and trade-policy missions.

• Government will create new foreign buyers’ guides for US RE&EE technologies.

• OPIC will invest an additional $300 million in clean energy financing in emerging markets and new financial products for subordinated debt financing and equipment leasing.

• OPIC and Ex-Im will streamline financing applications.

• The Office of the US Trade Representative will address market access barriers through a new subcommittee.

• The USDA’s Market Access Program will expand to include biomass wood pellets.

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