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Private Briefingwith WILLIAM PATALON III, Executive Editor
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Here's something you can safely say about China: They get things done.
That point was driven home to me a few years ago by a former Southern Company nuclear engineer who was consulting on building nuclear reactors in China.
"There are two things you can say about the Chinese way of doing things," he said admiringly, "one, once they decide to build a facility, it gets built and two, they bring it in on time."
He also noted that the builders took great pride in their work and if they say the cement was going to be laid by a certain date, the crew worked overtime and weekends to bring it in on time-all without overtime pay.
And the one thing a command economy like China has going for it is once they site a project, it gets built. There are no environmental impact studies, no legal issues, no historical impact hearings, and no worries about displaced families who may have lived on the land for centuries.
I bring it up because now it looks like the Chinese are back in the renewable energy business leading to a bull stampede into Chinese solar stocks.
In early January, government officials announced at a national energy conference that they intend to add 10 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar power capacity this year, up from 7 GW at the end of last year.
The goal for 2013 will put China within easy reach of its stated target of 21 GW of installed solar power capacity by 2015.
That followed an announcement in December that China was going to provide $2 billion in subsidies for the country's solar industry.
And now the green energy community around the world is very excited that at least one major nation is willing to step up and stand behind its renewables industries and offer some incentives.
It is bit of a turnaround for an industry that had fallen on some hard times.
Over the past year in the United States, we saw what happened with some of the best intentioned government-driven green energy programs.
Can anyone say "Solyndra"? Or, "once bitten, twice shy"?
Then Germans pulled their solar and wind tax credits and subsidies. And now with the country's economy headed into recession, it's unlikely the Germans will be back on the renewables bandwagon anytime soon.
So will China's renewed push into renewables create a new boom for solar and wind stocks?
Here's what to expect.