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The prices of alternative energy stocks are at China's mercy right now. That's because for the past few years, China has been in a dispute with the United States, Europe, and Japan over its exports of rare earth metals. Though China has about 30% of world reserves of rare earths, it controls 80% of international production.
As this battle rages on, one thing is clear: The international solar industry could be turned on its side if China begins to hoard these metals and drive up their cost.