SlideShare a Scribd company logo
Jenn Zhou XiaoJian
MA, East Asian Studies
Songchen Yao
BA, Economics
Stuart Schonberger
DCI Fellow
AJ E Rodriguez
MS, Chemical Eng.
Sarvesh Babu
BS, Maths and EE
Mitra Naeimi
DCI Fellow
Great Power Competition: Climate Change
16 Interviews -
Radical Change in
Hypothesis
Original Problem Statement
What combinations of
technologies and international
financial relationships should
the US prioritize to mitigate
climate change?
Final Problem Statement
How should the US manage
China’s dominance in solar
panels?
Our Journey: Enriching but Unfinished
Week
2 3 4 6
5 7 8 9 10
Optimism
about
our
project
Ideation
Joining
of forces
Solar power
identified
DoD
angle?
Bring back
manufacturing?
Benefits of
Chinese
entrance
Two-prong
strategy
DoD
perspective
revisited
Building blocks
of strategy
…?
W2: Team Merger - Both Teams Focused on Climate Change
How to realize a holistic solution with both technological and financial feasibility?
Team A:
� How can climate change be mitigated by
optimizing the distribution of electricity
with AI?
■ How batteries can be optimized to selectively
distribute power?
■ How Artificial Intelligence can optimize the
distribution of power to areas of greater
demand?
Team B:
� What financial partnerships and incentives
should the US prioritize to mitigate climate
change?
■ How China-based investment firms are
sourcing their capital?
■ How international investment firms are
sourcing their capital?
■ Supply chain issues?
■ International partnerships?
Does Climate Change Impact National Defense?
W3: Agreeing upon a Renewable Energy Technology
� Supply chain
� Artificial Intelligence
� Power Grid Infrastructure
� Batteries
� Manufacturing
� Finance
� Global Partnerships
� Technology dominated by China
■ Manufacturing
■ Threatens US Supply Chain
� Threatens US National Defense
� Technology that combats climate
change
� Solar Power
■ DoE: 40% of US Energy by 2035
■ Cost, Maturity, Second-Degree
Impact
■ Scalable renewable energy
Key questions:
● Should the US decouple from China?
● Can we?
● How?
Chosen Technology
Boiling the Ocean Qualifications
How does technology impact Great Power Competition?
W4: Threat to Solar Energy Supply Chain
Why did we choose solar energy?
�Threat to 40% of US Energy Infrastructure by
2035
■ China’s unexpected supply chain halts
■ 2022 cut-off stalled 80% of all US projects
■ Choke foreign access to raw materials
�China Dominates Supply Chain via:
■ Illegal seizure of land from its citizens
■ Circumvention of fair trade through shell
companies
■ Forced Cheap Labor
■ 75% of the solar panel supply chain is dominated
by China
Threat to National Security
W5: Why does the DOD care?
DoD uses a lot of energy
W5: DOD is increasingly reliant on solar to meet federal rules
Federal Statutes Drive Solar Need
Renewable Energy is Driven by:
� Executive Orders
� Department Level Guidance
� Federal Statutes
Department of Defense is required to
produce or procure renewable energy as
25% of its energy sources by 2025
W5: Statutes? What do DOD planners care about?
Energy Diversification and Independence
W5: DOD wants energy resilience
Solar is everywhere and scalable
W5: What did we define as the DoD angle?
DOD stakeholder hypothesis
W6: Is moving manufacturing back to USA a potential solution?
Remember what the supply chain looks like!
Validating security threat hypo. from W4
Supply chain bottlenecks from interviews
❏ US research created solar cells in 1950s, produced most solar cells in 1970s
❏ China’s tariffs (more recently) made US polysilicon for solar uncompetitive
❏ US used to have robust domestic polysilicon production supply chain
❏ Chinese state led investment allowed for cost cutting when scaling up production
❏ For all steps of midstream and upstream manufacturing
❏ Battery technology is a bottleneck for increased adoption
❏ High price volatility and shortages worldwide for minor metals is a bottleneck
❏ Small Quantities ⇒ still critical for Solar panel energy generation
Each one of these was a possible pivot
❏ Deeper question: “Is the supply chain the key to China’s dominance?”
❏ Is there more to the story than just simply building everything in America?
Discouraged
W6: Is moving manufacturing back to USA a potential solution?
W7: Autarky cannot “Mitigate Climate Change”
� Interviews with tech and policy leaders reminded the
team to look at “WHYs” in the prompt
� Lessons learned from interviews:
■ Low cost and fast expansion create well-paid downstream
jobs
■ Climate goals only achievable under consistent major
expansion reliant on affordable China-made inputs
■ C-Silicon has potential
� Industry and end users primarily concerns energy
efficiency
■ GPC is long-term and comprehensive:
� If we are seriously alarmed by the prospect that China
will cut-off supplies, we must “be fully prepared”
Need to study how the whole system work together
Entangled with Question of “How to Compete?” Cost of C-Si
PRC vs. USA
W8: Dual Circulation with American Characteristics
2nd Lesson: It’s not – and cannot be – import substitution
� Discovered old problem of “How to make money in Solar in US?”
■ Need a lot of investment with modest profit margin
■ Fundamentally more than old “R&D”, “innovation”, “system and creativity” cliche
■ Hence we need DoD’s money, market, and mandate, but more!
�Continue to make good use of cheap and fast improving c-Si panels from China
■ Incentives for c-Si is too little, too late
■ Breaking down the “installment, technology, and manufacturing” targets
�Si vis pacem, para bellum
■ Friendshoring and diversification
■ Build up domestic supply chain
� Leapfrogging new tech: CdTe for short-term, Perovskite for long-run. Manufacturing-based and scale-driven
� Bottlenecks like batteries: Need to make the system cheaper
Build Scale or Die
W9: Two Prong Strategy
C-Si
� Continue to
import cheaply
� Substantial tech
and cost
improvement
expected
CdTe Thin Film
� US (First Solar) is the
frontrunner
� High tech barriers
� Vertically integrated
production
� Availability of Te
Perovskite
� Emerging (5-10Y)
� Rapid increase in
light to electricity
efficiency
� R&D to improve
stability & scalability
Key technologies Partnerships
Malaysia
Vietnam
Thailand
(75% of US imports)
Resumption of
climate talks as an
opportunity?
Need to think both short & long term
(1) Encouraging R&D and deployment of key technologies
(2) Fostering strategic partnerships
W10: DoD can gain mission benefits from solar
Use DoD financial capabilities and demand to drive domestic Solar supply chain
� 1 in 24 fuel convoys ended in a US casualties between 2003 and 2007
○ US Army estimates ~3000 fuel related casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan
� dramatically reduce fuel deliveries in remote combat sites and improve agility
○ Solar panels, microgrids and batteries
� DoD can be the catalyst to clean energy adoption:
○ Financial capabilities to invest in emerging technology
with military application
○ Force of demand that drives the military-industrial
complex
Questions of ‘why’ and ‘how’
Key lessons learned
❏ Worthwhile & plausible goals for USA Solar:
❏ Short term: taking advantage of cheap PV from China
❏ Long-term
❏ decoupling from China
❏ creating domestic and allied supply chain
❏ Solar is only one part of the story
❏ DoD’s wider strategy of energy diversification:
❏ Reduce fossil fuel reliance
❏ Improve energy security & resilience
More questions and possible next steps
� How to break the cycle of just buying cheaply from China?
■ Design effective incentives for rebuilding Solar supply chain in USA
� Are the tax credits and other incentives in recent IRA legislation effective?
● Interviewees suggested that they aren’t efficient enough
� Which national players can drive sufficient demand to break the cycle
� Need better understanding of DoD purchasing decision making
Someone needs to do a lot more interviews
Q&A

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Team Climate Change - 2022 Technology, Innovation & Great Power Competition

  • 1. Jenn Zhou XiaoJian MA, East Asian Studies Songchen Yao BA, Economics Stuart Schonberger DCI Fellow AJ E Rodriguez MS, Chemical Eng. Sarvesh Babu BS, Maths and EE Mitra Naeimi DCI Fellow Great Power Competition: Climate Change 16 Interviews - Radical Change in Hypothesis Original Problem Statement What combinations of technologies and international financial relationships should the US prioritize to mitigate climate change? Final Problem Statement How should the US manage China’s dominance in solar panels?
  • 2. Our Journey: Enriching but Unfinished Week 2 3 4 6 5 7 8 9 10 Optimism about our project Ideation Joining of forces Solar power identified DoD angle? Bring back manufacturing? Benefits of Chinese entrance Two-prong strategy DoD perspective revisited Building blocks of strategy …?
  • 3. W2: Team Merger - Both Teams Focused on Climate Change How to realize a holistic solution with both technological and financial feasibility? Team A: � How can climate change be mitigated by optimizing the distribution of electricity with AI? ■ How batteries can be optimized to selectively distribute power? ■ How Artificial Intelligence can optimize the distribution of power to areas of greater demand? Team B: � What financial partnerships and incentives should the US prioritize to mitigate climate change? ■ How China-based investment firms are sourcing their capital? ■ How international investment firms are sourcing their capital? ■ Supply chain issues? ■ International partnerships? Does Climate Change Impact National Defense?
  • 4. W3: Agreeing upon a Renewable Energy Technology � Supply chain � Artificial Intelligence � Power Grid Infrastructure � Batteries � Manufacturing � Finance � Global Partnerships � Technology dominated by China ■ Manufacturing ■ Threatens US Supply Chain � Threatens US National Defense � Technology that combats climate change � Solar Power ■ DoE: 40% of US Energy by 2035 ■ Cost, Maturity, Second-Degree Impact ■ Scalable renewable energy Key questions: ● Should the US decouple from China? ● Can we? ● How? Chosen Technology Boiling the Ocean Qualifications How does technology impact Great Power Competition?
  • 5. W4: Threat to Solar Energy Supply Chain Why did we choose solar energy? �Threat to 40% of US Energy Infrastructure by 2035 ■ China’s unexpected supply chain halts ■ 2022 cut-off stalled 80% of all US projects ■ Choke foreign access to raw materials �China Dominates Supply Chain via: ■ Illegal seizure of land from its citizens ■ Circumvention of fair trade through shell companies ■ Forced Cheap Labor ■ 75% of the solar panel supply chain is dominated by China Threat to National Security
  • 6. W5: Why does the DOD care? DoD uses a lot of energy
  • 7. W5: DOD is increasingly reliant on solar to meet federal rules Federal Statutes Drive Solar Need Renewable Energy is Driven by: � Executive Orders � Department Level Guidance � Federal Statutes Department of Defense is required to produce or procure renewable energy as 25% of its energy sources by 2025
  • 8. W5: Statutes? What do DOD planners care about? Energy Diversification and Independence
  • 9. W5: DOD wants energy resilience Solar is everywhere and scalable
  • 10. W5: What did we define as the DoD angle? DOD stakeholder hypothesis
  • 11. W6: Is moving manufacturing back to USA a potential solution? Remember what the supply chain looks like! Validating security threat hypo. from W4
  • 12. Supply chain bottlenecks from interviews ❏ US research created solar cells in 1950s, produced most solar cells in 1970s ❏ China’s tariffs (more recently) made US polysilicon for solar uncompetitive ❏ US used to have robust domestic polysilicon production supply chain ❏ Chinese state led investment allowed for cost cutting when scaling up production ❏ For all steps of midstream and upstream manufacturing ❏ Battery technology is a bottleneck for increased adoption ❏ High price volatility and shortages worldwide for minor metals is a bottleneck ❏ Small Quantities ⇒ still critical for Solar panel energy generation Each one of these was a possible pivot ❏ Deeper question: “Is the supply chain the key to China’s dominance?” ❏ Is there more to the story than just simply building everything in America? Discouraged W6: Is moving manufacturing back to USA a potential solution?
  • 13. W7: Autarky cannot “Mitigate Climate Change” � Interviews with tech and policy leaders reminded the team to look at “WHYs” in the prompt � Lessons learned from interviews: ■ Low cost and fast expansion create well-paid downstream jobs ■ Climate goals only achievable under consistent major expansion reliant on affordable China-made inputs ■ C-Silicon has potential � Industry and end users primarily concerns energy efficiency ■ GPC is long-term and comprehensive: � If we are seriously alarmed by the prospect that China will cut-off supplies, we must “be fully prepared” Need to study how the whole system work together Entangled with Question of “How to Compete?” Cost of C-Si PRC vs. USA
  • 14. W8: Dual Circulation with American Characteristics 2nd Lesson: It’s not – and cannot be – import substitution � Discovered old problem of “How to make money in Solar in US?” ■ Need a lot of investment with modest profit margin ■ Fundamentally more than old “R&D”, “innovation”, “system and creativity” cliche ■ Hence we need DoD’s money, market, and mandate, but more! �Continue to make good use of cheap and fast improving c-Si panels from China ■ Incentives for c-Si is too little, too late ■ Breaking down the “installment, technology, and manufacturing” targets �Si vis pacem, para bellum ■ Friendshoring and diversification ■ Build up domestic supply chain � Leapfrogging new tech: CdTe for short-term, Perovskite for long-run. Manufacturing-based and scale-driven � Bottlenecks like batteries: Need to make the system cheaper Build Scale or Die
  • 15. W9: Two Prong Strategy C-Si � Continue to import cheaply � Substantial tech and cost improvement expected CdTe Thin Film � US (First Solar) is the frontrunner � High tech barriers � Vertically integrated production � Availability of Te Perovskite � Emerging (5-10Y) � Rapid increase in light to electricity efficiency � R&D to improve stability & scalability Key technologies Partnerships Malaysia Vietnam Thailand (75% of US imports) Resumption of climate talks as an opportunity? Need to think both short & long term (1) Encouraging R&D and deployment of key technologies (2) Fostering strategic partnerships
  • 16. W10: DoD can gain mission benefits from solar Use DoD financial capabilities and demand to drive domestic Solar supply chain � 1 in 24 fuel convoys ended in a US casualties between 2003 and 2007 ○ US Army estimates ~3000 fuel related casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan � dramatically reduce fuel deliveries in remote combat sites and improve agility ○ Solar panels, microgrids and batteries � DoD can be the catalyst to clean energy adoption: ○ Financial capabilities to invest in emerging technology with military application ○ Force of demand that drives the military-industrial complex Questions of ‘why’ and ‘how’
  • 17. Key lessons learned ❏ Worthwhile & plausible goals for USA Solar: ❏ Short term: taking advantage of cheap PV from China ❏ Long-term ❏ decoupling from China ❏ creating domestic and allied supply chain ❏ Solar is only one part of the story ❏ DoD’s wider strategy of energy diversification: ❏ Reduce fossil fuel reliance ❏ Improve energy security & resilience
  • 18. More questions and possible next steps � How to break the cycle of just buying cheaply from China? ■ Design effective incentives for rebuilding Solar supply chain in USA � Are the tax credits and other incentives in recent IRA legislation effective? ● Interviewees suggested that they aren’t efficient enough � Which national players can drive sufficient demand to break the cycle � Need better understanding of DoD purchasing decision making Someone needs to do a lot more interviews
  • 19. Q&A

Editor's Notes

  1. Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  2. Here is an overview of our journey; roller coaster ride Y-axis: optimism.. more details elaborated later, but generally: W2-4 Downhill on W5: DoD or DoE W6: as in semiconductors turning point: W7 due to a few interviews W8-9: develop a strategy for US W10: DoD as implementation body
  3. Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  4. Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  5. decreased electricity costs, acceleration of the decarbonization of U.S. Energy infrastructure But these incentives damped out focus — given the morals of class, we ran into interviews first and iterate
  6. Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  7. Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  8. Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  9. Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  10. Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  11. The solar supply chain: Polysilicon is melted to grow monocrystalline silicon ingots, which are sliced into thin silicon wafers. Silicon wafers are processed to make solar cells, which are connected, sandwiched between glass and plastic sheets, and framed to make PV modules. Then, they are mounted on racking structures and connected to the grid using an inverter.
  12. Learn about other bottlenecks Study how the whole system work together Rare Earth Materials (REM) Battery storage Recycle EV batteries Possible pivot? -> but decided not to. Why? Challenges with REM not specific to solar - [do we need to fill more here?]
  13. Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  14. Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  15. 2 prong short, medium, long term targeted partnership c-Si: e.g., increased energy efficiency, decreasing silicon material usage per watt CdTe as byproducts of smelting other metals like Zn and Cu; requires high purity Te availability: Canada, China Germany; Sweden, Japan, Russia, China, US (Montana, Alaska, Colorado), Peru CdTe: low cost, but low efficiency First Solar is the only major American company operating in the solar space, specialises in CdTe thin film where vertically integrated production line is the norm and where US has expertise But high upfront cost to build end-to-end thin film factories; First Solar is expanding prudently Perovskite materials offer excellent light absorption, charge-carrier mobilities, and lifetimes, resulting in high device efficiencies with opportunities to realize a low-cost, industry-scalable technology. UK and US as leading in R&D the key is light to electricity conversion efficiency ASEAN: module production Countries like Singapore are open to climate cooperation with US, China as well as other like-minded countries Biden administration has stepped up in terms of global leadership in climate issues; BRI as the main Chinese vehicle for green partnership EU: financing
  16. Framework → implementing body Why should DoD care? How can DoD be part of the solution? Clean energy is on DoD’s agenda Mr. Richard Kidd, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment & Energy Resilience https://www.defense.gov/News/News-Stories/Article/Article/3140223/us-should-not-surrender-clean-energy-technology-to-china-dod-official-says/ https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/energysource/a-clean-energy-agenda-for-the-us-department-of-defense/
  17. Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  18. Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”
  19. Original problem statement: key words — “prioritize” what field to combat “climate change” that best enhances US “security and strategic interest”