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São Paulo ESPM 2011.2 Questão: 48 Inglês Interpretação de Texto 




From magnifying glasses to steam engines, scientists through the centuries have found innovative ways to harness the power of the sun. Converting more solar power into electricity is high on the political agenda in many countries, amid the push to find domestic energy sources that are less polluting than fossil fuels. Despite rapid growth in recent years, solar power accounts for less than 1 percent of United States electricity use. Solar power is more entrenched in European countries such as Spain and Germany, which have promoted its development with strong incentives called feed-in tariffs, which require electric utilities to buy solar power at a high, fixed price. In the United States, California is by far the leading solar state. China has emerged as the world’s dominant producer of solar panels in the last two years. It accounted for at least half the world’s production in 2010, and its market share is rising rapidly. The United States accounts for $1.6 billion of the world’s $29 billion market for solar panels; market analyses typically have not broken out military sales separately. The perception that Beijing unfairly subsidizes the Chinese solar industry to the detriment of American companies and other foreign competitors has drawn concern in Congress. The issue of clean-energy subsidies is also at the heart of a trade investigation under way by the Obama administration, which plans to bring a case against China before the World Trade Organization. And a little noticed Buy American provision, created mainly by House and Senate conferees during a flurry of activity at the end of the lame-duck session of Congress in December 2010, prevents the Defense Department from buying Chinese-made solar panels — a measure that is likely to dismay Chinese officials.

(Jan. 10, 2011 | www.nytimes.com)

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