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Energy Roundup: Chinese Trade Barriers, Socialist Oil, Geothermal Delays and More

China building barriers to protect home energy industry -- Despite its scolding of other countries that consider tariffs and other protectionist measures, China is making sure that only its own companies can compete on its home turf, even as it becomes one of the world's largest markets for clean energy. [Source: New York Times]

Britan to double renewables by 2020 -- Today, Britain gets about 20 percent of its energy from nuclear power, which it counts as a low-carbon source. It says it will double that amount by 2020, but without using more nuclear power. Since solar is not attractive for the region, that means wind and wave power will have to get massive boosts for the plan to work. [Source: Reuters]

Venezualan oil workers told to become socialist -- Oil workers in Venezuala will risk accusations of conspiring against the socialist revolution of President Hugo Chavez if they don't join socialist groups at work, according the to the nation's oil minister. The industry's last stand against Chavez took place in 2002, and ended with the firing of over 20,000 workers. [Source: Wall Street Journal]

AltaRock geothermal project held for study -- The Department of Energy, apparently responding to a New York Times article exposing quake fears, is holding up a deep-drilling project by geothermal developer AltaRock Energy to perform a study. The company plans on starting this summer, if allowed. [Source: Los Angeles Times]

Zenn takes in more money after EEStor investment -- Electric car company Zenn Motors has sold additional common stock to make up for the $5 million investment it made in EEStor, an ultracapacitor maker that might help energize its cars. The company is aiming at a 2010 release date for its ultracap-powered cars. [Source: Cleantech Group]