The New York Times reported today that Suntech Power, China’s largest solar panel manufacturer, will open its first American plant in the U.S., nearl Phoenix.
It’s a good thing that some of the economic action around cleantech manufacturing is happening in this country. I recently came across this graphic showing the large disparity between Chinese and U.S. silicon manufacturing capacity.
Mind you, silicon is a raw material while the panels that Suntech plans to manufacturer in the U.S. are closer to the finished product. Still, the gap is eye opening.
Meanwhile, Seeking Alpha reported just about ten days ago that U.S. solar panel maker Evergreen Solar will shift its manufacturing from Massachusetts to China.
Suntech is seeking a 30 percent investment tax credit provided in the stimulus package that applies to U.S. solar manufacturing, while Evergreen is seeking lower manufacturing costs.
The irony is striking.