Onshoring and Offshoring Photovoltaic Manufacturing

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.

Sourcce: Sun & Wind Energy 9/2009

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.

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2 Comments

Filed under solar

2 responses to “Onshoring and Offshoring Photovoltaic Manufacturing

  1. Ted Dann

    Also of note, political pressure has been applied successfully to a west Texas wind farm to use turbines made in the US since they are receiving stimulus money for the construction.

    A Power agreed to manufacture the turbines in the US, creating 1,000 manufacturing jobs and other construction jobs.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=aF8_we_8MjW8

    It’s becoming more interesting as we begin seeing all the economic and political factors that affect the emergence of renewable energy as a major part of the world economy.

  2. tony saleh

    Stimulus package should be used to create more jobs local in US. Yes, we have to be able to work and compete globally, no doubt; however, if the stimulus $s is not creating more opportunities for the local workers, I am not in favor of any tax credit.

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