Can the US Solar Industry Compete with Chinese Suppliers Who Account for 60% of the World’s Solar Panels?
How Do US Companies Compete with the Large Subsidization Given to Each Critical Industry By China?
Kelly Sims Gallagher, a Professor at the Fletcher School of Tufts University, who studies renewable energy in China, believes that US costs are uncompetitive when compared with China, but thinks that it is still worth a try to compete with them in the enormous global market.
Solar panels were first invented from a laboratory in New Jersey, and became a major product of Japan and Germany in 2000, when China was still an “outsider” to this industry. Since then, the Chinese government has been aggressively supporting local solar businesses by providing low-cost funding and other support, which brought about the rise of Chinese solar businesses.
Solar products are dropping significantly in prices due to their excess supply; as a result of the increased supply, the Chinese manufacturers have started to export their excessive products through the kinds of low prices that overseas solar panel suppliers are unable to compete with. By 2011, Chinese solar panel manufacturers accounted for approximately 60% of the total global sales, which forced the US to impose relevant tariffs in order to constrain further development in China.