How China is affecting the world’s photovoltaic industry.
Photo Credit: Peter Parks, Getty Images for the New York Times
When China dives into a technology, it does so in a big way. Nowhere is this more the case than in photovoltaic (PV) panel manufacturing, where dramatic growth has not only taken a toll on other manufacturers around the world, but also now threatens its own PV industry through rampant oversupply.
This has significant implications for us here in the U.S.—both good and bad.
China learned how to manufacture PV modules from leading-edge manufacturers in the U.S., Germany, and elsewhere, then figured out how to do it better and much cheaper than anyone else. In just a few years China came to dominate world PV manufacturing, leaving a trail of bankrupt Western manufacturers in its wake.