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The spate of
in the U.S. solar power industry has left
China as the dominant player
in green energy. With over 60% of the world’s solar production capacity and huge economies of scale, GTM Research notes that “pricing is determined by where they price, and everyone else prices at a premium or discount to them.”
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Who are we that we cannot compete with a third world country like China? Apparently, the level of incompetency in American business has reached epic proportions these days...case in point follows...
Indeed, China has very cheap labor at $1.00/hr and they have no restrictions on dumping whatever they feel like into their environment, which is also why US electronic companies have their products made there and why the Chinese keep our intellectual property as a portion of the fee for their trashy services.
In the case of solar PV panels with current levels of innovation in the US for automation in their manufacture, the cost of labor could be less than $1.00/hr and more efficient, which also provisions the ability to control hazardous waste products and build these panels at lower cost than the Chinese. Finally, the finished products can be shipped to LOCAL markets for less than it costs to ship them from China and then sold or leased to Americans at very affordable rates and installed with the same labor that would install panels from China.
Therefore, the only difference in costs between China and the US PV business is what companies pay in business taxes, which are now lower in the US due to the need for clean energy. Therefore, a premium price could easily be added to panels made in the USA due to their higher quality materials and workmanship that good manufacturing regulations provide to protect consumers, which is certainly not the case with the cheap stuff made in China with "god knows what" put in their panels to keep costs down and profits high.
The fact of the matter is that there are simply too many people still looking for easy money in clean energy, which has never been the case, and will not be until business learns how to take advantage of what good ol' American ingenuity can provide them.
If Solyndra sells off its patents to China, that will be good for the US since CIGS technology is too inefficient to be meaningful in actual use and will likely become obsolete within the next three years. PolySi is still the best material for solar PVs and as soon as BIG OIL/ENERGY allows its proliferation, we will all be much better off as a country, economy and civilization...this is the heart of the matter above all else...
Sep 30 07:32 AM
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