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Amid the investigations and continual reports of US and European PV manufacturers closing their doors, it has been easy to neglect the idea that the PV manufacturing industry in China has taken a hit as well. Renewable Energy World pointed out that John Lefebvre, president of Suntech Power America, noted during Intersolar North America in San Francisco that over 50 Chinese PV manufacturing companies have also closed.
While the top companies in China continue to gain market shares, the lesser-known Chinese solar manufacturers have been subjected to the same shutdowns that have recently affected companies such as centrotherm and Abound Solar, however, unless they are publicly traded, most don’t announce their closures or other big operational changes.
Lefebvre continued noting that Taiwan has the capacity to produce 10GW of solar cells. A further point to consider is that Taiwanese cell makers have seen a steady increase in business resulting from the trade compliant and its imposed duties that Chinese solar cell makers would have to pay when exporting to the US. Renewable Energy World notes that to sidestep the duties, several Chinese companies have said they would buy solar cells in Taiwan and assemble them in their factories in China and elsewhere.
Naturally, not all companies are headed to the same fate as Abound. Canadian Solar and its CEO Shawn Qu noted at a panel discussion at Intersolar that the company is still considering the construction of a 700MW factory to produce new technology and push efficiency to around 19%. “There is a good chance that we will make this move. It’s tough for me as a CEO to make that decision at this time in the industry,” Qu said. He did note that Canadian Solar would more than likely not sell solar panels with those advanced cells in the US market because of the trade complaint against Chinese silicon solar manufacturers.