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  • Monday, August 18, 2014


    Partly Sunny; America is making lots of solar energy. What’s holding it back from making solar panels?

    Daniel Gross, August 14, 2014 (Slate)

    “…The annual [U.S.] installation of solar systems rose from 1.265 megawatts in 2008 to 4.75 gigawatts in 2013…America has emerged as the third-largest market for solar…[But the] two biggest solar panel manufacturers headquartered in the U.S., First Solar and SunPower, have located most of their manufacturing capacity in Southeast Asia…[A]bout half of the panels used in the U.S. last year came from China. U.S. module production fell from 1,200 megawatts in 2011 to 541 megawatts in 2012 and bounced back up to 988 megawatts in 2013…[But this summer, SolarCity bought Silevo and] the two firms plan to build a massive factory in Buffalo, New York...[1366] has raised $64 million to make solar wafers [in a big U.S. factory]...Suniva, the second-largest manufacturer of panels in the U.S….[will double in size with] a new factory in Saginaw Township, Michigan…[Also,] the Commerce Department… may impose tariffs on panels made in China that could add up to 35 percent to the cost of the products…[and] Government agencies such as the military [and cities, states, nonprofits, or public institutions such as universities, may push their contractors] to comply with the Buy American Act and the Buy America provisions of the 2009 stimulus bill...[A] few announcements don’t make for a full-fledged renaissance. And the U.S. still accounts for only a tiny sliver of global module manufacturing…But it’s the direction that counts as much as the volume…” click here for more


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