02 Sep '11, 2pm

$1.9 Billion Positive US Solar Trade Balance via @greentechmedia

I love you guys. But this report is misleading at the headline level, as it implies that the “solar manufacturing industry” is healthy, when its not. The key ingredient in the solar value chain - where the technology resides - is the fabrication of the cell/panel, and nobody but First Solar and a few other thin film venture-type companies are expanding production here. Let’s assume that we will expand our installation levels of panels, which I’m sure all solar proponents will agree is a good thing. That will quickly send this balance negative, as the areas of positive balance are silicon and machinery, whose sales will remain flat in comparison. We will always maintain a positive balance in silicon because almost nobody is making silicon panels in the US anymore. The balance in machinery is tenuous as the Chinese copy US and European designs as quickly as they come out. So...

Full article: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/stat-of-the-w...

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