05 Jul '12, 12pm

The future of solar, by @drgrist:

The future of solar, by @drgrist:

It’s interesting: The U.S. has never been a manufacturer of solar panels at scale. It did the specialist technology for pocket calculators and satellites. It was really Europe and Asia [that manufactured at scale]. One unfortunate element to the trade tension is that the U.S. exports more silicon than it imports solar panels, and yet it’s engaged in a trade war, which is extremely bad for those people employed at the installation end, it’s bad for U.S. scientists developing [intellectual property] to license to China, it’s just bad all around. You can understand the politics, but if the U.S. is not competitive in manufacturing, then it seems unfortunate to lay the blame for that at the door of this industry. Apple doesn’t make iPads here; they’re quite content to import those from China. What’s different about solar? The only difference is, it’s subsidized.

Full article: http://grist.org/climate-energy/the-future-of-solar/

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