June 11, 2012 – Vol.17 No.13
SEVEN DAYS OF SOLAR 5-27-12.
The US is gearing up to slap a punitive tariff on Made-in-China solar products. The US claims that China heavily subsidizes its solar industry allowing manufacturers so sell their solar PV modules at below cost. The US says this is an unfair trading practice and hurts US solar companies. Subsidies or not, what really helps Chinese solar companies (and other industries there) is low cost labor. Everyone recognizes that.
But China is not the only nation with cheap labor. Similar in population, and a neighbor, consider India.
New Delhi consulting company Bridge to India, says in its blog that the tariff dispute between the US and China might have a “positive impact on India.” The belief is that antidumping duties on Chinese manufacturers will lead India to become an “alternative manufacturing destination” for solar companies.
However, currently India “lacks direction” in solar manufacturing policy, according to Bridge to India.
Policy can change overnight. If the trade war isn’t resolved in the future, Chinese low-cost solar might simply come with a Made-in-India label.
During the meager solar news week beginning May 27, 2012, this publication received news announcements regarding about 350 kilowatts (kW) of solar projects completed in the United States.
--- The Sky Factory, a global fine art and technology company based in Fairfield, Iowa, will become Iowa's first net-zero solar powered business. Designed and installed by Fairfield's Ideal Energy, the 3,500 sq. ft. photovoltaic panel array, generating 54 kilowatts, is the largest private installation in the state and will generate 104 percent of Sky Factory's power needs.
--- SolarCity and Bayer Healthcare have announced a 295 kW, 1,000-panel solar power installation – the largest in the city of Berkeley, California – to help power Bayer’s manufacturing facilities here. The project was financed, designed, and installed by SolarCity, which will also provide ongoing maintenance and monitoring as part of its standard agreement.
The Bayer project is SolarCity’s largest commercial project in the city of Berkeley, where one of SolarCity’s 25 locations employs nearly 50 installers, project designers, and warehouse managers. The shaded carport upon which the Bayer Healthcare panels are installed also illustrates the creative solutions available when on-location SolarCity project managers determine that optimal solar performance requires alternatives to rooftop installation.
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