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US anti-dumping duties create dramatic changes in global Solar supply chain

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Effect of US Anti-Dumping duties on China & Taiwan

The US anti-dumping duties on imports of Chinese and Taiwanese solar products has upended the global solar supply chain with manufacturers of both these countries setting / shifting factories in locations other than these two countries. We have already written about how Taiwanese cell makers are shifting their equipment to other SE Asian countries like Malaysia and Thailand. Even Chinese Tier 1 producers are looking to expand in countries outside Asia in new places such as Turkey, South Africa and USA. The only beneficiaries of these anti-dumping duties are a couple of USA based solar panel producers and non-Chinese panel makers such as LG, Samsung etc.

The losers are the US consumers who are currently paying the highest prices of solar panels in the world. While solar panels are available for 60-65c/watt, US consumers are paying more than 70c/watt. It would be better for USA to do a negotiated settlement with the Chinese government on the lines of the Europe and China agreement, whereby the Chinese suppliers can sell a pre-defined quota of solar panels at a certain floor price. This will help the market to function more efficiently than imposing duties.

Some of the manufacturers are also thinking of putting up factories in the USA to escape the anti-dumping duties. The reason for putting up factories is anti-dumping duties. It is also due to the fact that US has become the 3rd largest market in the world, with demand expected to exceed 6 GW this year. Next year, USA should become the 2nd largest market in the world. However, once the duties are removed, these plans may vanish, as USA is not competitive in making solar panels.

The domestic capacity of solar panels in USA is just 2 GW and some players are finding it profitable to set up capacity near the demand centers. SolarCity has announced a 1 GW factory, while First Solar is starting its once closed solar lines. Even Solarworld is looking to expand capacity despite its decrepit financial condition.

Digitimes

Solar-grade crystalline silicon wafer maker Sino-American Silicon Products (SAS) plans to expand its annual production capacity for monocrystalline silicon solar cells by 350MWp from 500MWp currently to 850MWp in 2015 and is likely to set up the additional capacity I  either the US or Germany .Viewing that the US is a large PV market with a total capacity of PV systems installed and to be installed in 2014 estimated at 7GWp and 9GWp in 2015, SAS may set up planned additional capacity based on a PERC process in Germany or the US to specifically avoid high US anti-dumping tariffs, Hsu said.

PG

Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to greensneha@yahoo.in

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