Solar Wafers are traditionally manufactured by growing polysilicon crystals in specialized furnaces. These crystals are then sawed to make thin slices of purified polysilicon which is then acted upon by various chemical processes to convert them into solar cells. There have been a number of companies in the past that have tried to find an […]

USA recently signed a Military Law which obliges the US Defense Forces to buy Solar Panels which are made in the USA.This “Buy American” proposal directly contradicts US actions and policy which advocates free trade in Green Energy.The US Steelworkers Trade Union recently filed a petition with the US Administration against subsidies being given to the Green Industry by China.US government officials also spoke against the “domestic content” requirements of the Indian Solar Subsidy Policy JNNSM.However when it comes to their own solar panel procurement,the US government has foolishly forced its military forces to buy USA made panels.Not that this will help in boosting the US industry too much,as a number of foreign solar panel producers like Solarworld,Suntech already have module making factories in the United States.Also it remains doubtful about how many solar panels the US Military will buy in the coming years.It will remain a fraction of the global solar demand.Instead of supporting US Solar companies like Evergreen Solar,Energy Conversion Devices which are fighting to survive,the administration has given billion dollar loans to a Spanish Solar Thermal Producer.

About 800 jobs in the Solar Industry will be lost directly to China as the USA administration has failed to support its established solar companies.Massachusetts had supported Evergreen with $58 million in subsidies but it was not enough for Evergreen to compete against the ongoing subsidies received by the strong Chinese players who have captured almost 70% of the global market in a few short years.The other US solar companies like Sunpower and First Solar are surviving by manufacturing most of their solar panels in Malaysia and other places.The recent “Buy American” Pentagon Law may not help all that much as module making is a low value add activity already being done by European and Chinese players in the USA.In the complicated supply chain of global manufacturing its difficult to understand who ultimately benefits and loses from such provisions.Note most of the polysilicon going inside the wafers and cells made in Asia are imported from USA and Europe.

This trend goes contrary to what US administration is advertising as the creation of a large number of Green Jobs due to the Stimulus.The Senate has given up on the Climate and Energy Bill while EPA’s regulation of carbon emissions is also uncertain.Big investors are shunning the USA while putting money into Green Manufacturing and Investments as China takes over the Global Green Energy Leadership .

Solyndra has been¬† the most hyped startup in the crowded Solar Energy field .It is not due to a lack of competition,another thin film player Nanosolar has been in the news with heavyweights like Google,Carlye and EDF backing it.Then there are other startups like eSolar, Brightsource¬† Energy,Miasole which promise to drastically improve the adoption of […]