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Posts Tagged ‘photovoltaics’

Solar Companies Plan To Manufacture In U.S.

Posted on: September 9th, 2014 No Comments

Several major solar brands have decided to move their photovoltaic manufacturing facilities to the United States. The companies will increase their manufacturing of cells, panels, and silicon wafers in the U.S. and reduce production in China.

Silicon wafer manufacturer 1336 Technologies raised a total of $62 million in funding to build a 250 megawatt facility in the U.S. One of the reason 1336 Technologies decided to start manufacturing in the states is that workers in China are still doing certain tasks by hand.

A lot of factory workers in China use suction cups to pick up silicon wafers, which can add to production mistakes.

In the U.S., a machine is relied on to do the work, while experienced workers are there to run the sophisticated machinery and monitor the progress.

Suniva, one of our solar panel manufacturers, is adding a second facility in the U.S. this year to keep production in the country while they continue to expand their company. Suniva will open its new facility in Saginaw Township, Michigan, where it will be easier for it to work with its key supply chain partners Hemlock & Dow Corning. Michigan also yields a highly skilled workforce to draw from.

Suniva opening new solar facility in Michigan

Labor costs in China have been increasing, making it even easier for large solar companies to consider moving production locally. Uncertainty in policy environments also makes it difficult for U.S. solar companies to monitor facilities in China.

There is also value in manufacturing within the U.S.

The U.S. solar market is already the 3rd largest in the world, with solar installations exceeding 7 gigawatts in 2014. Unlike other big markets like Japan, the U.S. is seeing steady growth year after year in demand for installations.

Solar growth in U.S. is rapidly increasing

Source: Cleantechnica <http://cleantechnica.com>

The “Made in USA” phenomenon is still strong, and many homeowners and businesses like to purchase locally.

China still has, and will continue to hold a strong share of the global photovoltaic manufacturing capacity.

At 70% share, China will not be heavily affected over the years by American companies moving their manufacturing locally. However, trade disputes and tariffs are among several reasons why more U.S. solar companies will begin to create their manufacturing facilities in the States, to provide cost effective products to their customers.

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Corporate Giants Moving Towards Solar

Posted on: June 6th, 2014 No Comments

In the past few years, we have seen a large movement towards solar renewable energy to  power our homes, cars, and business buildings in a clean, sustainable way.

Utilizing the almost unlimited source of solar energy will help us be less reliant on popular fossil fuel resources like crude oil and natural gas. These resources are not unlimited and can cause a negative effect to our environment.

New photovoltaic (solar) capacity (the amount of energy solar panels can absorb and store) jumped 41% last year, compared to 2012. This is a great advancement in solar technology, and because of this, solar energy is now the 2nd largest source electricity, after natural gas.

Corporate giants have caught on to this information, and big brands are now utilizing solar panels on their corporate and retail offices to lower utility bills, use cleaner energy, and also become an ambassador to help lead the whole world into a cleaner, sustainable future.

Wal-Mart has vowed to double the number of solar energy projects at its stores nationwide (including Sam’s Clubs) and distribution centers by 2020.

Walmart Solar
Image by EcoFriend

Apple is pledging to power 100% of its facilities with green energy, and already uses 100% renewable power at its data centers. Their new 2.8 million-square-foot headquarters in Cupertino, California will also feature mammoth-size rooftop solar arrays.

Apple Solar Farm
Image by Techno Buffalo

Google is allowing its audience to participate in the solar movement, by creating a contest with a $1 million prize, to develop the next generation of power inverters to bring solar to more U.S. homes.

Even President Obama is helping increase the awareness of solar energy usage, by installing new solar panels on the White House to boost energy efficiency and renewable power.

Solar White House
Image by InHabitat

Other big brands like Kohls, Staples, and Whole Foods have made commitments to use renewable solar power for their locations.

The thing to take away from the corporate giants making moves towards solar energy, is that they recognize the eventual major shift towards the usage of clean solar power. Corporate giants are demonstrating their commitment to clean sustainable energy, through the incorporation of solar energy in their business models.

They are generating awareness of a new business model for power generation which positively affects their bottom line and showcases the ability of business to become environmentally conscious.

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