From: Raz Godelnik, Triple Pundit, More from this Affiliate
Published January 12, 2012 02:43 PM

The Real Solar War: US Manufacturers and Installers Fight Over Cheap Chinese Panels

There is a heated debate going on between people who are supposed to be on the same side of the aisle. Yet, when you hear their passionate arguments and the way they describe the damage the other is causing the US, you start wondering if they actually share anything in common. No, I’m not talking about Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. I’m talking about Jigar Shah and Gordon Brinser. While Brinser and Shah might not be as well-known as the Republican candidates, the debate they’re having on the future of the solar industry might be more valuable to those concerned about the future of the US economy. Basically, the debate between the two is over a petition made to the US International Trade Commission/Department of Commerce (ITC/DOC) against Chinese solar panel import. The main question at the heart of this debate is: Does the US need to focus on manufacturing at all costs, or should it look for another way to create a healthy and sustainable economy?


Jigar Shah, the President of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE) and founder of SunEdison, published a letter to Gordon Brinser, President of SolarWorld Industries Americas, asking him to withdraw the petition made to the ITC/DOC against Chinese solar import. The petition claimed that Chinese companies are illegally dumping solar panels into the US solar market at artificially low prices, thanks to massive, unprecedented subsidies they receive from the Chinese government. These efforts, according to the petition, are burdening US solar manufacturers and are partly responsible for seven US companies going out of business or downsizing in the last year.

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