This is just the most recent in a string of stories where U.S. solar manufacturers are unable to compete with their Chinese counterparts. Suniva, the bankrupt module maker and now defining chapter of the ongoing crisis, got a small victory last week when the ITC decided to move forward under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 to investigate whether they deserve protection from their Chinese competitors.
Great news for the U.S. solar market, right?
Well, many at Intersolar North America seem to think not. The pending decision is causing a lot of developers to hold off on new solar projects, causing a ripple effect of delays and indecision.
“The uncertainty we’re seeing in the U.S. market is not good,” said Jefferson Gerwig, purchasing manager for Indiana-based developer Inovateus Solar. “It’s putting a real damper on a lot of development, and the market will continue to worry until the case is finally decided – and even then, with no certain outcome, the effects could linger.”
Developers are trying to snatch up as many modules as possible because of abject fear at what could happen if Suniva is granted relief under its petition, Gerwig said. Adding to the shortage is the fact that the Chinese and Indian markets are still growing fast. So manufacturers are selling any excess inventory into those markets – markets where they can have a reasonable expectation of continued growth moving forward.
Frank Andorka from pv magazine has the whole story here.