Because just about everything is made in China these days, it's no surprise that solar panels are too. Westerners have enjoyed many great deals on solar panels made in China. In fact, in recent years, China has manufactured more solar panels than any other nation--though they have been notoriously slow to adopt solar energy themselves. Changes are afoot, however. Reports suggest that China has plans to retain some of that solar power business and install a stunning increase in solar at home. It's a good thing, too, because countries like the U.S. have plans to impose tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels to help support domestic sales.
The Cost Increase on Chinese Solar Products
Americans can expect to pay 14% more for solar panels made in China (1). That increase is bound to hurt Chinese sales of solar goods. This increase has not pleased the Chinese, of course, and some solar product manufacturers have vowed to bypass the U.S. market altogether. Recently, one-third of the American solar market has been supported by products produced in China. As a consequence of this tariff increase, U.S. consumers will have to pay more for their Chinese goods--unless Chinese manufacturers lower their price, which is what some companies, plan to do to remain competitive in the U.S.
Alternatives for Solar Consumers
While the governments continue to battle over these tariffs, many consumers prefer to avoid the increasing prices and shop for solar panels from auction services that specialize in solar materials. For instance, Heritage Global Partners "have specialized in the sale of solar panel and related solar manufacturing equipment globally for the last 30 years." (2) Buying high-quality used materials is a great way to save money while moving toward a more sustainable form of energy production. Many companies and individuals prefer to save money by purchasing assets like solar panels at auction and find the experience ideal for meeting their needs. In spite of the wave of new Chinese tariffs on solar products, you can still go solar affordably.
1. MarketWatch, "U.S. Prices on Solar Products to Rise on China Duties," http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-prices-on-solar-products-to-rise-on-china-duties-2014-06-19
2. Heritage Global Partners, "Solar Panel Manufacturing," http://www.hgpauction.com/solar-panel-manufacturing/