Monday, October 26, 2009

China, US: Head to Head Solar Power competitors (FSLR)

From China Daily:

The United States and China are in a head-to-head race to become the world's top market for solar power.

Solar panel makers are wasting no time making plans to cash in on the growth promise of both markets despite the global recession.

At the recent Reuters Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit, Chinese and US solar companies including Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd, SunPower Corp, Trina Solar Ltd and BrightSource Energy Inc laid out plans to capture their share of what is expected to be explosive demand for solar-generated electricity in the world's biggest and third-largest economies.

The US and China lag far behind Europe in demand for solar power, but are expected to vault ahead in the next few years as both countries work to curb their emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

This year, Washington and Beijing have both rolled out programs designed to grow their fledgling solar power industries and thus boost growth in their economies. Together, they are expected to drive the building of at least 5 gigawatts (GW) of solar installations between 2009 and 2011, according to a recent report by investment firm CLSA.

Thanks to strong government incentives, Germany is the world's biggest solar market and is expected to remain so until 2013, when the United States will become its equal. China will be slightly behind, according to the research firm Lux Research.

In China, recently enacted subsidies for utility-scale solar power projects have prompted a host of plans for solar power plants.

US solar in China

Those plans include the recent announcement of the first major foray by a US company into the Chinese solar sector by Arizona-based First Solar Inc.

That announcement, said spokesmen for several US companies, opens the door for other non-Chinese companies to compete in China's solar market....MORE