Study says U.S. should focus on solar research while China dominates manufacturing
The New Solar System study focuses on the U.S.-China relationship, and says that solar is becoming increasingly decentralized geographically.
The U.S. solar industry is rightly celebrating results for 2016, its biggest installation year in history. But a provocative report from energy-policy experts at Stanford University notes that China, not the United States, will increasingly dominate the worldwide solar industry—particularly in manufacturing, but also in underlying R&D.
The study, The New Solar System, is definitely written from a U.S. policy perspective. But even as it focuses on the U.S.-China relationship, the report also makes the point that solar is becoming increasingly decentralized geographically. And the authors suggest that the United States, and perhaps other countries as well, should approach that increasingly globalizing solar market not by attempting to defeat China, but by “leveraging” it, and focusing their investment on solar R&D and deployment rather than manufacturing.
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