As the price of oil continues to take a large chunk of household budgets and the number of military conflicts threatens the supply, the advantages of solar energy become more apparent to a wider marketplace. Solar energy continues to gain footing in many developed countries around the world. The solar panel manufacturing industry continues to be a growing part of the economy, both in the U. S. and around the world.
Who Leads in Solar Power Use?
The number of countries investing in solar power is growing steadily. Germany continues to be the largest user of solar power for the world, with 32,411 photovoltaic panels in use in 2013. Italy and China follow behind Germany, with the United States coming in fourth. However, installation and use of solar panels does not translate into manufacture of these products. Currently, it is China that leads in the manufacture and export of photovoltaic panels to the rest of the world.
Top Solar Panel Manufacturers
In 2013, according to research firm IHS, seven of the top 10 solar panel manufacturers were in China, two were in Japan and one was in the United States. The imbalance between the amount of solar energy systems being installed in the United States, and the amount of panels produced, leads to a number of different problems for American companies who do the installations. They often have to wait for parts coming from China, which significantly cuts into capital. The quality of these panels is often below American and European standards, which causes problems in installation and maintenance. As the American market grows for solar power in new construction and in retrofitting older homes, it becomes clear that the U.S. will have to step up its domestic production of solar panels.
U.S. Recommits To Solar Panel Production
To manage some of these supply problems, a number of U.S. companies are planning to increase domestic production of the solar panels. Existing companies are increasing output, while other companies are going into production in a number of new locations, in Michigan, California and New York State. As more homeowners look to reaping the benefits of lower energy prices in coming years, companies like Dwelltek can expect to expand their operations to handle the increased business.