Only around 2.7% of global solar panel manufacturing is in the U.S.
Steve Ottley, head of chemicals and energy at supply chain and operations consulting group SGS Maine Pointe, said, “As appealing as the idea of onshoring solar panel production to the U.S. is, the fact is that currently only around 2.7% of global solar panel manufacturing is in the U.S.”
Ottley pointed out that China currently has 75% of global capacity. China surged ahead of the U.S. in solar panel manufacturing thanks in part to differences in labor and environmental regulations, and a much larger number of trained metallurgists.
“It will take years for the U.S. to scale up production,” he said. “In the meantime, creating supply chain optionality and less reliance on China is good supply chain strategy. While the senators’ proposed bill to repeal the relaxing of tariffs will appeal to the masses, it appears misguided until the U.S. production scale is achieved.”