Your title and analysis in this article are completely incorrect. According to the figures in the report, the US does have a trade surplus in the imports and exports of overall solar GOODS, but NOT solar panels, or modules. Solar goods include the raw materials and capital necessary to produce the actual solar panels, as well as the finished solar panels themselves. Let's look at the numbers from the report:
Solar trade with China (I'll use the high figure on US export value to China):
Total US exports totaled $1.981 billion. Of this figure, Capital Equipment and Polysilicon accounted for $1.873 billion, or about 95% of US total exports to China. Again, these are two of the most essential components needed in the manufacturing of solar panels. PV module (solar panels) exports were $17 million, a little less than 1% of the total export figure. Think about that. Less than 1% of exports to China were finished solar panels. Total US imports totaled $1.441 billion. Of this figure, $1.154 billion were finished solar panels, or about 80%.
Seeing these figures, there is absolutely no way to conclude that the "US Thumps China in Solar Panel Shipment". Again, solar panel imports from China were $1.154 BILLION, while solar panel exports to China were $17 million. China's exports of solar panels to the US are 67 times greater than its imports of solar panels from the US. Essentially, the US is shipping the basic components necessary to create the solar panels to China, China is doing all the manufacturing and labor intensive production, and then shipping the solar panels back to the US to be used. China is kicking our butts in the solar industry, not the other way around.
Yes, varying electricity prices across the US will make adoption rates vary. The incentives each State has will also help (California being in the front line but I saw Connecticut as well - at 18 cents, who can blame them?)
There's an obvious tendency for very sunny states and cheap real estate to go for solar but States that have a limited electricity generation will push solar power forward as well.
Remove energy from any substance or element, then there is no more life. The natural energy coverter is highly needed at this time to change our world. We have these natural resources, the more we are able to tap it, the better we are.
If managed very well, the sunny side of US-China trade will be great. US has taken a step that will pay off the generations to come in this country. It is just a matter of time. Going green is everywhere, waste is being reduced at all levels. Though it appeared gradual but it is working. The focus on gasoline we drop, the source of new energy will dent inflation in one part and boost the economy in many ways. We need to catch this vision and run with it.
Contrary to the conventional view, manufacturing in the U. S. has been growing in the past two decades despite the decline in manufacturing jobs. The latest data show that the United States is still the largest manufacturer in the world. In 2008, U.S. manufacturing output was $1.8 trillion, compared to $1.4 trillion in China. This means that the United States is producing goods with higher value, such as airplanes and medical equipment.
 UN data. China’s data do not separate manufacturing from mining and utilities. So the actual Chinese manufacturing number should be even smaller.
US really investing resources in solar energy as they realized oil resources will be gone in next few years.
@electronics862 I totally agree with you. Infact rising oil prices is increasing the inflation across the globe. So I guess we need more and more renewable energy sources so that dependcy on oil is reduced.
That means that the US has emerged as "a net exporter of solar goods to China," the report said.
@Ariella, thanks for post. Its interesting to know that US has emerged as a net exporter. Does it mean that most of the manufacturing jobs are coming back to US ? Curious What are the main reasons which is making US net exporter of solar goods rather than net importer ?
There is a growing interest in exploring renewable energy in the US. You can even see this reflected in current museum exhibits. The Franklin Institute, for example, touches on considerations of one's carbon footprint in its new "Changing Earth" and Electricity exhibits. It is one step to make people more aware and another to make the technology for clean energy more affordable.
@Electronic862, This is good to know and I want to sat that this is really a smart move.I think nature one way or the other has been pointing us towards that direction, It is left for us to take advantage of what the Sun can do for us afterall, what can we do without energy.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.