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China's Trina Solar Bets on America's Thriving Photovoltaics Market

By Stacy Feldman

Jun 10, 2009

China's second largest maker of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells is gearing up to generate jobs on U.S soil, in yet another reversal of the usual order.

Trina Solar announced plans to build its first North American warehouse operation at the Port of Oakland, Calif. The move will allow Trina to extend its reach in America’s growing PV market. From the :

"We view the outlook for PV installations in the United States as positive given the national promotion of a green economy to secure energy independence and create green jobs."

Globally, new PV installations shot up a staggering 110 percent in 2008. That's more than double the increase in 2007, according to Solarbuzz's Annual Report, . The U.S. snagged a slice of that explosive growth, accounting for 360 MW out of 5,950 MW, or 6 percent. It was just enough to push the nation into the number three spot in the market ranking, behind Germany and Spain.

Growth will likely wane in 2009, due to the sagging economy. But the future of American solar looks bright. Demand for installations are expected to charge ahead in 2010, as U.S. government incentives boost future development. And China, it seems, wants a piece.

According to Trina Solar, the new warehouse will increase its North American distribution network and allow it to respond faster to customer delivery requests. The location was an obvious choice. In 2008, California had a total of 530 MW of the estimated 800 MW of America's grid-tied PV capacity. Service is set to begin this month, and new jobs will surely flow, though the number was not disclosed.

It won't be the company's first effort to focus on the U.S. market. In November, Trina it would open its North American headquarters in San Francisco, "as the need for efficient, clean energy in America continues to accelerate." In March, the company America's largest roof-mounted solar array (pictured to the right), a 2.4 MW installation in Atlantic City, N.J., that will power up to 280 homes at its peak.

Ten-year-old Trina is unique among global solar players. It's a vertically integrated enterprise, manufacturing all of the elements of the solar power value chain "in house" – silicon ingots, wafers and solar cells, along with the final assembly of modules.

Germany, Spain and Italy account for the overwhelming majority of its budding business, a result of lucrative solar subsidies. But things are changing. In April, Trina's CEO Jifan Gao announced that he expects the U.S. to drive a full 15 percent of Trina's sales in 2009, up from less than 5 percent in 2008.

China's PV leader, Suntech Power, has also been seeking a greater U.S. solar share. In May, it announced plans to build an America manufacturing facility to serve the growing market for large-scale utility projects and to take advantage of government incentives. The factory is expected to create 1,000 new U.S. jobs in a few years.

The global PV industry has the potential to be one of the largest job-creating industries on the planet, and is to grow from a $20.3 billion business in 2007 to $74 billion by 2017, according to industry analyst Clean Edge.

U.S.A. a dying "Cult'

U.S. may just as well clear the way for the rising star, China, and continue its obsession with "Precious" gasoline! China has even bought into the Canadian Tar Sands, recognizing that the U.S. hopelessly addicted to gasoline, will soon be making a sales call on them to buy gasoline from them! Americans won't be satisfied until the Solar Resources in Southern desert states are paved over for parking-lots for Chevrolet's with large V-8 gasoline burning engines and loud mufflers to boot! (Loud Elvis music blaring too?) Perhaps the Chinese Military will buy American armaments, but rumor has it, the many graduate students in China wish to design their own military machine, unencumbered by the influences of corrupt American corporatism and capitalism, and their powerful propaganda cash machines! China alone, a smaller part of Asia, has more post graduate students with IQ's higher than 130 points, than U.S.A. has students, drop-outs included! India exceeds this! They are vegans! cost so little each as to shame Americans! No Beef! No Bull! They are not restricted by computer language patent laws like the U.S. is with Microsoft! They are free to write their own! and they do! and we fall behind, playing games their children write for us! America! We are "The fatted calves" it is too late to change! our dollar decimated in the world by treasonous shysters, our good name besmirched by our Banksters on international markets. Look to Detroit City for your "Third World" lifestyle! This monument to corporatism and capitalism, a veritable "Johannesburg" in the middle of America's riches! Only the kind of cash resources China has can save us now, but they turned down Obama's overtures for Trillions in loans, and choose thankfully to buy us out one at a time in investments like this, circumnavigating our thieving dishonest, corrupt and unscrupulous government! They are really smart folk!

Every china solar module manufacturer is aming at us market

Suntech will set up a solar panels factory in usa as well.They are know that usa solar market is going to be big.

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