"With a combination of cheap labor and geographic proximity, the United States' third-largest trading partner is attracting attention from those looking for low-cost access to the North American clean-tech market," the authors said.
So far, Japan-based Sanyo has established a factory in Mexico to churn out solar photovoltaic panels. BP Solar and Michigan-based thin-film maker Energy Conversion Devices recently revealed plans to do the same. In the wind sector, German equipment manufacturer Liebher has constructed a facility in Monterrey to make parts for the American market. Pernick predicts battery manufacturing plants could be next.
"It's not just low-cost manufacturing in China" that the U.S. has to watch out for, Pernick said: "It could be low-cost manufacturing south of the border."