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China will dominate solar supply chain for years: Wood Mackenzie

China will have more than 80 per cent of the world’s solar manufacturing capacity through 2026 and will be capable of satisfying annual global demand for much of the next decade, according to a report published on Tuesday (Nov 7).

The forecast by energy research firm Wood Mackenzie comes as nations like the United States and India are subsidizing their own solar production to reduce reliance on Chinese-made goods to achieve their clean energy goals.

But China has invested more than US$130 billion into its solar industry this year, the analysis said, and will bring more than a terawatt of solar wafer, cell and panel capacity online by 2024. That’s enough to meet annual global demand through 2032.

The aggressive capacity expansion has already forced solar panel prices down dramatically this year and is prompting concern among US producers that are banking on a government-backed domestic manufacturing boom.

The United States and India combined have announced more than 200GW of module capacity plans since 2022, Wood Mackenzie said.

“Despite strong government initiatives for developing local manufacturing in overseas markets, China will still dominate the global solar supply chain and continue to widen the technology and cost gap with competitors,” Huaiyan Sun, the author of the report, said in a statement.

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