Solar manufacturing in the North American market may slowly be making a comeback. And don't look now, but inflation is increasing in China, where most panels are made. Is a trend emerging or is this just happenstance?
Last week, Energy Conversion Devices
(Nasdaq: ESLR)shut down its Massachusetts manufacturing plant, deciding China was the place it had to be to compete.
(Nasdaq: FSLR)recently announced a new plant in Mesa, Ariz., that will produce 250 MW of modules, expanding its capabilities in the U.S.
- Energy Conversion Devices moved some of its final assembly operations to Mexico last year to cut costs.
(Nasdaq: SPWRA)and Flextronics (Nasdaq: FLEX)recently had its new 75 MW plant in Milpitas, California dedicated by the governor and U.S. Energy secretary.
So, some firms are investing in the U.S. and Canada -- and some are fleeing as fast as they can.
One thing to keep an eye on is inflation in China, which would have different effects across the industry. Firms such as Hanwha SolarOne
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Fool contributor Travis Hoium owns shares of First Solar and SunPower. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.
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