Colorado (USA) based thin-film module manufacturer Ascent solar has formed a venture to build a manufacturing plant in Eastern China.
Two years ago this would have surprised absolutely no one. Today, however, this seems like a remarkable move.
Import tariffs in both the U.S. and Europe have made many non-Chinese manufacturers reconsider their strategies and focus on their local production facilities. Even Chinese manufacturers themselves have started looking at moving production (or at least assembly) processes abroad.
So... is Ascent solar crazy? Or do they know something we don’t yet?
No! They are acting from a long-term vision, which shows guts and confidence. This trade war is nasty and might drag along for a while longer (then again, maybe not that long), but in the end the economies of scale in China will still make sense for a long, long time.
More importantly: they are not even doing it with their eyes set on the ‘old’ markets in Northern America and Europe, but are setting their sights on Asia itself. The Japanese market has exploded and China is becoming a multi-GW-market VERY fast. What better way to service these markets, then from Asia itself?