Top Solar Firm Longi Mulls U.S. Among Expansions Outside China
(Bloomberg) -- The world’s biggest solar manufacturer plans to build more factories outside its native China to benefit from a global boom in renewables.
Longi Green Energy Technology Co. is looking at manufacturing bases in countries including India, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. as it seeks to grab 30% of the solar module market, Li Zhenguo, the company’s president, said Thursday in an interview via video conference after he spoke at the APEC CEO Summit in Auckland, New Zealand.
The Xi’an-based manufacturer currently produces about 18% of the world’s solar modules, primarily in China but also in factories in Malaysia and Vietnam that mainly target the U.S. market given the country’s high tariffs on Chinese solar products.
China dominates the solar supply chain globally, and nations including the U.S. and India have pushed to boost their own manufacturing sectors with demand for panels set to grow. Producing solar panels is an energy-consuming process, and China shouldn’t have to bear the full burden of that, Li said.
Overseas operations now account for almost half of Longi’s revenue. The company seeks to maintain its 45% share of the global market for solar cells and expects the world to install as much as 2,000 gigawatts between now and 2030 as nations expand renewables to meet climate targets, Li said Thursday.
A polysilicon shortage that has seen prices more than triple over the past year should ease by the first or second quarter of 2022 as new production starts, he said.
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