China has dominated the manufacturing process in countless industries – including solar. In fact, most solar companies manufacture their panels in China. This is mostly because of the reduced costs in production and labour that the country offers.
But as the Australian and Chinese governments currently battle it out in an ongoing trade war, what does this mean for Aussie homeowners who want to install solar?
Agreeing on trade terms isn’t an easy process. And Australia and China have been battling on import tariff terms on goods for years. One of the most recent changes that has upset the Aussie farming sector includes China’s 80% tariff on all barley imports from Australia. There was also a beef import ban for some of our biggest meat processors – hitting our industries hard.
Some claim this was political retaliation – as these tariffs came shortly after the Australian government pushed for an independent inquiry into COVID-19’s origin.
Beyond this tit for tat, the trade war between the US and China may also affect Australian imports and exports of goods (including solar). After President Trump imposed heavy tariffs against China in 2017 on imported goods like solar, the supply of solar panels out of China decreased.
The bottom line: Trade agreements are uncertain – making import costs uncertain – making the price of future solar panels uncertain.
Yet, within all this uncertainty, solar panel installations in Australia are at a record high and the cost of those installations are at a record low!
Solar Panels Made in Other Countries
As China’s solar panel exports slowed, many other countries stepped up their game to fill the global market’s void. So, if the country of origin is important to you as a homeowner installing solar, you have plenty of great options.
Some of the trusted solar companies we source from, who don’t have factories in China, include:
Designed and manufactured 100% in Germany, SolarWatt panels are built for quality and longevity. Like the reputation of German-made cars, SolarWatt modules last decades and offer generous product guarantees.
Norweigan-owned company REC began production of their solar panels in Norway, but soon moved to a high-tech factory in Singapore. They offer great warranties and claim to have the lowest claim rate in the industry.
Q CELL (Korea)
With their headquarters in Germany, Q CELL manufactures their products within a global network of factories (US, Malaysia, China and Korea). Their panels are also tested in Australia to survive our tough elements and harsh weather events.
Power Wave deserves a mention, too. It’s panels are built in China, but it’s completely Aussie-owned.
While there are uncertainties in the future solar market. You can rest assured that Pedleys Solar will tailor a cost-effective solar solution that’s backed by generous warranties.