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Let the Sunshine In! (The 5th Dimension 1969)

September 6, 2022 | Posted in: Insights

The pandemic and world political tensions have brought into focus the security of raw material sources and manufacturing capacity. As a result, there is a mounting trend toward what is known as “reshoring” which refers to the relocation of critical goods manufacturing to either domestic locations or to friendly countries. However, there is one important technology in which the world is so far behind China that it will be extremely difficult to catch up. The following graphic, which is graciously provided by Visual Capitalist, depicts the supply chain for solar panels, a particularly important source of green energy.

Note that China controls at least 75% of every stage of production, and in total, controls 84% of all stages of the process. In contrast, North America only accounts for 2.8% of global production. China is responsible for about two-thirds of all new investment in solar technology and it has built more offshore wind turbines than all other countries combined. Finally, of the 59 nuclear reactors currently under construction throughout the world, 21 are located in China as compared to only 2 in the U.S. Clearly, China is making a strong bid to diversify its energy sources whereas only 12% of U.S. energy consumption comes from renewables.