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The Price of Chinese Solar Panels Are About to Go Up

Solar panel prices may spike in China. Dirk Waem—AFP/Getty Images

Prices of Chinese-made solar panels are about to see an upward swing, the head of one of the world’s top manufacturers said Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

China hosts the majority of the world’s solar panel production, which used to be staggeringly cheap. Solar panel prices fell around 30% last year after China cut subsidies, says Reuters. But now, companies like GCL large enough to survive are starting to recover.

“The party is over,” Eric Luo, president of China’s GCL System Integration Technology Co., told Reuters.

Smaller producers will likely have to close or consolidate, he added, leading prices to rebound 10-15% over the next couple years. Soon China’s solar industry will be able to operate without any form of subsidy.

Northwest China, where there’s more sun and affordable land, is already there, and the rest of the country is expected to follow suit within the year. If you still need subsidies by 2020, said Luo, “you just stop.”

Despite the recent impacts of the U.S.-China trade war, the U.S. continues to be a major market for solar panel producers. GCL is expanding elsewhere, too, leading 75% of its solar panel shipments this year to be overseas, says Reuters.