Are Solar Panels High In Demand?
Human beings have been worshiping the sun for as far back as all of recorded history. Today, we know scientifically that the sun is indeed the engine of our entire solar system. Yet the importance of this heavenly body for our survival might have been instinctually recognized by countless people before us.
The import export data for solar panels should serve as proof of one thing above all else: countless people are willing to spend billions of dollars in order to capitalize on this course of energy.
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Solar systems use Photovoltaic (PV) technology to convert sunlight into electricity. The smallest functional PV component (called a cell) is made from semiconductor materials and generates about 1-2 Watts of power. These are about the size of four human hairs. Cells are connected in a row to form modules, also known as panels.
This structure allows solar cells to power all kinds of electricity requirements. Modules are lined up in the form of arrays and connected to the electrical grid to form a full solar system. There are also a few other components, like ones that convert the direct current (DC) generated by cells into alternating current (AC).
As expected from such technological commodities, China tops the list by a landslide. The country benefits from economies of scale boosted by immense government support in this field. Meanwhile, countries like Japan and Germany have quite a history of pioneering this technology.
Those were some of the more obvious markets on the list, and the remaining two might have some great opportunities. Malaysia has long had a well-established semiconductor industry, while Vietnam is an emerging player due to its inexpensive labor and production costs. We can see in the solar panels export data that all kinds of solar components are exported from Vietnam.
Top Exporting Countries (2021)
- China ($33.1 billion)
- Malaysia ($5.57 billion)
- Japan ($4.51 billion)
- Vietnam ($4.16 billion)
- Germany ($3.12 billion)
All the top importing countries have strong cultural and political factors that drive the demand for solar energy. The US, China, India, and many European countries have all made ambitious pledges to adopt more renewable energy sources. Their imports in the year 2021 reflect their effort to meet these goals.
The photovoltaic device’s import data also shows that the Netherlands and Hong Kong act as trade hubs for all across Europe, China, and other countries.
Top Importing Countries (2021)
- United States ($9.46 billion)
- Netherlands ($5.82 billion)
- China ($5.57 billion)
- Hong Kong ($5.25 billion)
- India ($4.45 billion)
What to Expect
As the climate crisis continues to affect people worldwide, government bodies are facing more pressure to reduce their carbon footprint. With environmental awareness becoming common sense, people are actively moving toward renewable energy. It’s safe to expect that safe and versatile green energy solutions like photovoltaic devices will continue to see massive growth in demand.
Keep an eye out for emerging technology like thin film solar panels, bifacial modules, and improved energy storage solutions. You should also look out for policy changes, trade agreements, and tariffs to find opportunities in this highly-regulated field. Some emerging markets for photovoltaic devices are: India, Brazil, UAE, Mexico, and Vietnam.