China Panel Makers Turn Solar Farmers to Counter Glut

From Business Week

China’s solar-panel makers are investing more in building their own power projects, expanding sources of revenue and soaking up some of the manufacturing capacity that depressed panel prices.

The push is being led by companies such as Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. (YGE:US) and Shunfeng Photovoltaic International Ltd. Combined, China’s top five panel producers are planning at least 4.6 gigawatts of projects this year, enough to power 5 million homes in the nation and almost quadruple the capacity completed last year.

State planners in Beijing are pushing the expansion with the China Development Bank Corp. extending 7.57 billion yuan ($1.25 billion) in new loans since December, the same system the nation used to wrest control of solar panel manufacturing away from German, U.S. and Japanese companies in the last decade. The move will solidify the finances of the manufacturers after a plunge in the cost of the technology triggered losses across the industry for more than two years.

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