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China has oversaturated the market with solar panels - some places are already building garden fences out of them

China has oversaturated the market with solar panels - some places are already building garden fences out of them
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80% of the world's solar panel production is accounted for by one country.

Chinese companies produce so many solar panels that they have caused market saturation - and, as a result, price drops. The Financial Times reports that in Germany and the Netherlands, panels are already being used to cover garden fences; this practice is gradually spreading in the UK, North America, and Australia as well.

Usually, solar panels are installed on roofs, where they can capture as much sunlight as possible, but the low price allows them to be installed in other places, simultaneously saving on hiring specialists for high-altitude work.

“Why build a fence when you can just put a bunch of solar panels, even if they are not precisely oriented towards the sun?”, says the head of climate research at BNP Paribas Exane Martin Bro.

It is predicted that global solar panel shipments will reach 1100 gigawatts by the end of 2024 - this, according to the International Energy Agency, triples the demand.

Prices for solar panels have already halved last year and, as the agency notes, they are potentially expected to decrease by another 40% by 2028.

The excess supply from China also does not allow manufacturers from the US and Europe to compete effectively - and this will be one of the topics that US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will address during her visit to the Asian country.

“During her meetings in China, Secretary Yellen will defend the rights of American workers and businesses to fair treatment, including by pressuring her Chinese counterparts on unfair trade practices, with a focus on the global economic consequences of China's excessive industrial capacity”, the Treasury statement said.

Last week, during a visit to the Suniva solar battery plant in Georgia, Yellen expressed her concerns about the “global excess capacity in China” that has affected new energy industries - including solar batteries, electric vehicles, and lithium-ion batteries.

Chinese manufacturers are also facing problems due to an excess of solar panels. Last month, Longi Green Energy Technology, the world's largest solar battery manufacturer, announced the dismissal of thousands of employees.

“I firmly believe that excess capacity poses a risk not only to American workers and companies, and to the global economy, but also to the productivity and growth of the Chinese economy”, Yellen said.

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