China casts long shadow over solar off-grid startups

Investment has poured into the off-grid solar sector, which offers safe alternatives to kerosene lamps in emerging markets. However a rising flood of Chinese suppliers is crushing margins. Sharper analysis is needed to separate winners from losers.

China casts long shadow over solar off-grid startups

The solar industry hit the headlines after US President Donald Trump slapped tariffs of up to 30% on imports of solar cells and panels on January 22, a move aimed at China which makes 60% of the world’s solar cells and 71% of solar modules, according to a release by the US Trade Representative Office.

Rising competition from Chinese suppliers in recent years has also coincided with a surge of investment in solar companies, driven...

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