Largest solar panel manufacturing company in the US

Wuhan, China – Russell Abney has worked in the solar industry to raise two children. Over the past decade, the 49-year-old Georgia Tech graduate has worked in Perrysburg, a suburb of Toledo, Oregon, as a equipment engineer at the largest solar panel manufacturing galvanized c section company in the United States, with a good salary.

On the other side of the world, Takamatsu also has a success story of starting with solar energy. He used to be an organic fruit retailer and lived in the dusty Chinese city of Wuhan. Four years ago, he installed solar panels on his roof and found this to be profitable, so he began to enter the industry and install it for others. By last summer, he and a team of 50 employees installed solar panel systems for nearly 100 roofs every month.

Then, China shocked the global solar business and changed the lives of these two people.

“A little oscillation in China,” said Frank Haugwitz, a senior consultant in the solar industry in Beijing. “It could lead to price collapses around the world.”

At the end of last summer, Chinese officials began publicly considering cutting their subsidies for domestic solar panel buyers. Takamatsu’s corporate business was exhausted and half of the workers were laid off. “I have worked hard for a few years and finally made a good start,” he said. “Now I have to come back again.”

China’s solar panel makers have cut prices by more than a quarter to compensate for the reduction in subsidies, which has caused global prices to plummet. Western companies find themselves unable to compete with them, from Germany to Michigan to Texas, where layoffs are being made.

These include Perrysburg, where Abner and about 450 employees suddenly lost their jobs. “In a few months, everything has collapsed,” Abney said. “It’s like a family’s death. People will feel embarrassed when they talk about it.”

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