A reasonable estimate would put Chinese manufactured solar panels used in Brisbane solar installations at around 60-70 percent, with the balance being made up of European and Japanese manufactured panels predominantly (the likes of Bosch(who have since withdrawn from the market), Sharp, Schott etc etc). The obvious reason for Chinese panels being widely used is pricing. As we have discussed, many of the top tier Chinese panels have a very good reputation and have a reasonable long track record of reliability in the tough Queensland environment. Some of the low cost Chinese panels have failed miserably – so its a mixed bag. The pricing of Chinese solar panels used in Brisbane is probably set for more volatility in 2013.
We noted with interest that the E.U. has imposed punitive tariffs on Chinese manufactured solar panels in response to what they view as ‘dumping’ by the Chinese. The tariff was set at 11.6 percent from June 6 2013 and will rise to 47.6 percent on August 6 2012 – a very significant amount. The tariffs are in place for six months and will be reviewed in December this year. The purpose of this is to try and ‘pressure’ the Chinese solar panel manufacturers to raise their pricing. This is where prices in Australia could, potentially, rise. The capacity of solar panel production is estimated to be around 150 percent of current demand – hence the problem – with limited markets the Chinese manufacturers are fiercely competing on price.