The primary Chinese subsidiary of the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer Suntech has gone to bankruptcy court. Government subsidies have allowed Chinese-manufactured photovoltaic panels to capture 80 percent of the global market by dropping nearly 75 percent in price since 2007.
The bankrupt Chinese company missed a payment of over $500 million to bondholders and owes nearly $1.4 billion to state-owned banks. AP reports that the manufacturer was struggling facing an oversupplied solar-panel market and new tariffs imposed by the U.S. This is a sign that the Chinese government can’t maintain this unsustainable push for solar panels.
Kevin Bullis of MIT Technology Review assessed that this could be a good thing for solar technology. He says that the oversupply of cheap solar panels needs to fail in order for companies to start investing in newer technologies that are needed for solar to compete with fossil fuels in the long term.