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Daily on Energy: To counter China, solar makers see promise in silicon rival cadmium telluride

The alternative that could be more easily made in America: The rest of U.S. solar market share belongs to cadmium telluride photovoltaics, and they have a glaring advantage against competitor polysilicon PVs, as DOE observes, because they do not rely on obtaining materials from Chinese companies.

“It’s a different type of manufacturing, a different type of semiconductor, and it can be made anywhere in the world,” stressed Aaron Bates, CEO of Toledo Solar, a cadmium telluride PV manufacturer. “The supply chain is completely different and is not tied at all to the supply chain for polysilicon, so it’s independent of these other sort of macro markets, like the chips in SUVs that have now caused Chrysler to have to reforecast its Q4 deliveries.”

Polysilicon is tied to the supply chain and raw materials used for chip manufacturing, Bates said, driving the Chinese advantage in the solar market.

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