Duel in the Sun

The Solar Photovoltaics Technology Conflict between China and the United States


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John Deutch, MIT Department of Chemistry

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A Duel in the Sun: The Solar Photovoltaics Technology Conflict between China and the United States
A Report for the MIT Future of Solar Study
John Deutch, Department of Chemistry
Edward Steinfeld, Department of Political Science

A Duel in the Sun analyzes the debate that is raging among government officials, industry members, technologists, and trade specialists about the nature of the competition between the United States and The People’s Republic of China (PRC) in developing, deploying domestically, and selling internationally solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generating technology.

This is a report for the MIT Future of Solar Energy study and several of the key issues that are raised in this paper — PV manufacturing private and public costs, PV technologies, supply chain relationships, and the rationale and choices of different public assistance mechanisms — will be analyzed further in the study effort.