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Solar Capex to Reach $3 Billion in First Jump in 3 Years

Solar manufacturers are set to boost spending for the first time in three years in 2014 as the market emerges from oversupply, according to energy consultant IHS Inc.

Spending on new equipment to make panels that convert the sun’s rays into electricity will grow 30 percent to about $3 billion next year, Englewood, Colorado-based IHS said today in a release. That compares with capital expenditure of $2.3 billion this year and is down from a record $12.9 billion in 2011.

Manufacturers in China, where most of the world’s panels are produced, are considering increasing capacity and are unlikely to outsource production because they’re adverse to sharing technology, IHS said.

“These developments support the IHS forecast for the resurgence of growth in capital spending,” Jon Campos, a solar analyst with the consultant, said in the release.

JinkoSolar Holding Co. and Trina Solar Ltd., both based in China, said in August they may increase production capacity. Canadian Solar Inc., which makes most of its panels in China, may build a 60-megawatt panel manufacturing plant in Indonesia.

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