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Global Buying Spree Is Saving Solar Panel Manufacturers

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The sun is starting to shine again on the solar-panel manufacturing industry, a year after a string of corporate collapses.

The glut of cheap solar panels that pushed manufacturing giant Suntech and others into bankruptcy is being whittled away by a worldwide surge in solar installations. The manufacturing sector's gradual return to profitability comes eight months after China announced it would go on a solar-buying spree to cash in on the oversupply of panels.

Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co., the world's leading producer of solar panels, on Tuesday announced its 10th consecutive quarterly loss - but said it expected to rejoin many of its competitors in turning a profit by the third quarter of this year. Reuters reports:

A recovery in solar panel prices after a four year slump has helped Yingli's rivals such as Trina Solar Ltd [and] JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd post profits in recent quarters, while JinkoSolar Holding Co Ltd posted a profit last August.

Bloomberg explains why the glut of panels that triggered the sector's woes a year ago is starting to disappear:

Developers installed 37.5 gigawatts of panels worldwide last year, up 22 percent from 2012, and that figure may increase as much as 39 percent this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.     

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