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U.S. Has a Massive Green Technology Trade Surplus with China

Sakarin Sawasdinaka/

For those who fret over the U.S. trade deficit and China’s dominance of the solar industry, here’s some good news: The United States is in the black with a massive $1.6 billion green technology trade surplus with China.

That’s according to a study released today by the Pew Charitable Trusts based on data gathered and analyzed by market research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance from 2011, the most recent year complete data is available.

Even in the $6.5 billion solar trade between the two countries, the United States ran a $913 million surplus.While China’s supremacy in photovoltaic modules is uncontested -- it exported $2.7 billion in solar panels and imported only $12 million (that’s not a typo) -- the U.S. supplied the high-tech machines and materials to make those modules.

That included $2.2 billion in capital equipment, $684 million in high-grade polysilicon that is the key ingredient in solar cells, along with half a billion dollars in other materials and components. China, on the other hand, exported no capital component or materials to the United States, the reports’ authors write.

Read the full story on Quartz.

(Image via Sakarin Sawasdinaka/

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