Recently, SEG Solar COO Jun Zhuge and CEO Jim Wood were interviewed by the Houston Chronicle. The following is an excerpt from the Houston Chronicle interview article.
According to circulation, the Houston Chronicle is the ninth-biggest daily newspaper in the US and the largest in Texas.
Surge of clean energy manufacturing projects in Texas, U.S.
（Figure 1: Jun Zhuge, COO of SEG Solar, at their newly acquired location on Telge where they will manufacture, warehouse and ship solar panels, Thursday, March 23, 2023 in Houston.）
WASHINGTON — At an old medical device plant in northwest Houston, Jim Wood is doing something that would have seemed a surefire money loser just a few years ago.
Instead of making all its solar panels for the U.S. market at plants in Indonesia or Thailand, his company SEG Solar has plans to hire 500 workers to start turning out solar panels from the factory by early next year.
With its high labor and operating costs, the United States has long been left behind in a clean energy manufacturing boom that has primarily favored China and other lower-wage, developing nations in Southeast Asia. But seven months after President Joe Biden signed the energy-focused Inflation Reduction Act into law, a wave of clean energy manufacturing projects have been announced across Texas and the rest of the nation.
（Figure 2: SEG Solar’s CEO Jim Wood）
Wood, CEO of Houston-based SEG, said his company had been growing increasingly concerned with the delays in shipping panels from Asia, adding that tax incentives under the IRA offered the boost manufacturers needed to set up shop in the United States.
More than $1.2 trillion has been invested in this industry over the past three years. For places like Texas, where fossil fuels have long played a central role in the economy, building manufacturing plants for solar panels, hydrogen fuel and batteries is viewed as crucial to offsetting projected declines in oil and gas revenue in the transition to clean energy.
The whole article can be achieved here.
Written By James Osborne
James Osborne covers the intersection of energy and politics from the Houston Chronicle’s bureau in Washington D.C.