For over a decade solar power technology has quietly spurred a worldwide battle to “win the future”. It seems that while nobody is exactly convinced that solar technology will ever be the answer to the world’s energy needs, everybody is willing to at least place some bets that it might be the answer to growing a growing need of alternative energy sources.  China, the United States, and the EU, are each trying to gain the upper-hand and erect trade barriers against the other to try and keep their industries afloat while lying in wait for the demand to take off. According to Import Genius data, the U.S. alone has increased its import tonnage of solar panels 600% from 2006 to 2011.  However, the data also has another story to tell. In the previous decade European countries were the leaders in solar panel technology, with China nothing more than an afterthought. However, it is clear from the Import Genius data that the dynamics of the solar industry have flipped, with China and other cheap manufacturing havens have taken the industry over in recent years. In fact, the EU has gone from manufacturing 50% of U.S. solar panel imports in 2006 to less than 30% of the market in 2011.  This shift in the balance of trade over a good that is often regarded to as “the future” of energy production has sparked an anti-dumping investigation by the EU and the slapping of tariffs on cheap Chinese solar panels in the U.S., where the government has long subsidized it’s own solar industry. The fact of the matter is with companies like Walmart, General Motors, and FedEx starting to embrace this technology, there is a substantial and growing market for solar panel technology.