UNCP professor does study on solar-panel prices

PEMBROKE — With the help of the Teaching and Learning Center of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Chuanhui “Charles” Xiong, an assistant professor of Management, Marketing & International Business in the School of Business, conducted research that delves into the increase of solar panel usage vs. the reduction in price of solar panels.

Xiong’s research describes and explores the relationship between the market for solar panels and recent, rapid decreases in solar panel prices. Although this relationship has tested the ability of manufacturers and installers to compensate for market changes, Xiong’s findings aim to help manufacturers and installers make profitable decisions.

To conduct his study, Xiong traveled to China to focus on a specific solar panel manufacturer. Even with healthy competition in the market, price reductions have created problems along the supply chain. He concludes that for manufacturers to achieve efficiency and minimize costs, they must adopt sound inventory strategies. For installers, Xiong writes that “the optimal strategy … is to gradually drop the stock level before price reduction and bring the stock level to the normal level after the realization of price reduction.”

Xiong’s findings appear in a manuscript co-written with Xiangrong Liu of Bridgewater State University’s School of Business in Massachusetts. Their manuscript, “The Effect of Solar Energy Price Reduction on Supply Chain Performance and Contract Design,” is under review for publication by The European Journal of Operational Research.