Thursday, October 27, 2011

Waning interest in solar?

Below is a graph showing the search term "solar panels".  "Solar panels” is arguably the most searched term and it peaked in 2008. Could it be that overall interest in solar has waned? The waning may be of no consequence but it is disconcerting for someone in the biz of solar. Perhaps it’s just the froth evaporating.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Darwinian Moment in Solar

More bad news.  Panasonic discontinues expansion plans. Schott slows down its US production line and laid off 23 temporary workers. First Solar & CEO part ways. The dropping price of PV is great for consumers but distributors are losing money on modules they bought at a higher cost.  Because distributors are not ordering from the manufacturers, the manufacturers have too much inventory.  The manufacturers have to dump product so they are going directly to installers & project developers, so further depressing prices.  Count on more blood on the streets through spring 2012.  This is a Darwinian moment. The industry will survive and be stronger for it but count on fewer players.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Solon's Tucson plant shuts in 3 weeks

How disappointing to see another quality manufacturer go down in the US.  Today's news is that Solon in Germany is laying people off & curbing production: