04:20 AM

There's A Glut Of Solar Panels And It's Getting Larger

There is a glut of solar modules reports market research firm iSuppli, which has led to big price cuts.

And there is more supply coming onto the market because of new polysilicon plants coming online.

"The worldwide solar industry for the first quarter added the equivalent of one-and-a-half months of excess inventory in just one year," said Dr. Henning Wicht, principal analyst, Photovoltaics (PV) research, for iSuppli. "With new polysilicon capacity coming online this year, the PV industry will suffer further price erosion, at all nodes of the value chain."

. . . polysilicon providers recently invested billions in new facilities, forcing them to produce in order to cover these new fixed costs.

iSuppli predicts that the price of 1 kilogram of polysilicon, used for solar modules, will fall to $50 by the end of this year, from $180 at the start of 2009.

Please see: Solar Market Suffers Inventory Glut

Foremski's Take: This is good news for alternative energy and also for Silicon Valley and other companies that are developing systems that help manage large arrays of solar panels.

Less expensive modules mean that this technology will become more affordable to many people and organizations.