180 Solar Panel Makers Will Disappear
A huge bumper crop of solar panels already has caused a sharp decline in their prices and bankrupted many manufacturers worldwide over the past two years. Now a research report released Tuesday says another 180 solar panel makers will likely go out of business or be bought by 2015.
Nearly half of them or 88 companies will shut down factories in countries that have become too expensive for producing solar panels, namely the United States, Europe and Canada, said GTM Research. The report looks at over 300 solar panel makers to determine their chances of survival.
The prognosis is not only shocking, but it also answers a perennial question, at least for now, about whether solar manufacturing can thrive in the United States. China, which has used state owned banks and utilities to finance solar factory expansion and create domestic demand for solar panels, will continue to dominate solar manufacturing, though the government is reportedly working on rescuing only 12 large companies and forcing mergers in others. GTM is estimating that 54 solar panel makers in China will not survive over the next three years. In fact, by the end of 2013, cell and panel manufacturing could disappear all together in the United States.
China's rise as the world's epicenter for solar manufacturing has elicited resentment from rivals who "Anadrol 50" believe Chinese companies haven't competed fairly. Department of Commerce recently sided with petitioners of such a trade complaint and imposed tariffs after finding that Chinese solar companies have indeed received illegal government subsidies and sold solar panels at below cost.
Signs of trouble began to show in early 2011, when changes in solar incentive policies in key European markets prompted solar panel makers' customers distributors and project developers to delay purchasing decisions. Prices for solar panels began to fall faster than what manufacturers had expected. The prices dropped by about 50 percent last year and have continued to decline this year. At the same time, many manufacturers had built up massive factories and were counting on a huge surge in demand in the global market. In fact, they continued to churn out solar panels to keep their factories running and workers employed even though demand wasn't keep pace.
First Solar, an industry bellwether, saw flat revenues and lower earnings during the first quarter of 2011. Life pretty much went downhill from there for many solar panel makers and their suppliers. Young companies that were entering mass production of their technologies in order to compete effectively with larger rivals went bust, including Solyndra and Abound Solar. GE, which once embarked on an ambitious plan to build a 400 megawatt factory in Colorado, decided to Anavar 1 Hour Before Workout shelve that project earlier this year. First Solar, long the king of low cost manufacturing, decided to gradually shut down its big factory in Germany and put on hold its plans to build new "Achat Anabolisant Belgique" factories in Vietnam and Arizona.
SunPower is one of them. The "Anaboliset Aineet" San Jose company announced Tuesday it will suspend production at six of the 12 solar cell production lines and cut solar panel production by 20% in the Philippines. It plans to "Anaboliset Aineet" lay off about Anavar 3 Week Results 900 employees, most of them located in the Philippines.
Still, some solar manufacturers have proceeded with their plans to build new factories for a variety of reasons. Some thought the oversupply problem would be over soon; others needed to scale up their production to cut costs. As a result, the world will likely see 35 gigawatts of excess solar panels for sale per year over Anavar Just Cardio the three years, GTM said.
The plummeting prices for solar panels are good news for installers and solar power plant developers and ultimately consumers. Some developers have switched to solar panels instead using other types of solar technologies. An increasing number of manufacturers have entered the business of developing solar energy generation projects since they are not making money selling solar panels.
People who find PV's demise "shocking" are ignorant of physics and economics. No staple good can long survive if its cost is many times that of its alternative. PV is so inefficient that you could literally give away the panels, and it still could not compete. Indeed, massive subsidies have done precisely that, and the economic drag will be felt for decades. (If you need a primer on why PV projects are lousy jobs programs, Google "Why not use spoons?")
When you see PV powered streetlights next to pre existing utility distribution poles, do you fill with pride, or cringe at "investment" that makes Solyndra look brilliant?
Thats an interesting comment from "energy sage."
First off PV production is not coming to a demise as he stated, nor is the article stating that. There is an influx of manufacturer's can be a problem if it can't meet the demand of consumers. That can be a basic economic problem. This only happened in this industry because the rate of change is slow and people have not yet accepted the new technology, even giving them away people have had a large resistance to.
The pv option to harness energy is a solution to the current direction that the world is heading. It seems logical to see it as the natural occurrence to harness the sun's 0 emission energy rather than burning of coal that is over a 100 year old practice. It might serve to be a better option for humanity living on this one and only planet that we have.
Makes me wonder why we haven't come up with more sustainable solutions earlier in history.
Even with the high initial cost it is still a viable invesment. In the past few years there are companies and businesses that have provided solutions using PV for residents to receive lower cost energy at no initial cost to homeowners. This is a mix of creative marketing and long term investment. Its enables many residentials homes to save thousands of dollars with no intial cost. With traditional energy people are paying more and more to power there homes every year and with ingenuity and mutual cooperation more people and investors will benefit from pv technology.
Solar electricity's viability has nothing to do with efficiency as energysage suggests. It has mostly to do with 2 factors, the cost of the hardware and the cost of the electricity is competes "buy cheap jintropin online" with. And the current cost is so good because of low cost Chinese products. The good news is that even though the hardware is made there, a lot of the cost is installation and that employs local folks.
To claim that natural gas or any fossil fuel is the "future" implies that the future is shorter than 50 100 years and that climate change is not a big deal. Since 99% of climate scientists agree it is a big deal, and my descendants future is much longer than 100 years, my future is renewable power.
It's gall, not creativity, to say that solar is good investment because homeowners can eventually get their money back. That view is tantamount to saying that taxpayers and ratepayers at large, who bear the Majority of the cost of solar, should be satisfied with a 100% loss on their "investment".
As to the health of the industry, readers shouldn't take my word for it, or yours. Watch the behavior of the owners: From their 5 year highs, the stock of SunPower is down 96%; JA Solar down 97%; Suntech down 99%. Industry leader First Solar is down a "mere" 92%. The S 500 is also down: 7%.
Looking at more comprehensive look at the industry as a whole not just look during the market at consolidation phase. Commercialization of solar is a wonderful thing. capacity bild up with huge subsidys from banks were the only reason for the quick burst of solar manufacturing. Now China shortlisting just 12 companies to support is a good thing for fair competetion. reducing silica prices from 500 USD per Kilo to under 20 USD per kilo is a dramatic capacity build up from chinese. well my say is that it will take time for technological improvement with commercialization to meet the economics. i believe many might not survive but as a whole the industry will benefit from this. Solar will be the option for the future to support current ever growing demand for power. This will cover the investment in 3 more years. It works for me so it should work for many too. btw a 100 SqMile solar array on today's avg solar panel efficiency (17%) could supply energy needs for the entire US. ( btw new solar development are getting 37% 44% eff. from solar panels )
I am glad this worked for you Jose, but your experiance is not representative of everyone. Many of us can not afford $13k for the unit nor $30 40K or whatever it was for your electric car. Additionally, this is not a trade off between a $3k per year electric bill for everyone. In the Pacific NW, my electric bill is only $600 700 per year in a 1 story, 2000 sq. foot house. My payback period, even if I had the money to pay cash or the debt to income to support a loan of any size, my payback period is obviously decades making this an attrocius investment for me. On top of that, we already have heavy wind and hydroelectric in our grid. Obviously worked good for you and congrats, but the "one size fits all" approach that helped you doesn't fit a lot of us.