Forbes: Solar panel prices

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by bwilson4web, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Ok, consider the source: After Decade Of Decline, Solar Panel Prices Are Rising In World's Biggest Solar Market - Forbes

    The average price of a solar panel in Europe is doing something it hasn’t done in years. It is rising.

    Prices for solar panels in the European spot market have risen by about 6% so far this year, according to pvXchange, a solar market consultancy based in Bremen, Germany.

    Despite its modest size, the uptick in prices represents an abrupt reversal of recent historical trends. In 2011, the average price of a solar panel in Europe fell by nearly one third compared to the previous year. In 2012, solar panel prices in Europe plunged by nearly another third. Indeed, just last year, the price of a solar panel in Europe fell by more than 14% compared to the previous year.

    The reason for the rise in prices is almost certainly tied to the escalating trade war between Europe and China over alleged dumping of solar imports.

    The European Commission’s anti-dumping duties are starting to curtail the flow of cheap solar imports manufactured in China into the European solar market. Combined with overcapacity and weakening demand in key markets, the trade war is wreaking havoc on Chinese manufacturers. Over the past two years, at least four major Chinese solar manufacturers have declared bankruptcy, including LDK Solar, a huge solar-cell manufacturer, and Suntech Power, which had once been the world’s largest solar-panel maker.

    Bob Wilson
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i don't know whether to laugh or cry.
     
  3. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Probably neither.

    The chinese want to make lots of inexpensive solar chips and put them all over the world. Green energy people want inexpensive solar panels installed all over the world. The US and EU have enacted tarrifs to protect local solar chip makers, which raises prices, while taxing citizens to subsidize the now more expensive installations. Unfortunately those protected and subsidized solar chip makers would not be doing well even if the chinese were not dumping. First solar is the only us company in the top 10, Japan has 2, and china has the other 7. Chinese and Japanese installations are now outpacing US and German installations.

    So forbes is right to point out the backwards nature of the tariff if the government's goal is to get more solar installed. They have also pointed out in the past that regulations make installing solar pv much more expensive and switching from an up front subsidy from the federal government to a feed in tarrif (fit) paid for by utility customers (perhaps still federally subsidized) might lower costs and increase installations faster. Germany, Japan, and China all use fits.

    Probably if you want solar and want to protect american or german solar module producers, give a larger subsidy for domestic content, that way you don't tax then subsidize the same chips while raising pries for all.
     
    bwilson4web and bisco like this.
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