U.S. exports more solar cells than China - New Report

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by Rybold, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    Solar Stunner: America is a $1.9 Billion Exporter of Solar Products | Renewable Energy News Article


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  2. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    It looks like there is currently an oversupply of PV panels, given the recent bankruptcy filings.

    Tom
     
  3. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Or there is a shortage of PV panels at prices people are willing to pay.:eek:

    I hope this series of bankruptcies doesn't scare too much of the smart investment money away. There has been a lot of progress made towards making PV prices competitive with commercially produced power, just not enough progress yet.
     
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  4. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    Part of the cause of the recent sharp drop in pricing are renewable incentive programs which are poorly designed and short-term in nature.

    The poorly designed ones tend to over-compensate and then quickly run out of money (see this all over the place). Some are just too short-term in nature.

    The California CSI rebate program is one of the better ones out there. It is fully funded (no running out of funds early), overhead of the program is low, and it's rebate payments are predictable. I also like that it pays based on actual system generation (metered or simulated but verified). This helps ensure that the incentive is not abused.

    The Federal Tax credit is lacking. It's based on system cost rather than production. And who knows how long it will last.

    Smart investors are going with proven companies and technologies.

    Look at how many solar thermal plants have switched to solar PV - Solar PV is tried and true - it's risks are well known - it's easy to get funding for. The recent price drops has put the price of PV well ahead of solar thermal.

    Some PV manufacturers products are more "bankable" than others. Meaning banks are more willing to loan money for projects using certain manufacturers panels than others.

    All that said - it appears that 2010 was a good year for the renewable industry. The PV industry doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Downward price pressure will make PV more affordable, thus increasing demand.

    Despite Financial Crisis, Renewables Surged Forward in 2010 | Renewable Energy World Magazine Article
     
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  5. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I wonder how long it takes to go from ground-breaking to PV production. The solar market is still very cyclical, and no doubt catches some of the entrants with bad timing.

    IIRC Germany cut the solar production credit not too long ago, leading to collapse of their domestic industry overnight. As drees says, subsidy that is not well-planned with a clearly marked gradual exit strategy leads to boom and bust cycles.
     
  6. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

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    uh, CSP is tried and true too and operates a scales that dwarf PV. it's also possible to store the excess energy at a much cheaper price and dispatch it later.
     
  7. drees

    drees Senior Member

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  8. PriusSport

    PriusSport senior member

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    Could be there's a greater demand for them in other countries than here. I wouldn't be surprised.
     
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