PV solar pricing now and in the Future
Now that planet earth has woken up to 100 Gigawatts of installed PV solar power globally what's next? Does this change anything in the world of solar? Is this the point where critical mass begins to ignite the torch of Solar's exponential growth? What happens with the other technology prices? What happens to BOS costs? Have the opposing forces to solar PV such as coal, oil and or natural gas weakened or strengthened?
For anyone betting their livelihood, beliefs, desires and careers on solar, all these questions are being asked and answered daily in the present environment we find ourselves. Consolidations and mergers, is the news that surrounds each person. Jobs are being created, changed and disappear like the game we played as children called musical chairs.
Global PV demand is growing
With global demand for PV increasing dramatically what are some of the changes that are taking place? The price for PV has finally leveled off and is now moving up. Although the price has only moved up slightly this has brought about the realization that if you have projects that you were waiting to sell as a developer or complete, the time is now. If you wanted to get the best PV price, your horizon has passed and it is time to get that project developed.
The price for PV may move down slightly during different points this year, but I expect it will probably fluctuate up and down throughout the year, possibly ending up for the year. There are a number of reasons for the pricing changes. One change is the manufactures realized that winning market share at the expensive of losing money does not make sense and doesn't build investor relations or a strong balance sheet. Global stock is being absorbed by China's 10 Gigawatt demand and Japan has placed immense focus on solar absorbing Japan's entire PV production.
Costs for PV Production are rising
Add to this the fact that labor cost are rising at 20% yearly in China. With oil prices continuing to escalate globally it has caused materials prices to increase. The base material silicon is up from a low of 15 dollars to between 22 and 25 dollars a kilo. Then there is the uncertainty in the money exchange rates. When you combine all these events you can understand why when you call for quotes on PV the prices are up.
Most important for the US market is the US has had a few fundamental changes that I believe have taken place concerning energy. One of the fundamentals is that the US is working towards energy independence. It is my belief that within the next 3 to 7 years the US will be almost completely energy independent. Initially this will be done through hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbons I am speaking of are coal, oil and natural gas.
Solving US Energy Independence
While solving the US energy independence requirement the solar industry will keep growing, taking a continually larger piece of the energy equation. In the next two to three decades the use of hydrocarbons for energy will have become a small piece of the US energy equation. If you are interested in learning what the reason is for my belief of these comments, please let me know and when I write the article I will send you the link.
In my closing comments I suggest if you are in the solar industry you attend Infocasts Solar Power Finance & Investment Summit 2013 on March 18th thru the 21st. If you would like to automatically receive my articles when released please go to the follow or subscribe button at the link below: http://www.examiner.com/internet-business-in-san-francisco/robert-benedict