solar panel prices ever going down?

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were prices lower than what they are right now? i vaguely remember that prices from the popular companies were something like 10-20% cheaper a few months to a year ago.. when will they be going back to normal, and what was normal?thanks

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  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: solar panel prices ever going down?

    some speculate that after the huge european demand subsides that prices will drop. nobody knows for sure if and when that may happen. if it does happen i suspect prices will not return to the preeuropean demand point, but close as the market will again start to flood. i am curious as to how this has affected sales from local solar sales outfits such as wind-sun.(our forum provider)
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: solar panel prices ever going down?


    I would think NAWS would do great ( if they don't have a bunch of high priced
    panels in stock when the drop occurs ). I figure they will finally be able to stock
    the panels they couldn't get before that consumers have been wanting to buy
    with no luck for so long. And some people including me will have that get `em
    while their hot mentality.

    brad
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: solar panel prices ever going down?

    having no expertise, inside knwoledge of the industry or economics, nor any examples to back me up, i believe prices will come down eventually.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,479 admin
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    Re: solar panel prices ever going down?

    News article about Polysilicon shortages. Prices are still going up and supply is not:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/09/04/SILICON.TMP
    Silicon Valley has weathered business cycles and foreign competition, but in recent months, a cloud has appeared on its horizon -- a shortage of the highly purified form of silicon essential to making most computer chips and solar cells.

    Produced by a handful of chemical plants around the world, this substance, technically known as "polysilicon," is made by putting pulverized quartz through some extraordinary refining processes to create one of the purest materials ever known.
    ...
    "In 2003, polysilicon was going for $32 a kilogram (about 2.2 pounds). Now it's more like $75 to $80," said Richard Winegarner, whose Healdsburg consulting firm, Sage Concepts, tracks this rare product. Yet even at those prices, polysilicon is getting tough to find.
    ...
    The shortage has already cooled the growth of solar cell production from 67 percent in 2004, to roughly 30 percent in 2005, to a projected 10 percent in 2006, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Jesse Pichel, one of the first market watchers to sound the alarm.

    "Solar industry growth is choked," Pichel wrote in July.
    ...
    "They've been hesitant to increase production because the (solar) market is based on big subsidies ... (that) could be withdrawn,'' Banker said.

    As Pichel, the Piper Jaffray analyst, wrote in one report: "The solar industry is addicted to welfare" -- a reference to rules in place, notably in Germany, that require utility companies to buy back excess power from roof-based solar arrays at attractive rates, thus giving consumers incentive to install them.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Windsun
    Windsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
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    Re: solar panel prices ever going down?
    pioneer wrote:

    I would think NAWS would do great ( if they don't have a bunch of high priced
    panels in stock when the drop occurs )....

    This is about the 5th boom and bust cycle we have been through. And a sure way to tell that panel prices will be dropping soon is when the companies and distributors start calling you and making deals on panels..

    And I am seeing glimmers of that now on a few select panels, so maybe the bubble has a small fracture in it...