Are solar panel prices going to drop?

China is facing an enormous oversupply of solar panels and wind turbines.
The NYT reports:

Though worldwide demand for solar panels and wind turbines has grown rapidly over the last five years, China’s manufacturing capacity has soared even faster, creating enormous oversupply and a ferocious price war.

The result is a looming financial disaster, not only for manufacturers but for state-owned banks that financed factories with approximately $18 billion in low-rate loans and for municipal and provincial governments that provided loan guarantees and sold manufacturers valuable land at deeply discounted prices.

China’s biggest solar panel makers are suffering losses of up to $1 for every $3 of sales this year, as panel prices have fallen by three-fourths since 2008. Even though the cost of solar power has fallen, it still remains triple the price of coal-generated power in China, requiring substantial subsidies through a tax imposed on industrial users of electricity to cover the higher cost of renewable energy.

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?

    Yeah, I'm waiting for when they start paying me to haul new panels away like scrap batteries. :roll:
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 975 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?

    I think you may see PV prices drop some more and then, as companies go out of business because of the low prices,
    watch the price go back up again.

    Also, domestically at least, watch the overall price of solar PV systems rise because of all the new NEC and UL requirements.

    That's my prediction anyway.

    boB
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?

    "watch the overall price of solar PV systems rise because of all the new NEC and UL requirements."

    Huh? What new requirements? Please don't make me put anymore warning stickers on anything. Next NEC requirements will be stickers that say "object may have sharp edges" and "Glass is sharp when broken" to be put on all panels.

    But to answer the original question, no one really knows, one things for sure, they have NOT hit bottom yet, every month for the last 2 years they have decreased in price.

    I predicted a year ago there was no rush to buy bankrupt evergreen panels at 78 cents a watt and sure enough that came true, now there are other bankrupt panels for less.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?

    You forgot "No User Serviceable Parts Inside" and "Do Not Take Internally".

    It's only a matter of time.
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 975 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?
    "watch the overall price of solar PV systems rise because of all the new NEC and UL requirements."

    Huh? What new requirements? Please don't make me put anymore warning stickers on anything. Next NEC requirements will be stickers that say "object may have sharp edges" and "Glass is sharp when broken" to be put on all panels.

    But to answer the original question, no one really knows, one things for sure, they have NOT hit bottom yet, every month for the last 2 years they have decreased in price.

    I predicted a year ago there was no rush to buy bankrupt evergreen panels at 78 cents a watt and sure enough that came true, now there are other bankrupt panels for less.


    Increases in maybe a couple of years but who knows for sure ? Only time will tell as 2014 NEC comes up and eventually gets adopted in different areas.
    And the 2014 NEC changes haven't been finalized yet.

    It can take a while for new codes to become required, luckily.

    boB
  • vibelinevibeline Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?

    The Chinese panels may actually go up in price..
    Since 50% of Obama's green company's have gone out of business or are in BIG trouble, the U.S. government is mad...So they want to impose duties on panels made in China..
    Talk of imposing 2.9% all the way up to 31% duty on Chinese panels.. It is even worse for manufactures using panels built in China, as much a $300 per panel..

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2012/10/03/solarworld-confident-as-us-nears-decision-on-chinese-solar-panels/

    I saw an interview with a small business owner in the U.S. that makes solar attic fans, the fans are built in the USA, only some of the components are from China..
    If the $300 duty is imposed on the panels it will put his manufacturing facility out of business..
    The guy has already secured a company in Canada to build the fans for him and then export the assembled units to the USA..
    He can avoid the duty buy importing an "attic fan" instead of a chinese panel...
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?

    "Since 50% of Obama's green company's have gone out of business "

    I don't think Obama owns them, and where did you get that crazy statistic?

    And sorry to break it to you, there is already a duty on chinese solar cells, they can be manufacturered in china with out any duties at all, as long as the cells are from somewhere else.

    At least this is what the Local Chinese/USA solar company, Jetion told me, but what do they know? They just have a warehouse full of panels....? Fox news could be right, but I'll put my money on the horses mouth.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?

    Out of 36 companies, perhaps as many as 6 have gone out of business or are clearly not going to make it.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?

    Guys, am I going to have to put a political advisory on this thread? Let's not get nasty.
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 975 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?
    vibeline wrote: »
    The Chinese panels may actually go up in price..

    That's the whole problem of cheap Chinese PV.... Supposedly they have subsidies from the Chinese government and
    the idea is to sell PV REAL cheap now (dumping ?) and then after they've put the others out of business,
    raise their prices.

    That's what I hear anyway.
    That wouldn't be the first time something like that has happened.

    boB
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?

    The EU has also started an investigation into dumping which could lead to tariffs on solar panels from China. Interesting to see which products are excluded from the investigation:
    - Portable panels of less than 6 cells
    - All thin film products
    - PV that is permanently integrated into electrical goods

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2012:269:0005:0015:EN:PDF
  • peakbaggerpeakbagger Solar Expert Posts: 341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?

    My opinion is at this point the cost of the glass,silver tabbing, plastic backing and aluminum frame is a big part of the cost of the panel as the silicon is basically being dumped on the market. I dont see the price of glass,silver, plastic backing made of a petrochemicals and aluminum dropping much. The current market is basically betting when the excess inventory stops being dumped on the market. Its pretty strange that its less expensive per square foot to buy a solar panel than it is to buy a window of the same size. Heck at the current price of panels, I wouldnt mind using them for roofing;)
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?
    peakbagger wrote: »
    Heck at the current price of panels, I wouldnt mind using them for roofing;)

    Then the firemen can use their axes to disable your solar system and ventilate your roof at the same time. Sounds efficient!
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?
    inetdog wrote: »
    Then the firemen can use their axes to disable your solar system and ventilate your roof at the same time. Sounds efficient!

    that is what would happen anyway.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?
    niel wrote: »
    that is what would happen anyway.

    Right. All I am saying is that if you use the panels as your roof they would not have to make two separate holes.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?
    You forgot "No User Serviceable Parts Inside" and "Do Not Take Internally".

    It's only a matter of time.
    My sister bought me a Tshirt for Christmas with the image of a PV module silkscreened on it. The tag on the shirt warned, "This shirt does not actually produce electricity from sunlight". Dang. I was going to recharge my cellphone from it. :D
  • YrizerYrizer Registered Users Posts: 1
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?
    Are solar panel prices going to drop?

    For solar panel installations? I sincerely hope so but I'm beginning to doubt it.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,055 admin
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?

    Moved RSS thread to discussion section to avoid 90 day deletion.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Are solar panel prices going to drop?
    ggunn wrote: »
    My sister bought me a Tshirt for Christmas with the image of a PV module silkscreened on it. The tag on the shirt warned, "This shirt does not actually produce electricity from sunlight". Dang. I was going to recharge my cellphone from it. :D

    Silly, that only works if the phone is also silkscreened onto the shirt! :-)
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
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