« | »

Demand For Solar Panels Is Slumping

From a duplicitous discreet New York Times:

From a duplicitous discreet New York Times:

More Sun for Less: Solar Panels Drop in Price


August 27, 2009

When Greg Hare looked into putting solar panels on his ranch-style home in Magnolia, Tex., last year, he decided he could not afford it. “I had no idea solar was so expensive,” he recalled.

But the cost of solar panels has plunged lately, changing the economics for many homeowners. Mr. Hare ended up paying $77,000 for a large solar setup that he figures might have cost him $100,000 a year ago.

“I just thought, ‘Wow, this is an opportunity to do the most for the least,’ ” Mr. Hare said.

For solar shoppers these days, the price is right. Panel prices have fallen about 40 percent since the middle of last year, driven down partly by an increase in the supply of a crucial ingredient for panels, according to analysts at the investment bank Piper Jaffray…

American consumers have the rest of the world to thank for the big solar price break.

Until recently, panel makers had been constrained by limited production of polysilicon, which goes into most types of panels. But more factories making the material have opened, as have more plants churning out the panels themselves — especially in China.

“A ton of production, mostly Chinese, has come online,” said Chris Whitman, the president of U.S. Solar Finance, which helps arrange bank financing for solar projects.

At the same time, once-roaring global demand for solar panels has slowed, particularly in Europe, the largest solar market, where photovoltaic installations are forecast to fall by 26 percent this year compared with 2008, according to Emerging Energy Research, a consulting firm. Much of that drop can be attributed to a sharp slowdown in Spain. Faced with high unemployment and an economic crisis, Spain slashed its generous subsidy for the panels last year because it was costing too much.

Many experts expect panel prices to fall further, though not by another 40 percent.

Manufacturers are already reeling from the price slump. For example, Evergreen Solar, which is based in Massachusetts, recently reported a second-quarter loss that was more than double its loss from a year earlier

Wait a minute.

Isn’t the making of solar panels supposed to be one of those green industries that is the future for America? In fact, our only economic future under Mr. Obama?

Aren’t people who used to abuse Mother Earth by building hateful polluting automobiles being re-educated so they can make wonderful Gaia-friendly solar panels?

And now the rest of the world doesn’t want them?

Not that it really matters in the final analysis. Because solar power is still nothing but a pipe dream.

As we noted back in July, solar power isn’t even a drop in the bucket for our power needs. Not in the US or in Europe. And it never will almost certainly never amount to more than the tiniest of fraction of our power supply.

From a similarly duplicitous discreet New York Times article:

With Push Toward Renewable Energy, California Sets Pace for Solar Power


July 16, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO — A decade ago, only 500 rooftops in California boasted solar panels that harvest the sun’s energy. Today, there are nearly 50,000 solar-panel installations in the state, according to a report to be issued Thursday by the research and lobbying group Environment California.

As a result, California, the longtime national leader in solar energy, has a capacity of more than 500 megawatts of solar power at peak periods in the early afternoon — the same as a major power plant.

The solar capacity in California grew by a third from 2007 to 2008. It now represents about two-thirds of the national total, according to a different report that is being prepared by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, a nonprofit group promoting expansion of solar energy…

But even with the increases of the last decade, solar power is a pipsqueak among energy sources; it represents about one-quarter of 1 percent of California’s total energy capacity, according to the California Energy Commission. Nationally, according to the Energy Information Administration, it represents about 0.02 percent of total capacity, but those federal figures are incomplete: they reflect only centralized facilities, not distributed rooftop installations…

The group’s latest report shows Germany as the world leader in solar power, with 5,400 megawatts, or about 1 percent of the country’s total generating capacity.

Just like in the first New York Times article, all of the truly staggering information is buried safely deep in the article, where few will ferret it out.

After all, what we don’t know won’t hurt us the agenda of The Times.

But there it is, after all of the tax breaks and incentives and massive campaigning, solar power represents only 0.25% of California’s energy total.

And solar power totals a whopping 1 percent of world-leading Germany’s power supply.


This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 27th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

14 Responses to “Demand For Solar Panels Is Slumping”

  1. proreason says:

    Obamy should declare that the sun must shine at night.

    That will solve the problem.

  2. ilzito guacamolito says:

    ~ Mr. Hare ended up paying $77,000 for a large solar setup that he figures might have cost him $100,000 a year ago. ~

    How many centuries will that investment take to pay for itself?

    Also, I cannot wait to fly on the first solar powered jet.

    • Colonel1961 says:

      Anyone stupid enough to ‘invest’ in solar panels has no clue, whatsoever, about the fundamentals of return on investment. Well said, ilzito!

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      How much oil is used to make solar panels?

  3. Colonel1961 says:

    What?! The Chinese are undercutting us on cost?! Shocking…

    And too damned funny for the greenturds.

  4. BigOil says:

    “A ton of production, mostly Chinese, has come online,” said Chris Whitman, the president of U.S. Solar Finance, which helps arrange bank financing for solar projects.

    We’ve finally uncovered some of those green jobs Odumbo keeps touting.

  5. beautyofreason says:

    On the topic of environmental silliness…

    Liberals, contrary to the posing, aren’t that interested in the environment. Take organic farming and bottled water, for instance. If all world crops ceased using safe synthetic pesticides in order to go organic, more land would be wasted to grow crops AND over a billion people would starve to death from lack of food, because growing organic produce is terribly inefficient. Organic is also no healthier than regular produce. The same gullibility goes for bottled water, which is more expensive per ounce than oil. You’d be surprised to see the brands of bottled water that come from municipal tap water and the number that failed safety standards set for tap water.

    The liberals like kooky environmentalism because it offers the illusion of being intellectually superior and socially conscious. It gives them the impression that they are doing something valuable, even when all they are doing is regulating the toilet flow of the neighbors or forking over an extra dollar for tomatoes at the “green” store. “Green” is all about image. I watched a home show the other day when renovators cooed over environmentally friendly counter tops. Do they think that a counter top made from recycled glass bottles at premium price requires any less oil to produce, process and ship than a real granite slab?

  6. Right of the People says:

    “Mr. Hare ended up paying $77,000 for a large solar setup that he figures might have cost him $100,000 a year ago.” & “Panel prices have fallen about 40 percent since the middle of last year,”

    I know my math skills suck but if the cost has dropped 40% since last year then shouldn’t Mr. Hare have paid $60,000.00 for them? Methinks either they are wrong about the prices of the dude was ripped off.

    Solar works great up here in the great white north. For about 30 days a year! I still say if we installed windmill in the chambers of congress we could power DC for free.

    • beautyofreason says:

      I agree. Those Democrats are so full of hot hair they would keep the windmills churning for hours. Easy way to reduce the energy bill short of firing them.

  7. GetBackJack says:

    Why, golly … that’d be how market economics works. Early adopters pay more. Then more manufacturing comes online to meet expected demand. Then the market slumps when all the early adopters run out. Then the manufacturers figure out how to reengineer their product to get it to more buyers, causing other marketers to get in on a market-movement. This causes more competition as buyers are created rather than found and so on and so on until a market-momentum is created.

    Gee, it’s as if journalists in the MSM have never studied simple economics.

    (head slap)

    What was I thinking. Of course they haven’t.

    They’re dumber than dirt.

  8. Chuckk says:

    Jimmy Carter gave us the Department of Energy to develop solar and other alternative enegries. Now, 40 years later, we are using and importing more oil than ever. The alternative and renewable energy sources are just where they were 40 years ago, almost nothing. Thank you Washington.

  9. canary says:

    How much heat does it take to melt that stuff.

  10. MinnesotaRush says:

    And Mr. Homer Simpson chimes in with a resounding, “DOH!!!”.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »