The struggle isn’t over yet for solar manufacturers, solar company executives said during interviews at the major trade show, Intersolar, in San Francisco last week.
Things are looking up for First Solar, at least for now, as the company announced Wednesday a big jump in sales and profits for the second quarter and touted itself as a sought-after power project developer.
GTM Research released a report this morning on the solar market, saying that solar makers are on track to deliver 59 gigawatts of panels when demand should hit about 30 gigawatts. That’s a pretty big gulf between supply and demand and panel prices will probably slip even further. Some companies are just hitting the point where it’s time to scale production and the issue with solar manufacturing is that more scale and more utilization of a facility helps companies be more competitive and lower their per panel cost. But it can also generate lots of supply and when everyone’s doing it, the overall market suffers. On the bright side, this is more good news for solar installers as their panel costs just keep coming down, helping them give consumers a better deal.