Solar energy costs to achieve grid parity by 2013, says new report

A new report from Pike Research – Global Solar Energy Outlook – has stated that as a result of an abundance of polysilicon, the effects of the worldwide financial crisis and a decrease in the price of solar modules, the solar industry “has shifted from supply-constrained to demand-driven”.

The company then goes on to say that a few strong companies have been able to improve their revenues and market share based on a low cost per watt combined with high module efficiency. This market realignment, it says, will set the stage for “a new era of solar growth” over the next few years.

“Solar prices are plunging quickly, and lower pricing will fuel a surge in demand in 2010 and beyond,” explained senior analyst Dave Cavanaugh. “However, pricing trends and oversupply of solar modules will also place huge pressure on solar suppliers, especially Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies that are not well-equipped to weather the storm. We expect a significant shakeout among solar suppliers in the next two years.”

Mr. Cavanaugh then went on to outline the 10 key factors, which he believes will determine the success and survival for solar suppliers during this period of industry consolidation. They include:

  1. Low-cost polysilicon and wafers
  2. Low-cost process materials
  3. Low-cost processing
  4. Module efficiency
  5. Economies of scale
  6. Market presence in key growth countries
  7. Supply chain integration
  8. Strong balance sheets and internal financing of growth
  9. Module manufacturing in North America and low-cost European Union countries
  10. Strong position in niche markets