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Solar energy is getting cheaper fast

June 17th, 2011 · No Comments

Ongoing, it’s not too difficult to see what this will cause..

June 16, 2011, 2:24 PM ET
Solar: $1-Per-Watt Modules By Q1 ’12, Says iSuppli

Solar energy technology analyst Henning Wicht today writes that a “major milestone” is “just months away” for the industry, as the selling price per watt for photovoltaic modules based on crystalline silicon, the building blocks of solar panels, will drop to $1 by the first quarter of next year from a recent $1.30, a drop he calls “historic.”

Wicht, reflecting on Intersolar Trade Fair in Munich, Germany, last week, writes that the $1 level “could forestall a widely feared dip for solar installations next year and stimulate demand instead.”

The drop in price is being propelled by declines in the cost of silicon wafers and photovoltaic cells, accelerated by “top-tier module brands” cutting prices to gain market advantage ahead of a perceived slump in demand.”

Wicht thinks the drop in price could prompt installations of $2 per watt, and could incentive companies with deeper pockets to “get aggressive about pressuring competition out of the market” in 2012.

Wicht models price per watt dropping from 99 cents sometime in Q1 of 2012, then down to 88 cents by Q2 of 2013, and to 79 cents by Q2 of 2014.

Tags: Alternative energy · Solar sector