According to reports, many in the solar industry feel that the drop in ‘module prices’ has bottomed out, and that there is not much room left for prices to fall.
But a report by a market research firm, NPD Solarbuzz, has come up with a contrarian view. Its 2012 Marketbuzz report says that due to decline in global demand and continued over capacities in polysilicon, crystalline silicon module factory-gate prices will further decline by as much as 29 per cent in this year, over last year.
In last year, module prices declined 28 per cent over the previous year, and ruled at around $80 cents a watt.
In 2011, the world added 27,400 MW of solar capacity, up 40 per cent over the previous year, but Solarbuzz very much doubts if there would be an encore in 2012, given the fact that the European demand is waning due to withdrawal of Government support.
NPD Solarbuzz feels that factory-gate module prices could decline between 43 per cent and 53 per cent over the next five years, over 2011. Industry experts note that while the European market is on the decline, there are some other emerging markets, such as India, Japan and Chile.
Japan is consciously giving a big thrust to renewable energy after last year’s Fukushima disaster and Chile has announced a 2,500-MW solar programme, in the sun-rich Atacama desert.