Falling solar costs: Good for buyers, bad for makers

There’s a paradox in the global solar industry: When manufacturers are suffering, things are looking up for consumers.

Lux Research last week released its latest industry analysis which projects fast growth in the amount of solar power installed, at 15.5 percent per year, but flat revenue until 2016. Reflecting the same dynamic of falling product prices, a report from Navigant Consulting also found that the price of solar modules, or solar electric panels, is down almost 20 percent so far this year.

The reports put numbers on the brutal price competition among makers of solar photovoltaic panels where global competitors continually shave down the price per watt. For panel producers, it means shrinking profit margins and worries over whether demand is strong enough to absorb the output of rising manufacturing capacity, according to analysts.

But for consumers, it means a rooftop solar array will deliver more bang for the buck. A less obvious effect is that lower hardware prices also improve the prospect that solar leasing, rather than buying panels outright, will become more widespread…

Read More: Falling solar costs: Good for buyers, bad for makers via ZDNetAsia.com