• 20 hours Iraq Begins To Rebuild Largest Refinery
  • 1 day Canadian Producers Struggle To Find Transport Oil Cargo
  • 1 day Venezuela’s PDVSA Makes $539M Interest Payments On Bonds
  • 1 day China's CNPC Considers Taking Over South Pars Gas Field
  • 1 day BP To Invest $200 Million In Solar
  • 1 day Tesla Opens New Showroom In NYC
  • 1 day Petrobras CEO Hints At New Partner In Oil-Rich Campos Basin
  • 1 day Venezuela Sells Oil Refinery Stake To Cuba
  • 2 days Tesla Is “Headed For A Brick Wall”
  • 2 days Norwegian Pension Fund Set to Divest From Oil Sands and Coal Ventures
  • 2 days IEA: “2018 Might Not Be Quite So Happy For OPEC Producers”
  • 2 days Goldman Bullish On Oil Markets
  • 2 days OPEC Member Nigeria To Issue Africa’s First Sovereign Green Bond
  • 2 days Nigeria To Spend $1B Of Oil Money Fighting Boko Haram
  • 2 days Syria Aims To Begin Offshore Gas Exploration In 2019
  • 2 days Australian Watchdog Blocks BP Fuel Station Acquisition
  • 3 days Colombia Boosts Oil & Gas Investment
  • 3 days Environmentalists Rev Up Anti-Keystone XL Angst Amongst Landowners
  • 3 days Venezuelan Default Swap Bonds At 19.25 Cents On The Dollar
  • 3 days Aramco On The Hunt For IPO Global Coordinators
  • 3 days ADNOC Distribution Jumps 16% At Market Debut In UAE
  • 3 days India Feels the Pinch As Oil Prices Rise
  • 3 days Aramco Announces $40 Billion Investment Program
  • 3 days Top Insurer Axa To Exit Oil Sands
  • 4 days API Reports Huge Crude Draw
  • 4 days Venezuela “Can’t Even Write A Check For $21.5M Dollars.”
  • 4 days EIA Lowers 2018 Oil Demand Growth Estimates By 40,000 Bpd
  • 4 days Trump Set To Open Atlantic Coast To Oil, Gas Drilling
  • 4 days Norway’s Oil And Gas Investment To Drop For Fourth Consecutive Year
  • 4 days Saudis Plan To Hike Gasoline Prices By 80% In January
  • 4 days Exxon To Start Reporting On Climate Change Effect
  • 5 days US Geological Survey To Reevaluate Bakken Oil Reserves
  • 5 days Brazil Cuts Local Content Requirements to Attract Oil Investors
  • 5 days Forties Pipeline Could Remain Shuttered For Weeks
  • 5 days Desjardins Ends Energy Loan Moratorium
  • 5 days ADNOC Distribution IPO Valuation Could Be Lesson For Aramco
  • 5 days Russia May Turn To Cryptocurrencies For Oil Trade
  • 5 days Iraq-Iran Oil Swap Deal To Run For 1 Year
  • 8 days Venezuelan Crude Exports To U.S. Fall To 15-year Lows
  • 8 days Mexico Blames Brazil For Failing Auction

Breaking News:

Iraq Begins To Rebuild Largest Refinery

Alt Text

The Solar Tech That Is Making Cleaner Oil

As oil’s supermajors face increasing…

Gary Hunt

Gary Hunt

Gary Hunt is President, Scalable Growth Strategy Advisors, an independent energy technology and information services adviser and a partner in Tech & Creative Labs, a…

More Info

Rough Years Ahead for the Solar Industry

Rough Years Ahead for the Solar Industry

Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) workshop presentation of its Q2:2012 outlook for photovoltaic panels has attracted a lot of attention.  Before the presentation BNEF leaked the workshop slides to Forbes, but then complained when Forbes published a story using them.

Not only did BNEF hold the workshop in China but it had the temerity to tell the audience that it would take until at least 2014 to work off the supply glut of PV panels around the world.  Think about that for a moment.

The use of feed-in-tariff subsidies, treasury tax grants, production tax credits, investment tax credits and other subsidies used to manipulate the market for solar energy in the US and EU seduced China into expanding its production capacity to build global market share and suction up all that EU and US subsidy money so much that today there is a two year glut of supply and a risk of continued falling prices in an effort to get rid of it.

The consequence of this market manipulation is a real prospect of cratering the entire global solar photovoltaic industry driving all the major players into bankruptcy unless they can go without sales or revenue for two years until the market catches up.

If this were just foolish business people doing irrationally foolish things with their money we’d say to them “FOOL!  What were you thinking?”  But this is worse!  This manipulation is caused by politicians spending other people’s money trying to pander to one group while paying off a second until the entire scheme collapses.

Give BNEF credit for at least going to the Great Wall to deliver the bad news in person.  But this was no surprise to China and they make no apologies for taking advantage of the game the EU and US politicians cooked up.  Having succeeded in building global market share China now is positioned to use that production capacity for the next two years to satisfy local demand and pick up the pieces of bankrupt global companies to restart its PV exports two years from now when the market clears.  The subsidies were used to buy the rope that the Spanish, German and other global PV players were hung with as they ran out of time and were unable to compete.

At the Shanghai PV Conference, BNEF presented both conservative and optimistic scenarios of its Global PV Demand Forecast for 2012 to 2014.

It estimated the 2012 Global PV Demand would range from a conservative 26.3 gigaWatt (GW) to 34.7 GW on the optimistic end with the expected market demand estimate at about 31 GW.  That is still a lot of solar capacity added except that combined crystalline silicon and thin film module production across technologies is expected to be about 35 GW in 2012,  40 GW in 2013, and 45 GW in 2014.   This supply excess is forecast even though feed-in tariff reductions in the EU and production tax credits in the US are expected to decline or end undermining demand.

The result is that solar PV panel prices will continue falling.

The US now responds by issuing countervailing anti-dumping duties on China seeking to cover the behinds of politicians and reduce the screaming of domestic manufacturers left stranded to fend for themselves. The government is a terrible business partner and an even worse venture capitalist.  But that never seems to stop the pigs from lining up at the trough.

So what?

The best thing the US could do right now is to declare victory on the state renewable portfolio standards to avoid locking ratepayers into above market prices in a falling price market.  End the Federal and state subsidies for solar PV panel systems and thus stop sending taxpayer money to China.  If the Chinese want to keep selling under-priced solar PV panels into the US markets after the US subsidies end—we should let them!

At grid parity prices solar PV panel systems become an attractive alternative for utility customers who want to insure against utility rate spikes looming in our future resulting from the sum of foolish government industrial policies, regulations and political correctness by becoming ‘net zero’ energy self-sufficient and selling any excess back to the grid at set avoided cost tariff prices.

By. Gary L Hunt

Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Brek on August 04 2012 said:
    I have taken advantage of the situation at least on a personal level. Just added 4k of panels to my other 5k of panels. I am shocked at the price of panels hovering around a dollar a watt. It cost me $7,500 for the panels and inverter for the 4k I just added. That should generate 8,000 kw yr at 30 cents = $2,400 a year. Wow paid for in 3 yrs! I picked up the panels from people who didn't want them, no gov subsidies.
    It boggles my mind why someone would put money in the bank at 1% when they can invest in solar at 30%! Take advantage of the situation while it lasts.
  • Forex Broker Review on July 12 2016 said:
    The foreign exchange market is a highly competitive and volatile one where changes take place every second, it is very important to go through a forex broker list before choosing one as a good broker.The forex broker list can be considered as a dictionary which will give you the names and details of all the top brokers operating in your region.

    For traders Forex broker reviews is very important as these will give you an overview of the forex landscape and the people responsible for breathing life into what is considered as the most vibrant and biggest currency trading place in the world.

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News