Off-Grid Modules Become Rare

In Solar Modules by African Energy

The last shall be first and the first shall be last, but in this case the first are having a hard time getting product at all!  For the first forty years of this industry, almost all modules were made for off-grid use (12v and then some 24v).  Now off-grid modules, or at least modules below 140w make up something like 1% of the total modules produced in the world.  Some of the original solar manufacturers like Sharp, Kyocera and Solar World are abandoning the off-grid market in search of the easy money in subsidized grid-tie installations.  They should re-think their strategy.  The market for small off-grid modules has a population base of over 1 billion people and demand continues to grow.  One quality manufacturer told me last week they have three times as many orders for off-grid modules as they can supply.  There is an opportunity there.  Certainly the margins on an 85w module aren’t as tasty as on a 260w module, but a customer base that needs you (rather than one that needs subsidies) isn’t a bad thing on which to base your business….