Wake Up!

In Solar Modules by African Energy

I spent the week at Solar Power International, the largest solar conference and exhibition in the Americas.  Probably the fewest number of exhibitors and attendees that I have seen at that show.  There wasn’t a lot of excitement among the module manufacturers, who mostly seemed to be on a death watch for each other.  The speculation was mostly downbeat – which manufacturer would close down next and how low prices would go before they recovered.  And anyway, solar was becoming a mainstream commodity, no more exciting than insulation or air conditioners. This gloomy atmosphere masked what is really fantastic news for the industry.  Grid-tie installations in the US continue to grow, the German grid-tie market is still strong, and China is expected to launch an ambitious program.  The only problem is that there are just too many modules in stock around the world at the moment.  And too many manufacturers struggling for oxygen and trying to manufacture their way out of trouble.  It clearly will not work out for many of them.  That will be painful, but it is part of the maturing of the industry.  Meanwhile, those of us off the grid need to wake up and get going.  The opportunity has never been better.  We have complained for fifty years that PV was a technology suited for the poor, but only available to the rich, and that if we could only get to  a dollar a watt, everything would change.  Well, we’re here now.  And we’re the ones who are going to make the change – so get busy!  The big market for solar is still waiting…..