Solar Boom Driving First Global Panel Shortage Since 2006
The solar industry is facing a looming shortage of photovoltaic panels, reversing a two-year slump triggered by a global glut.
The oversupply pushed prices through the floor, making solar power more competitive and driving up demand. It also dragged dozens of manufacturers into bankruptcy, and slowed capital investment at the survivors. With installations expected to swell as much as 29 percent this year, executives are bracing for the first shortfall since 2006.
Scarcity will benefit the biggest manufacturers, including China’s Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co. (YGE) and Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL) A shortage may slow development outside the top markets in Asia and North America if suppliers favor their largest customers. Shipments to large, utility-scale solar farms may get priority over smaller, rooftop systems, threatening one of the industry’s fastest-growing markets.
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