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Solar Thermal Energy Can Power Large Desalination Plants


CPV Today
October 14, 2008


As solar subsidies diminish over the next year, the current bonanza in which all
players are winners will come to an end.

This comment has come from Lux Research, as the company shares that starting in
2009, supply will exceed demand, leading to price decreases.

In its new report, titled "Solar State of the Market Q3 2008: The Rocky Road to
$100 Billion", Lux has stated that solar is poised for continued impressive
growth, with new installations primed to increase nearly five-fold from 2008 to 2013.

Ted Sullivan, senior analyst, Lux Research said, "We expect module oversupply to
occur early in 2009, and the resulting aggressive price reductions to trigger an
industry shake-out, with the weakest players being acquired or failing. While
falling prices will help stimulate continued demand growth, a booming supply
build-out will mean that solar manufacturers will face margin pressures for
years to come."

The projection is based on an analysis for demand for solar installations across
12 key markets, three applications, and five key technologies, with demand
driven by detailed economic viability projections for each of the technologies.
These demand projections were matched to bottom-up supply estimates based on
appropriately discounted announced capacities of all known solar manufacturers
globally and new likely entrants.

The report concludes that: Driven by aggressive capacity expansion and the
increasing availability of polysilicon, the solar market will grow 48 percent
annually through 2013, reaching 23 GW (GigaWatts), from 4.9 GW in 2008;
Cuts to government subsidies and aggressive ramp schedules will push the market
into oversupply in 2009, when 7.9 GW of modules will be installed; Oversupply in
early 2009 will lead to significant average selling price declines. Thus,
revenue will grow at a slower average growth rate of 33 percent, with the solar
market reaching $100.4 billion in 2013, up from $33.4 billion today; The Spanish
market will be limited by subsidy caps and the markets in France, Italy and
Greece, will be slower to develop than expected.

In Germany, years of strong investment in renewables such as solar and wind will
push the market closer to the limits of grid infrastructure, which can only
handle roughly 20 percent of intermittent renewable sources. As Germany
approaches this cap in the next five years, growth will be limited to an average
of 16 percent annually through 2013.

 

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