Turning to the sun

August 11, 2009

With oil prices more than doubling from Dec-Feb lows, those who are lucky enough to enjoy the sunshine are turning to the sun as alternative energy, but lingering effects of the credit crisis might be discouraging consumers from turning to this still-costly alternative energy.

Latest statistics suggest that solar applications are up 15% in megawatts compared with last year, according to Bank of America Securities-Merrill Lynch report. However, installations are down by 68 percent.

The bank’s analyst Steven Milunovich makes the following observation:

Although these figures imply a soft (and softening) solar market in California, it is likely that customers are deferring installation, both voluntarily and involuntarily. Commercial customers are waiting for financing to improve and for grants to become available, which began in August. Installers tell us that the demand is there, but that financing is holding up installations. We expect some improvement in the second half.

He also thinks that rising electricity rates makes the solar industry makes this too large a market to ignore for investors. Within the sector, solar technology firm SunPower has the leading share, about 30 percent share of completed systems, followed by Sharp and Suntech.

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The trend of Solar Energy as an alternative energy is a very positive signal for the Earth Conservation Efforts. The Global dependency on Fossil Fuel Energy, exhausts the Mother Earth at alarming speed.
Remember in the ’70s, SMOKING was a style and accepted by everyone. But, today we do have anti smoking laws implemented. I truly think that the world will look at Fossil Fuel backed technologies as outdated, polluted, and indeed NOT fashioned in a decade from now ..

Maybe ten more years? I would be one to adopt the technology if it were cost effective. The way it is now, you’re still stuck in the early-adopters stage. It’s not even new technology. But because the price is ridiculously high you aren’t getting more people on board. You’re only getting people passionate about the environment. Where their actions are more important than the cost. I’m not in that group. You won’t capture a larger portion of the population until you bring the price of installation down.