It is a rough time to be a startup in the Solar Photovoltaic sector. The financial crisis and deep recession has not only dried up capital, but has also hit demand for solar panels, which has lead to a global supply glut and a price collapse. In this very difficult environment startups must compete with much larger established global suppliers that have factories of hundreds of megawatts each, an established customer base and well developed brand names and sales channels. In this post we look at five promising CIGS thin film Solar PV startups based in the US and try to catalog their unique strengths and accomplishments.
The manufacturers of the equipment and production lines that are needed to produce solar cells and modules are an important segment of the overall value chain in the solar PV sector as a whole. These companies are making a wide variety of equipment that finds use in the manufacture of solar cells, ranging from tradition semi-conductor manufacturing equipment that has grown out of the computer semi-conductor industry, to more exotic things like specialized inkjet printers and lasers. Who are these US based solar photovoltaic equipment manufacturers and how are they fairing in the global recession of 2009?
In this survey we are looking at the large US headquartered solar PV manufacturers with a view to examine how they are doing in this difficult economic climate. As basically anyone knows, who has not been cloistered away meditating in some cave, 2009 has been a very tough year for pretty much everyone.
By some measures 2009 has been the worst year in the young solar PV sectors history. In fact, global revenue for Photovoltaic (PV) panels is expected to drop by nearly 20 percent in 2009, as oversupply causes prices to crash by nearly fifty percent. Many of the weaker firms may not survive this shakeout and right now things do look very gloomy – even though by some other measures 2009 is not as bad as it may seem. For example more newly installed capacity (4.2 GW) is installed this year than any year – ever; however this is of little comfort to the many firms in this sector that are being buried under an avalanche of negative revenue. This article examines the short term outlook for the solar PV sector going forward, basing itself on market data from a recent iSuppli study.