Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Rain cloud over solar?

Polysilicon, a crucial material in solar panels, is in short supply and it could lead to a disruption in the manufacture and installation of current generation solar panels.

Spencer Jakab reports in the latest Barron's (March 20, 2006) that a scramble for polysilicon has pushed prices up 10-20 fold since the start of the decade. The resulting slowdown in the rate of solar panel installations comes just as rebates and incentives for taxpayers are making solar power increasingly attractive for homeowners.

A recent Slate article takes a look at the polysilicon/solar demand situation and this EETimes piece shows how the polysilicon shortage has affected one company in particular.