Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The Upcoming Solar Cell Disaster

"...we argue that Germany’s support scheme subsidizes renewable energy technologies not based on their long-term market potential, but rather on their relative lack of competitiveness, with the photovoltaics (PV) technology enjoying high feed-in tariffs, currently over double those of onshore wind. The result is explosive costs with little to show for either environmental or employment benefits."
The above fragment is excerpted from the abstract to this new study published in Ruhr Economic Papers, entitled "Germany's Solar Cell Promotion: An Unfolding Disaster".

Read it yourself.

For the last year or so I have been telling certain people - mentioning no names here of course - not to hold stock in Taiwan's solar cell manufacturers, and instead to sell the stuff and take the hit. I have had many discussions with people who are themselves employed at several of these manufacturers and the various companies in the downstream supply chain wherein I have made the case that the solar cell industry is going down - and they wouldn't listen.

Think about it - when the German government finally gets around to scrapping its' mad environmentalist energy policies and reverts to an increased use of coal, oil, gas and nuclear power, then other governments will surely soon follow suit. The export demand for solar cells manufactured in Taiwan will surely decline until people in that industry finally realize that, barring immense improvements in battery technology, they will never be anything more than suppliers to a high-end niche market. Eventually, they will need to downsize their businesses to suit their market, assuming they even survive at all given a possible withdrawal of State subsidies.

Via Rob Fisher at Samizdata.

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