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Global Solar Supply Will Triple By 2012

Manufacturing costs for new solar technologies like thin-film and monocrystalline PV will drop below $1.50 a watt within the next few years, according to new projections by Greentech Media and the nonprofit Prometheus Institute. Global capacity will nearly triple, from 10.4 gigawatts today to 27.6 gigawatts, or approximately half the consumption of Great Britain.

But it's not all sunny news. Overall, the solar energy market is entering a big shakeout and consolidation phase. Despite an improvement in solar tax credits included in the Obama stimulus package, U.S. companies like OptiSolar, Ausra and Evergreen Solar are downsizing and cutting back. Anyone with shaky financing or bleeding edge technologies will disappear in favor of those that have the right connections to increasingly important government subsidies. Greentech especially likes the chances of cheaper thin-film and mass-market Asian manufacturers—the operative word here is cheap.

Photo: Flickr

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  • Richard Matthews

    As the President of a consulting firm and the owner and author of The Green Market, I am a champion of solar power. My primary preoccupation involves helping many small businesses survive these difficult times. Despite current market volatility. The solar industry and the small companies I represent are all subject to the same macroeconomic headwinds. And although I expect solar's future to be bright, not everyone will survive this tight credit environment. As the economy is in recession, Green is entering a critical stage in its life cycle and now more than ever we will need to disseminate the facts about our environment and the role we can play in addressing these complex issues.

    The Green Market (http://thegreenmarket.blogspot...) provides information and resources for people seeking to help Green to grow. My blog covers topics from CleanTech investments to the Obama Effect and includes a comprehensive Green Link Library.