Low Prices Always Low Prices

Low prices always low prices is the slogan taken by China’s wind and solar PV panel manufacturers.  It describes their global market strategy of flooding the market with equipment, driving down prices as a result of that glut and suctioning up feed in tariffs and other subsidies to help finance China’s export production growth.  For a while it was a winning strategy.  Then the US and EU players caught onto the game forced to act by rising deficits and rising costs of subsidies rationalizing the …Continue Reading »

Low Gas Prices Rattle Renewables

In "Economic and Employment Contributions of Shale Gas in the United States" IHS Global Insight says shale gas production is producing significant benefits for the U.S. economy from lower natural gas prices, significant growth in direct and indirect jobs and substantial tax revenue. The impact of the growth of unconventional gas is staggering. In 2011, unconventional gas market share reached 34 percent of all U.S. natural gas production. By 2035 it is expected to be 60 percent of all U.S. …Continue Reading »

Market Rationalization Demands Grid Parity

"In the last two years, the delivered cost of energy from PV was cut in half. NRG expects the cost to fall in half again in the next two years, which would make solar power less expensive than retail electricity in roughly 20 states. The expected drop in solar costs has the potential to revolutionize the hub-and-spoke power system, which currently makes up the power industry."    --- David Crane, CEO, NRG Energy It was not supposed to be this way, and yet here it is---the highly regulated …Continue Reading »

Grid Parity Arriving with a Fury!

For years advocates of wind and solar energy have been telling us that prices would fall and these clean, renewable technologies would be competitive with natural gas.  That sweet spot is often referred to as grid parity. Congratulations that day of grid parity success has arrived! At its December meeting the California Public Utilities Commission approved more than 500 MW of solar procurements by regulated investor owned utility and more than 294MW of those contracts were at or below the market …Continue Reading »

Grid Parity Reality Hits Home for Renewable Energy

This was not the way anyone expected we would get to grid parity prices but the convergence of falling global prices for PV panels and wind turbines from Chinese export growth and lower natural gas prices in the US from the growth in unconventional natural gas E&P is pulling the market into the grid parity orbit faster than many renewable energy firms can tolerate. Why? It’s global competition setting the prices for PV panels and wind turbines and both the EU and US must adapt or die.  In …Continue Reading »

Who Will Serve the Energy Vertical in the Next Boom?

SOURCE: Ventyx Energy Advisors The change in market fundamentals, competition and technology are turning the energy vertical on its head bringing new entrants using new solutions not yet commercially available in the last boom stage to transform big data into big competitive advantage in the next boom. The tools of choice include mobile real-time data gathering and access, cloud-based predictive analytics, data visualization and social networking tools to put it all together seamlessly. What am …Continue Reading »

Which Way Will Solar Energy Go?

Life in the solar energy business is a constant battle between soaring aspirations for long term growth juxtaposed against the terrifying reality of falling prices and global competition.  Selling more might actually mean your solar energy business will just lose more money faster. There is, of course, more than one solar energy business.  There is the photovoltaic panel (PV) business dominated by low price Chinese exports.  Then there is the utility-scale solar energy business segment where US …Continue Reading »

Solar Energy Tough Love

Across the EU Solar Energy is facing tough love conditions as its feed-in-tariffs (FiT) face Déjà vu in another round of reductions in FiT subsidies. Like the classic Tale of Two Cities the world of solar energy today seems filled with the excitement of seeing its revolutionary potential realized by rapid growth while fearful that falling prices, changing feed in tariff subsidies and looming government deficits will overwhelm it first. There is no denying solar energy’s promise and potential.  …Continue Reading »