Solar Looking Beyond Europe for Future Demandhttp://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/05/10/solar-looking-beyond-europe-for-future-demand.aspx Travis Hoium
May 10, 2012
As the solar industry deals with a slump in demand from traditional leaders like Germany and Italy, the industry is looking to emerging markets for demand. China will pick up some of the slack this year, but who else is emerging as companies search for demand for their products, and what should government support look like in the future?
I talked to experts in the industry at the GTM Solar Summit last week looking for answers to these questions. Here's what I learned from them.
A solar power boom close to home
What Laviziano, along with others in the industry, is worried about is a boom and bust in new markets, as happened in Spain. The feed-in tariff rates were so high that the market was overwhelmed, leading to a bust when the rate was cut.
I asked if a reverse auction, as California just held, would be a good method for bringing down costs for consumers and installing a set amount of solar. Laviziano was hesitant, and so are others in the industry, about who will emerge as winners in such auctions. When cost is the only thing being looked at, you often don't get the best project, just the cheapest. Those two aren't always the same thing; just ask the construction industry.
Emerging markets south of the border
Jinko got something of a slow start in the U.S. market, failing to be approved by installers like SolarCity when they began expanding. This has caused it to play catch-up, but it is taking a two-pronged approach in the U.S. now and hopes that markets south of the border will be a big part of the future.
JinkoSolar is selling to small integrators and distributors, similar to SunPower's (Nasdaq: SPWR ) s