Solar Panel Prices to Drop Quickly

Financial analysts at Citigroup have joined the ranks of solar-company watchers that see falling prices to make solar power more affordable.

For consumers, the up-front price of getting solar-electric panels is still high–in the range of $20,000 to $35,000. A shortage of silicon cells is one reason that panels remain expensive.

But the overall demand for solar cells and panels is still very strong, driven by corporate customers and utilities. The solar industry has been ramping up production of silicon wafers in an effort to keep up.

In a report published on Thursday, Citi said it believes that the silicon shortage will become a silicon oversupply which will start to push down prices next year and then accelerate further in 2010.

Analysts also see demand risks from potential changes in 2010 to rebate programs in Germany and Spain, two of the largest markets for solar.

From CNET News

http://www.news.com/8301-11128_3-9940001-54.html?tag=nefd.top

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