Recession Dims Lights on Solar Sales

Banks, government cut funding for industry

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted May 11, 2009 9:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – After a bright 2008, things are looking gloomy for the solar power industry amid the recession, the Wall Street Journal reports. Banks have cut funds for some projects, and the government of Spain, the second-biggest solar power market, has shrunk subsidies. Solar-cell sales are expected to fall by some 20%, going for $2 per watt, compared to $3.95 last year.

“Last year we couldn't make enough solar cells to keep up with our customers’ demands,” said a top solar-cell maker. “Now it’s a buyer’s market.” But a renewable-energy investor notes that “the dramatic cost reductions now happening in solar will be good for the industry and the environment in the long term,” making power from the sun competitive with oil.

A solar-power project located in Trujillo, Spain, is owned and operated by Fotowatio, one of Spain's largest and most successful solar power developers and owners.   (BusinessWire)
A visitor walks by a solar dish in Israel, April 26, 2009.   (AP Photo)
A Verizon Wireless solar-powered cell site in California.   (PRNewsFoto)
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