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.