EuPD Research finds that solar industry is inconclusive about financial crisis’ impact

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During the “American Solar Boom? Cutting Through the Hype” teleconference held by AltaTerra Research Network and presented by EuPD Research, over 30 solar PV consultants, manufacturers, developers and installers heard that executives from the solar industry are split down the middle on how the financial crisis will affect their companies’ revenues in 2009. Half the executives polled said that they do expect the financial crisis to negatively affect their revenues, while the other half responded that they do not expect it to have a negative impact.

“This was a small sample, but the actual numbers were 55% negative, 27% neutral and 18% positive,” said Jon Guice, the host of the event and Head of Research at AltaTerra. “While in general the solar industry will continue to be one of the bright spots of the global economy, the market participants themselves see credit and financial turbulence as a problem, particularly for large-scale projects.”

Presenter Sarah Endres of EuPD Research’s Energy Utilities group foresees both positive and negative impacts from the economic situation that could affect the supply and demand sides of the PV industry. In Endres’ view, the supply side of the industry will see the financial crisis affect the ability to secure financing, refinancing, the issuing of IPOs and will take on increasing expensive debt capital. At the same time, market stimulation packages that carry benefits for the PV sector can be the potential light at the end of the tunnel along with market consolidation helping as well.

Endres also stated that the demand for PV will continue to rise since a guaranteed rate of return on a solar system will be appealing, in regards to lower returns for financial products, and renewable energy incentives sustaining demand. It is believed that these factors will be kept in check by limited customer purchasing power and investment ability, falling energy demand and prices and the drive for climate issues potentially being eclipsed by economic concerns.
 
For further information on the data, survey results and analyses that formed the basis for EuPD Research’s report please click here.

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