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Solar Shortages Looming With Boom in Worldwide Demand

First Solar, the world’s cheapest solar panel maker, is reporting that they cannot meet this years demand for solar panels, and three more major manufacturers; Suntech, Yingli and Trina are also signaling that they are sold out, according to Reuters.

This is a huge turnabout. It is only a year ago that solar panels flooded the global market, driving down the cost of solar installations worldwide, after Spain suddenly eased off on its generous Feed-in Tariff, leading to a worldwide solar panel glut and a resulting 40% drop in panel prices.


The benefits of that suddenly cheap solar has had a huge impact. California alone installed as much solar in the first three months as it did in all of last year, at least in part due to cheap panels.

But now it appears that prices might rise again, due to ricocheting demand.

First Solar is having to postpone projects in the United States to meet demand in Europe, supplying growing markets in France, Spain and Italy, as well as in China and Australia.

As we enter the Peak Oil years and start the very bumpy slide down the other side of Hubbert’s Peak, this kind of increased competition for all sources of energy is increasingly likely.

If you have been on the fence about getting your own solar, whether you’ve been procrastinating on buying solar, or just signing up for power by the kilowatt-hour –  it is clearly time to move fast before prices skyrocket… or lose out.

And when you do grab that forty-year supply of your own energy – don’t forget to include some additional electrons to charge that new electric vehicle that will keep you flying free on future freeways while others sputter along on the last drops of dangerous and dirty oil.

Solar estimators say for every 10,000 miles that you’ll drive annually, you should plan on including about 250 extra kilowatt-hours a month for charging an electric car. So, if you drive 5,000 miles annually, you’d need 125 kilowatt-hours a month to power that Volt, LEAF, TH!INK, or whatever, or about as much as to power a swimming pool pump.

Image: Flikr user amcoop

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Written By

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.


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