Solar

Off and running at Intersolar North America

Oliver Janssen, CEO of eIQ Energy, blogs from this week’s Intersolar North America. Day 1: Real customers, real shortages, and project uncertainty later this year.

by Oliver Janssen, CEO, eIQ EnergyClick to Enlarge

July 13, 2010 – Intersolar North America 2010 is underway, and the single best word to describe it is “momentum.” The show is mobbed, and there’s a huge concentration of real customers — a refreshing difference from other industry conferences, where customers don’t always show up. It’s really a great environment if you’re supplying into the PV value chain.

If you’re a buyer of PV systems, however, you might be facing some concerns. I’ve spent a good bit of time today with module and inverter companies, and I’m hearing about real shortages in both areas, despite big capacity increases by module makers. Some customers are reportedly still on allocation.

At first blush, it sounds similar to the pattern that emerged last year, with significantly higher demand in the second half over the first. It looks like there is going to be some uncertainty around projects scheduled for 3Q and 4Q, based on availability and, inevitably, pricing, which seems to be trending upward now.

It’s likely that prices will go down again in 1Q11 as supply and demand come back into balance, but if you’re trying to get a project in this year and you’re buying your modules and inverters on the open market, you’re exposed.

It all points to ongoing seesaw between supply and demand in this market sector.

That’s it for now – more to come tomorrow!