Solar Demand is Certain and Growing

To attract capital and hire you first have to prove there is ample and growing demand for what you make.

Solar companies can do that easily. One reason why Google felt pretty good in putting $280 million into Solar City.

Italy has joined the rush of European countries anxious to replace future nuclear capacity with solar. The referendum which passed faced stiff opposition from President Silvio Berlusconi, who controls most of the country’s major media.

A new Pike Research report shows military spending on solar power will rise more than ten-fold over the next 20 years, with the U.S. the biggest buyer. Pike President Clint Wheelock believes these investments will bridge the gap between research and full production he calls the “valley of death.”

Market leaders Germany and China, which had once been expected to cut back purchases, are now spending more in their domestic markets. Like Italy, both are concerned about the possibilities of accidents at nuclear power plants, and arguments by nuclear advocates that, on average, nuclear energy is safer than other types of power are no longer being heeded.

There are markets that are refusing to grow. New Jersey, one of the largest U.S. state markets, is cutting back in its latest energy plan. The UK has decided to cut back on feed-in tariffs, with small projects now favored over large ones. In both cases budget deficits are cited as the reason for the drop in aid. In both cases the governments making these moves are unpopular.

Certainty of demand doesn’t guarantee a profit. Companies have to win contracts, scale production and produce at a profit. But it’s the first necessity in any market, and in solar power right now it’s certain.

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Dana Blankenhorn has covered business and technology since 1978. He covered the Houston oil boom of the 1970s, began making his living online in 1985, and launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of e-commerce, in 1994. He has written for a host of off-line and online publications including The Chicago Tribune, Advertising Age, and ZDNet. He has covered PCs, networks, telecommunications, cable technology, Internet commerce, the Internet of Things, Open Source and Health IT, He began covering alternative energy at his personal blog,, in 2007.

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