Solar Market: From Gloom to Boom

I remembered the rather depressed mood at Intersolar in San Francisco a year ago, when manufacturers and project developers were scrambling to cope with the recession and the big cutback in government subsidies in Spain. Some companies posted losses and reduced production. Many renegotiated contracts with silicon and other suppliers. LDK Solar, a silicon wafer maker in  China, posted negative 90% gross margin.

We all know by now that the gloom lifted when Germany went on overdrive to install solar power projects ahead of an anticipated cut in its government incentives. Before we knew it, the country had added several gigawatts in 2009 and shattered expectations.

Today, IMS Research reports that solar panel shipment in the second quarter reached 3.7 gigawatts, generating $7.1 billion in revenue. You can read more about the data in my DailyFinance story today.

You can expect a lot more talks about market forecasts, product launches and partnerships at Intersolar in San Francisco this week. I’ll be there, so stay tuned for posts about major players and startup companies vying for attention from customers, investors and the media.

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