August 6, 2005

SUNNY SIDE UP:

Shortages Stifle a Boom Time for the Solar Industry (CHRIS DIXON, 8/05/05, NY Times)

With a bill in California that aims to put solar power in half of new homes within 13 years, and with installation incentives in the federal energy legislation passed last week, the future of solar energy in the United States would seem all the brighter. But the future may have to wait, if only a little while.

American suppliers for the solar energy industry say that burgeoning demand both domestically and overseas, a weak dollar and shortages of raw material have created back orders of several months on electricity-generating photovoltaic, or PV, panels.

"For all the years I've been doing this," said Daryl Dejoy, owner of a solar installation company in Penobscot, Me., "I could get all the solar panels in the world and no customers. Now I have all the customers in the world and no product."


Posted by Orrin Judd at August 6, 2005 9:41 PM
Comments

At least there's no shortage of raw material. Solar panels are made of silicon -- sand.

Posted by: Gideon at August 7, 2005 1:42 PM

But it's the impurities in that sand which matter (selenium, germanium, gallium, arsenic, etc.) and those have to be in the exact places and proportions.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 7, 2005 3:17 PM

The environmental issues associated with the by-products of making solar panels dwarfs the problems from most other 'heavy' industry.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 7, 2005 7:18 PM
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