For the solar industry, the timing couldn’t be worse. Renewable energy finally has a champion in the White House and ambitious climate goals have been announced across Europe and Asia.
At the center of the crisis is polysilicon, an ultra-refined form of silicon, one of the most abundant materials on Earth that’s commonly found in beach sand. As the solar industry geared up to meet an expected surge in demand for modules, makers of polysilicon were unable to keep up. Prices for the purified metalloid have touched $25.88 a kilogram, from $6.19 less than a year ago, according to PVInsights.
Polysilicon prices are expected to remain strong through the end of 2022, according to Roth Capital Partners analysts including Philip Shen.
And the problem isn’t limited to polysilicon. The solar industry is facing “pervasive upstream supply-chain cost challenges,” panel manufacturer Maxeon Solar Technologies Ltd. said in April.
This is just one more sector facing medium-term supply disruption. The clear conclusion is when we look around the world there is too much money chasing too many goods and services. The big question is how long will it take for this inflationary bias to become anchored in the minds of consumers?
Meanwhile the Solar ETF steadied last week but will need to extend the rebound to break the short-term downward bias.Back to top