Since the “silicon shortage” began two years ago in the solar industry, it had the following financial impact:
– Silicon refiners made more money as the industry grew
– Solar module manufacturers raised their prices and made more money as the industry grew
– Designers/Integrators (like Akeena Solar, etc.) made more money as the industry grew
– Customers (business and commercial) purchased more solar because their electric rates and environmental concerns escalated
– Incentives in key states (CA and NJ) were reduced (generating more installed kw per dollar of incentive) as the industry grew
Everyone has benefitted throughout the value chain. Yes, customers paid a bit more….and I would rather see prices declining rather than staying the same or even increasing. But it is a misconception that this shortage was entirely a bad thing.
Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to the day when prices throughout the value chain begin to decline again.