According to a recent report by Global Sources, 67 percent of solar panel manufacturers in China will raise export prices in 2007, due to increasing costs of solar cells.
“Solar cell prices, which have increased by about $0.30 per watt in the past two years, are expected to rise further, driving the cost of solar panels higher,” said Global Sources general manager of Content Development, Michael Kleist.
Higher raw material costs were cited as a key concern by 56 percent of solar panel manufacturers in the study, followed by price competition by 20 percent, design copying/piracy by 14 percent and power and labor shortages by 10 percent.
“In order to increase profit margins, many manufacturers say they plan to increase capacity to gain economies of scale,” said Kleist.
Of the manufacturers surveyed, 22 percent will increase capacity by over 50 percent, 20 percent anticipate increases between 20 and 50 percent, 50 percent anticipate increases up to 20 percent and 8 percent will maintain current capacity.
“One bright spot for China’s exporters is the EU,” said Kleist. “Due to favorable legislation, which includes financial incentives encouraging the use of renewable energy, many manufacturers are targeting exports to this market.”
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