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As the solar industry is hitting its stride with more efficient technologies, lower manufacturing costs, and innovative business models, experts are beginning to examine the need for government subsidies. According to a report done by Lux Research1, new installations rise to 38.3 GW in 2017 as the industry learns to navigate a market fast losing its subsidies” while a report by McKinsey predicts that the residential distributed generation and commercial PV markets will reach “a tipping point in 2014 or 2016 that could enable unsubsidized demand for solar PV to grow to between 200 and 700 GW by 2020”. Still, the amount of financing needed without subsidies is daunting: a report published by Mintz Levin in 2010, predicted that between $4.1 B and $6.6 B of financing would need to by shouldered by tax, debt and direct equity if the cash grant expires (for wind, solar, geothermal, other, with solar traditionally around 7% of the funds awarded).
Both reports predict a brief slump in 2012 as dropping panel prices, the slow economic recovery and low natural gas prices provide for challenging project economics. In this meeting, we provide an outlook on the solar industry’s path to subsidy independence, examining how the impending slump as it adjusts to decreasing subsidies and oversupply will, abetted by falling panel prices and growth in emerging markets, turn into sustained and impressive growth.
In this meeting, we provide an outlook on the solar industry’s path to subsidy independence, examining how the impending slump as it adjusts to decreasing subsidies and oversupply will, abetted by falling panel prices and growth in emerging markets, turn into sustained and impressive growth.
Henry Labalme, Tioga Energy, Director of East Coast Operations
Kerri Fox, BBVA Securities, Head of Structured Finance North America
Bruno Mejean, SunEdison, Managing Director, International Business Development & Project Finance
Kwon Chung, Soltage, Vice President, Finance
Matthew Baird, BNB Renewables, Principal
1 Lux Research, Wilton Arellano, Ed Cahill, Matthew Feinstein “Market Size Update 2012: The Push to a Post-Subsidy Solar Industry”, Lux Research, March 2012
2 McKinsey, “Solar Power: Darkest Before Dawn”, April 2012
3 Mintz Levin, “Renewable Energy Project Finance in the U.S.: 2010-2013 Overview and Future Outlook”, January 2012
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