In Solar Energy Tough Love, I described the perverse impacts of government industrial policy on the solar energy sector in its vainglorious attempt to choose winners and losers. That policy is failing, Solyndra aside.
The market gods hate to be trifled with, and they respond with thunderbolts and torment. Solar’s pain will continue until grid parity is reached. In the meantime, the solar energy sector must purge itself of government subsidies and address its weak financial performance.
So when I read the story in the trade press about SunPower’s wider Q2 losses I decided to get beyond the numbers to look at some of the market factors tormenting the solar business and holding back its true potential.
One key fact is that solar energy demand is up, but so are input costs for solar panels.