Tuesday, November 24, 2009

WSJ says US solar firms discovering retail

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, a number of solar firms are trying to set up networks of installers around the country. For those of us campaigning for feed-in tariffs in the US, this news comes as a bit of a surprise -- though if you check the companies mentioned in the article, you will see that some prominent names are missing, and it is those companies that have opposed feed-in tariffs openly in the US.

Since feed-in tariffs are obviously the policy of choice for solar, we FIT campaigners have been left wondering why a number of solar firms refused to support the idea. The notion has been tossed about that these firms do not want to sell directly to the little guys, but instead focus on large utility-scale arrays. But I have never understood that line of thinking -- in the case mentioned in the WSJ, the firms would essentially be selling to groups that could more or less act as wholesalers. And as the article states, this market segment actually has a wider profit margin than the large utility stuff, so you do get paid for the extra administrative work.

Any ideas on what is going on would be greatly appreciated. Are we witnessing a gradual change of heart? If so, we might be able to get our foot in the door with FITs.

No comments:

Post a Comment