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Milton Financials: Increased demand from the solar energy sector sees silver shine.
The advent of the renewable energy revolution is creating major demand for silver in a sector that is bound to undergo massive growth in the long term.
“Solar panels will probably be one of the leading industrial uses,” Jessica Cross, CEO of VM Group told Milton Financials.
Phillip Newman, research director of GFMS recently said that the use of photovoltaic technology has really “taken off” in the last five years, aided by government subsidies.
“The growth in demand did not primarily come about because of technological developments,”
In the end, the amount of silver used will hinge on growth that emerges in the PV solar market. This will depend on both future government subsidies and technological breakthroughs that are able to lower the cost of solar power, Erica Rannestad, a commodities analyst with CPM Group told Milton Financials sources. Prices for a typical PV module dropped by around 40% in 2009 from mid-2008, according to recent data from the trade group Solar Energy Industries Association.
Rannestad went on to say that popular incentive schemes such as the “feed in tariff” scheme where electrical grid operators pay producers of renewable energy long term fixed prices for energy, have so far aided in the growth of silver demand. She said that any government policy requiring an increase in renewable energy would be likely to boost demand for solar cells. Europe, for example, is currently committed to reaching a target of 20% of renewable energy out of total consumption by 2020 compared to about 10% in 2008.
“I expect new installations of solar panels to continue to rise on an annual basis,” Rannestad told Milton Financials sources.
Globally solar-panel installations during 2009 translated into 7.2 gigawatts of new electricity capacity, while the latest industry estimates suggest that newly installed capacity for 2010 will more than double to 16.5 gigawatts.
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