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  • "nanofrogfish_spf" started this thread

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Friday, November 16th 2012, 5:36am

Are solar panels really a Commodity Item?

I've never really fully bought into the "panels are just a commodity product" perception that is repeated often in the news media. It did seem like they were, based on the $/W seemingly the only thing that mattered. However, my thoughts always can something that is supposed to perform well for over 25 years, and sits outside the entire time, be considered a commodity item, since quality materials and workmanship truly do matter? It's not like some computer chip sitting in some computer that needs to last about 5-years.

So now it looks like the quality, workmanship and bankability are starting to get some real attention.;…made-pv-modules

CEO Qu from CSIQ has made it a point the last several conference calls, and especially this last one, on how quality and bankability are becoming much more important in the decision making process, and they are picking up market share because of it. I'm sure the other top Tier-1's are saying the same thing. Qu had a comment way back when something like "they go for low cost at first, but after those first projects they then decide they want something that works"

It will be interesting to see going forward on how much certifications of quality assurance and bankability plays in the top Tier companies gaining market share from the lower tier/quality players.

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