Troubled solar manufacturers look to second half of 2012According to a report recently released by Solarbuzz, the leading factors that influence the solar industry supply and demand - module production and market demand - are predicted to come within 8 percent of the second half market demand of 17.2 gigawatts.

Burdened by an oversupply of product, the market for solar panels and other components has favored buyers in the past 18 months. As U.S. manufacturers have struggled to remain competitive in the face of cheap product from China, the U.S. Department of Commerce recently instituted anti-dumping tariffs. However, with consumer demand surging globally, some manufacturers are hopeful entering the second half of the year.

"The solar industry has been suffering from a significant imbalance between supply and demand for over 18 months, causing severe price erosion and reducing corporate margins," said Michael Barker, analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. "However, confidence in strong market demand during second-half 2012, together with prudent capacity utilization, will provide solar market leaders with increased visibility ahead of 2013 strategic planning."

Demand for solar energy globally is expected to exceed 30 gigawatts in 2012, which is an 8 percent increase year-over-year, according to Solarbuzz. Still, supply may outstrip demand for solar panels through 2015, according to a report in Forbes.
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