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Silver is an important component used in photovoltaic technology to generate solar power. This demand could be as much as 50 million ounces, which would be some 10% of industrial demand.

19 Oct 2012

NEW YORK (Commodity Online): Silver demand may be curbed by a reduction in demand from the solar panel industry, said HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC) in a commodity research note.

HSBC analysts cite a report in the Financial Times suggesting there is a global oversupply of solar panel production capacity, with an official with China’s National Development and Reform Commission suggesting much of the world’s global solar-panel manufacturing capacity may cease operations due to slower demand growth.

The official listed the credit-fueled expansion in Chinese solar capacity as a reason for China’s overcapacity of solar panel production, with bailouts of solar companies by local governments intensifying the overcapacity.

“Silver is an important component used in photovoltaic technology to generate solar power. This demand could be as much as 50 million ounces, which would be some 10% of industrial demand,” the British bank noted.

"We have stated in previous reports that silver demand for photovoltaic panels is declining in two other major solar panel-producing countries, the U.S. and Germany, due partly to cutbacks in government funding. More than half of silver’s demand comes from the industrial and decorative segments,” they concluded.


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