A debate emerges: are solar panels a commodity yet?


Gigaom

Solar factories around the world are rolling out over a billion solar panels each year and the price of solar panels is at one of the lowest points in history. So naturally the term “commodity” is being used to describe them, meaning they’re now a product that can be mass-produced and are mostly undifferentiated. But is that description correct at this point in the solar life cycle and, if not, what does that mean for services that have been built on top of solar becoming a commodity (like banks investing in low-risk solar projects)?

“(Solar) modules are not a commodity. We have seen a lot of problems — but we have a lot of modules that perform great, too,” said Brian Matthay, vice president in Well Fargo’s environmental finance group, during a panel discussion at Greentech Media’s solar conference just south of San Francisco this week. “You need to negotiate…

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