A short while ago we interviewed about 20 utility- and commercial-scale solar developers and integrators in the U.S. and Europe and found little relationship between developers’ willingness to consider modules and the manufacturer’s home country. In fact, Suntech, a Chinese company, was #1 in consideration rate. Interviewees also generally saw solar panels as commodities, and we found that the distribution of returns in this industry is similar to commodity industries.
While there may be a few ways firms can differentiate themselves, these are likely to make a marginal difference and are best suited to firms with a particular (narrow) niche. Therefore, we conclude that driving down cost is the most important predictor of success.
Download our findings and recommendations here.