Solar cell manufacturers have sent word to module clients citing plans to hike prices by $0.01 each month, beginning February 2011. However, as new capacity is expected to come online this year, solar cell companies themselves have added that there was little chance of a price hike.
Italy and North American markets are bringing in more and more orders making solar cell spot prices up to $1.20-1.25 per watt. Sources believe that solar cell prices will only get back to acceptable levels in 2011, as more output on the supply side will help achieve a supply and demand equilibrium.
Solar cells are generally made from monocrystalline silicon wafer and are electrically connected and encapsulated as a module. Solar-specific feed in tariffs vary worldwide, and even state by state within various countries. Such feed-in tariffs can be highly effective in encouraging the development of solar power projects.
December 2010 and Jan 2011 saw solar cell prices hit a low and since then it has bounced back. Sources say that solar module companies are losing bargaining power to their upstream suppliers. Most solar companies feel that actual demand and pricing trends for 2011 will need to be re-thought after the Lunar New Year holidays.