L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

21 August 2006 Blog Home : August 2006 : Permalink

Evil Price Gougers Harm Solar Power

Well not really, but the Inquirer reports that prices of solar cells are rising by up to 5%. This is due to shortages of polycrystalline silicon, the critical raw material:

According to the wire, prices of polycrystalline silicon have jumped by between 30 to 40 per cent in 2006 for two years in a row.

The shortage has been promptd by increased demand for PV cells - global production rose by 45 per cent in 2005

Obviously this is a plot by Bush, the Saudi government and the CEOs of BP, Exxon Mobil etc. to keep us using oil. The good news is that this plot is unlikely to succeed because price spikes caused by increases in demand tend to lead to increases in supply and, since the suppliers are the same sorts of people that supply silicon chips and other things that drop in price most of the time, it seems likely that a glut of polycrystalline silicon will show up in a year or two.

Of course the other reason why supplies of polycrystalline silicon are low is probably because of people like me buying cheap solar powered LED lights such as the one illustrated. DIY shops such as Castorama and Leroy Merlin have been offering these things for the last couple of summers and everyone seems to be buying them. They provide a nice bit of illumination for driveways and garden paths and are both idiot proof and sufficiently cheap that if they don't quite work you bin them and buy some others.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin