Silicon Rises 1.1%; First Solar Attempts to Halve Costs by 2018

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First Solar, the world’s top photovoltaic solar panel manufacturer, said this week that it expects its average manufacturing cost to nearly halve – from an average $US0.63/watt in 2013, to $US0.35/W in 2018. That will bring the total installed cost of a module (including racking and inverters) from around $1.59/W to below $1/W by 2017. Costs of solar have been coming down rapidly for the last few years, but if First Solar can achieve its state ambition it could bring silicon PV costs in line with natural gas and other fossil fuels.

With a 1.1 percent increase over the past week, silicon was the biggest mover on the weekly Renewables MMI®. At CNY 204,000 ($32,921) per metric ton, the price of Chinese cobalt cathodes did not change since the previous week. Neodymium prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 430,000 ($69,392) per metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese steel plate closed flat at CNY 3,880 ($626.14) per metric ton.

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Prices for Japanese steel plate remained constant, closing the week at JPY 76,000 ($743.56) per metric ton. Korean steel plate prices held steady from the previous week at KRW 900,000 ($833.59) per metric ton. At CNY 3,880 ($626.14) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for Chinese steel plate. Prices for US steel plate remained constant, closing the week at $828.00 per short ton.

For the fifth day in a row, US grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) remained essentially flat at $3,043 per short ton.

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The Renewables MMI® collects and weights 8 metal price points used extensively within the renewable energy industry to provide a unique view into renewable energy metal price trends. For more information on the Renewables MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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