Solar Module case

Topics: Solar cell, Photovoltaics, Photovoltaic module Pages: 3 (919 words) Published: May 5, 2014
Nanosolar Inc.
Case Study Analysis

Nanosolar is a start-up company and expects to be one of the first manufacturers to produce thin-film solar panels using copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) technology. Nanosolar is focused on selling a single type of thin-film Photovoltaic (PV) module called the “Nanosolar Utility Panel”. The utility panel is 50% less energy efficient than c-Si modules, but being 90% less expensive to produce.

Strategic Options: (1) Continue to invest in European and Asian markets. (2) Enter US Utilities and Commercial Market Immediately. (3) Launch an industrial scale pilot project in the US. And based on the results, decide whether to and when to enter the US Market (recommended).

Opportunities
The global PV market is expected to grow 50% annually over the next four years due to high Government renewable energy targets. By 2020, at least 1 in 5 watts generated must be from renewable sources in many European countries and the United States.  In order to meet such targets, substantial Government investment in PV cells is required. Nanosolar has a less expensive commodity product and is prepared to expand in the European market and potentially enter the large US market.

Risks
Feed-in tariffs in Europe resulting lower margin for PV investment in long term. Incentives policy of governments has still remained uncertain (China) or is changing (US, Spain) that could make projects unable to finance. Nanosolar may not be able to ramp up its production and meet the needs of contractually already committed partners as production method and efficiency still need to be improved. Continued oversupply of PV panels could leading to commoditization, and resulting prices below Nanosolar’s estimated prices related to cost per watt. Improving cost performance of competitors (incl. c-Si and Cdte business) could decrease possible market share of Nanosolar.

PV Market Analysis and Customer Selection Strategy
The global market for PV...
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