Andreas Thorsheim, CEO of Norwegian residential solar specialist Otovo, spoke recently pv magazine due to the high inventory level of solar modules in Europe and the drop in panel prices. He said there will be a strong buyer’s market this fall, noting that the latest boat modules are the cheapest.
“Modules are always sold and installation companies are usually resourceful about getting rid of equipment,” he added. “But of course, if you hoard equipment purchased in the first half of 2023 until the end of summer at the same time as module and inverter prices fall, the risk increases… My view is that residential, commercial and government buyers can expect the lowest wattage prices since before the pandemic and energy crises. This fall will be a strong buyer’s market.”
Thorsheim said consumers are a little more on the fence.
“But I’m not sure it makes sense,” he said. “As always in solar energy, those who wait are the ones who lose. The decentralized value chain will always get some price signals a little wrong and sometimes oversupply or undersupply. But then again, that’s only natural when it’s moving at these crazy speeds, and over time it’s one of the factors that will make solar even more competitive compared to conventional energy generation.”
He pointed out that Otovo generally has a “zero inventory strategy”.
“During the 2021-22 energy crisis, we made strategic acquisitions to remove the worst bottlenecks, but fortunately we have reached them,” he said. “At the end of the second quarter, we had less than 300,000 euros in stock with an annual turnover of 200 million euros. Our view is that costs are coming down in overhead, equipment and installation, and we’re at the forefront of those costs without working capital or inventory.”
“The drop in prices at the consumer end of the market, as seen on the Otovo platform, is monotonous and downward and uniform throughout Europe. Norway is down, France is down, the UK is down, Italy is down… I could go on and on,” he stated. “The latest modules from the boat are the cheapest. Of course you should get those new panels.”