Why the Bifurcation of an Industry’s Supply and Demand is Bad for Everyone

Why the Bifurcation of an Industry’s Supply and Demand is Bad for Everyone

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina.  In the solar industry, strong markets are alike in that they have incentives, subsidies and/or mandates to drive growth and adoption but also a fair amount of political and economic risk and every weak or collapsing market is alike in that it no longer has incentives, subsidies and/or mandates to drive it and its political and/or economic risk has become a reality.

A weak market is the mirror image of a strong one that is, everything is seen in reverse. In solar, a leading market share receives more notice than the low-to-negative margins that go along with it. For example, solar lease etc., company Sunrun is being touted for passing SolarCity in terms of its market share even as it racks — pardon the pun — up losses. The company reported losses from operations of $130.7 million and net losses of $180.9 million for nine months of 2017.  True, the company lost less money than it did in 2016, however this should not be spun as a positive. 

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