Will Solar Panels be the Saviour For Silver Prices?

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Will Solar Panels be the Saviour For Silver Prices?

Today is Monday 19th March 2018 and we are asking the question are Solar Panels the likely saviour for Silver prices?

Simona Gambarini, commodities economist at Capital Economics, said that her firm is maintaining its bearish forecast on silver, looking for the price to end the year at $15.50 some 70 cents lower than the price it is today.

Her rationale for this is that she believes that the Industrial demand for silver will not be as bright as many forecast and that the solar power sector, often cited as the saviour of silver is not as strong as many believe.

She says:

“We think that silver will eventually be displaced by cheaper metals…….. Silver is still one of the most expensive components in a solar panel, accounting for 10-15% of the total cost. What’s more, its price volatility has exposed manufacturers to huge fluctuations in their bottom line.”

She believes that companies will use the cheaper metal aluminium or aluminum and copper where it can, meaning that silver’s role in solar panels, although present, will diminish over time despite, the fact that solar capacity is expected to rise from an average of 39GW created between 2010 and 2016 to 74 GW in the next 10 years.

She adds

“Overall, we expect demand for silver in solar applications to continue to increase over the next few years, but …. further down the line, we think that there is a risk that silver usage in the solar industry will be completely displaced by cheaper metals, such as aluminum or copper.”

The Silver Institute contradicts this in its report in mid-January, stating that silver demand in photovoltaic cells could hit a record after the sector consumed 92 million ounces of the precious metal in 2017.

Our view is that Simona could be right in terms of solar panels; however she is neglecting to a large extent the potential rise in electric cars requiring silver and also other new technological products currently being introduced. Of course, Industry will use cheaper alternatives where it can, and this will to some extent put a cap on silver prices, however as we all know silver is also seen as a precious metal substituting for money along with gold, and over the next 10 years it is almost inconceivable that there will be no financial crisis during this time.

We shall be watching very closely the solar panel figures and observe whether the Silver Institute or Capital Economics are the more accurate in their predictions.

What do you think? We’d be interested to hear.

Please view our recent videos:

Gold and Silver weekly Update – w/e 16th March 2018
https://youtu.be/J0cNnC8ZGJU

The case for $600 Gold – unlikely but Interesting.
https://youtu.be/QGUZA63dHSA

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