Solar Power Eating Away at the Silver Supply
Solar Power Eating Away at the Silver Supply by Rory, The Daily Coin As we have been reporting since June 2015 solar power, especially in the East, is truly coming into it’s own. Solar panels are more efficient than ever and will probably continue to get better and better as the technology continues to mature. In June 2015 Jeff Brown, author, friend and colleague,who operates China Rising and has been the eyes and ears of China for The Daily Coin for close to two years, reported in great detail the solar program initiated by China in 2014. At the time of the interview – listen here – Jeff explained China was not only using every ounce of silver they mined but had begun importing millions of ounces of dore’ silver bars as well as silver concentrates!! Silver concentrates are basically silver ore that comes right out of the ground!! That’s a lot of silver and an enormous amount of silver production. Just this morning we learn how this impacting silver and the solar industry on a global scale. When you are the size of China, every thing you do impacts someone or something else.
China alone installed 7.1 gigawatts of new PV capacity in the first quarter of 2016 according to the country’s National Energy Association. Matching 40% of last year’s record solar installations in China, and with energy capacity equivalent to 8 of the country’s 30 nuclear power stations currently in operation, that equals 12% of 2015’s record PV addition around the globe.At this pace, the world’s second-largest economy would account for half of 2016’s total projected solar-panel installations. [Source]
The above represents China’s portion, China has stated they will bring online 100 gigawatts of solar power (enough to power 300 MILLION Chinese homes – approximately 100 MILLION U.S. homes) by 2020. Currently, they are well ahead of this goal. What about the rest of the world? It seems that every where in the East you find giant solar programs to improve the quality of life, diversify energy sources and provide a sense of independence for the people benefiting from this renewable, clean energy.
The impact this is having on silver is off the chart! The stress and strain on the investment demand is only going to grow. As Keith Neumeyer, CEO,First Majestic, recently pointed out – listen here – his company was approached by a large electronics manufacturer to acquire silver directly from the source. If you think the stress on the silver mining production is going to ease up any time soon, please re-read that last statement.
Silver paste is used in 90% of the world’s most common solar panels(crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells) according to mining and trade representatives The Silver Institute in Washington, DC. […] Solar-sector silver demand “could well exceed 2,600 tonnes,” say precious metal analysts Metals Focus, “accounting for around 17% of global industrial offtake” in 2016. [Source]
As investment demand continues to grow, industrial demand continues to grow and mining production by all indications is beginning to slowdown – where will silver be directed? Will it continue to be used for investment purposes or will it “nationalized” on a global scale and used strictly for industrial purposes? Only time will answer that question, but while we can we should acquire as much physical silver as humanly possible as there will come a day when mining supply is greatly reduced from today’s production levels. There is only so much in the ground and there have been no significant new mines discovered in a great many years. The mines in operation today will run dry and these mines fall offline and smaller, less productive mines come online that’s when it will get really interesting. Got Physical?