Growth of silver use in solar panels

benjamen

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Industrial uses of silver growing/shrinking by category with a focus on solar panel uses:
http://seekingalpha.com/article/3211926-silver-and-solar-panels

"...the growth of the silver matches the growth of the solar panel industry. The solar industry has experienced an average sixty-five percent compound annual growth rate for the past five years - that is just stunning."

"...silver demand has increased from basically zero troy ounces a decade and a half ago to over sixty million troy ounces now."

:popcorn:
 

11C1P

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Very interesting. I imagine their will also a be a fair amount of silver being recycled in new ways too, like the upgrading of silver panels which seem to get more efficient every few year, and electronics, especially from things like cell phones. It seems like I've been hearing this ever increasing demand was supposed to drive silver up to crazy high prices for for well over a decade now, and while the price has gone up from 10 years ago, I don't thing I'd call it crazy high, especially when compared to gold. Since I am still more than happy to keep stacking while it's at these levels, I won't complain if it goes over $50 or even 100/ozt + in the near future.
 

Unobtanium

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Very interesting. I imagine their will also a be a fair amount of silver being recycled in new ways too, like the upgrading of silver panels which seem to get more efficient every few year, and electronics, especially from things like cell phones. It seems like I've been hearing this ever increasing demand was supposed to drive silver up to crazy high prices for for well over a decade now, and while the price has gone up from 10 years ago, I don't thing I'd call it crazy high, especially when compared to gold. Since I am still more than happy to keep stacking while it's at these levels, I won't complain if it goes over $50 or even 100/ozt + in the near future.
11C1P, it seems I recall reading some of those same articles, and even posting one here some time back. But when we put the solar panel market silver demand in perspective with the entire silver market, then we can see why solar demand has not been a huge driver in the price of silver, at least so far.

Roughly 10 years ago, the yearly global supply of silver was about 800 million oz per year. Now it is about 1 billion oz per year. This is about 200 million oz per year increase over the last decade.

A decade ago, the solar panel silver demand was nearly nonexistant. From the OP's article, the recent solar panel silver demand has been in the 50-70 million oz/year, which is quite a bit less than the amount that silver supply has increased over the last decade. So silver supply has outpaced the increase in solar panel silver demand.

So global yearly silver production has gone up by about 25% over the last decade. And while the yearly silver demand for solar panels has skyrocketed over the past decade, it still only represents about 5% of the total market.

Solar panel silver demand has leveled off to the 60 million oz/year over the past 2-3 years, which remains only a small portion of the total yearly silver supply. Unless the solar demand for silver skyrockets again into the 100's of million oz/year, then solar is likely not going to have a strong influence on the silver price.

Along those same lines, whenever we hear that the US Mint hit another record of Silver Eagle sales, those sales still remain a fairly small portion of the total silver market. For example, Silver Eagle sales were about 5-10 million per year for a couple decades, and then over the past several years SE sales have jumped to the 30-40 million per year. So there was an increase of about 20-30 million SE per year for the past several years, but this represents only about 2-3% of the global yearly silver production.

The TOTAL investment demand for silver coins AND bars has increased from about 50 million oz per year to about 200 million oz per year over that past several years. This is an increase of about 15% of total yearly global output. Now add this to the increase in demand for solar panels and you are starting to put a dent in the yearly global supply.

With the global silver supply remaining roughly flat at about 1 billion oz per year over the past five years, it SEEMS that that something is getting close to breaking if the total investment plus solar panel demand keeps increasing. But I don't think we are there yet, or if we are, it continues to be masked by the practice of naked short selling in the paper silver market.

Nonetheless, let's keep doing our small part by buying physical silver. :)
 
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