Solar: Have We Hit the Bottom in Demand?

Has solar demand–and the slide in solar shares–finally hit bottom?

The solar analysts at Merrill Lynch think so. In a piece authored by analysts Lu Yeung, Vincent Chow, Matthew Yates and Steve Millunovich, Merrill this morning asserts that “improving second derivative trends” suggest the industry is headed for a cyclical bottom.

The Merrill analysts assert that, while there is not likely to be a recovery in demand until early 2010, Q4 2008 and Q1 2009 “will mark the shipment bottom,” with modest sequential increases in subsequent quarters. “Our research suggests that some Asian vendors may forecast flat-to-rising shipments, suggesting inventory is peaking and depletion is underway, thanks to swift production cutbacks, signs of easing in solar project financing and solar ASP declines,” they write.

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