Thursday, August 27, 2009

Supply & Demand for Solar Panels

Here is a recent article from the NY Times illustrating supply and demand in action in the solar panel market.

Solar panel prices are falling because...

An increase in the number of firms manufacturing polysilicon has increased the supply of this input used in the production of solar panels.

Increased supply of polysilicon lowers the price of polysilicon (as the polysilicon supply curve shifts to the right).

This lower input cost causes the supply of solar panels to increase (shift to the right), which causes the price of solar panels to decrease.

This increase in supply of solar panels appears to be coupled with a decrease in demand for panels (we can assume that this is largely due to lower incomes and cash-strapped governments eliminating subsidy programs).

Result? Lower prices of panels and an increase in quantity demanded.

Sounds good so far. More solar power is a good thing, right? But, what else might happen if prices stay low into the long-run?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Peak Oil from the NYT

Here is the op-ed piece I referred to today in class.

Here is a short comment from Keith Johnson at the WSJ.

And another perspective here from United Press (and the back story).

Basic info about peak oil here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wecome ECN/EVS 330 Students!

Welcome to the natural resource economics blog.

This purpose of this blog is to allow for online discussion of natural resource econ news for students at UNC Wilmington and UWI Cave Hill.

I'll post links to news articles, questions for discussion and tips to relevant on-line material throughout the term. If you find an article that you think would make for interesting or timely discussion, please send it to me via email (schuhmannp - at- uncw - dot - edu). My goal is for us all to learn from each other.

Please feel free to browse and respond to older content on the blog. As far as class participation (your grade), I'll only be monitoring content from this week forward.

However, please do read this post from May: What do natural resource economists do?

See you in class,