Solar Module case Essay

909 Words Apr 25th, 2014 4 Pages
Nanosolar Inc.
Case Study Analysis

Nanosolar is a start-up company and expects to be one of the first manufacturers to produce thin-film solar panels using copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) technology. Nanosolar is focused on selling a single type of thin-film Photovoltaic (PV) module called the “Nanosolar Utility Panel”. The utility panel is 50% less energy efficient than c-Si modules, but being 90% less expensive to produce.

Strategic Options: (1) Continue to invest in European and Asian markets. (2)
Enter US Utilities and Commercial Market Immediately. (3) Launch an industrial scale pilot project in the US. And based on the results, decide whether to and when to enter the US Market (recommended).

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In Europe the important approach point is system integrators who make the panel selection decision.
Government support is less predictable in the US than Europe because of overlapping state and federal programs, and regulation. The US had no feed in tariff system, but several private and public utilities are bound by varying state regulations, but the investment required was often costly (case, page 10). In some states (eg. California) the PV market is highly competitive due to generous incentives and a lower risk of regulatory change, therefore product differentiation and a strong and focused sales force is required to approach industrial and commercial customers.

Pricing Strategy
Nanosolar’s strategy of pricing its products is directly below its top competitor First Solar for sales to the European Utilities markets. Considering entrance into the US market, change of regulatory framework is risking low end prices. The high end prices are defined by First Solar (by 2012 production cost targets of $0.65/watt (exhibit 10a). First Solar also has the advantage of increased capacity from its Malaysian facilities.

Strategic Recommendation for Nanosolar CEO
By continuing to focus on and strengthen its presence in Europe, Nanosolar should preparing for a battle against lower labor cost Asian competitors (China) or build

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