(ADPnews) - Apr 15, 2011 - A solid demand for solar power in Europe and China together with forecasts that the sector's popularity will grow after the quake in Japan have led to a jump in the prices of rare-earth metals used for making photovoltaic (PV) products.
Japanese daily Nikkei reports that there is a rapid increase in the prices of indium, gallium and selenide, which are the major components of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin-film solar cells. The price of indium has grown by 26% from last December to USD 710 (EUR 493) per kilogramme, the highest since the autumn of 2007. The prices of gallium and selenide have also already grown by a half on end-2010.
Japan is currently struggling with a nuclear crisis, a result of the devastating earthquake from March 11. Many analysts project that investments in nuclear power will decline at least in the short term, bolstering spending on renewable energy both in Japan and worldwide.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.695)