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Topic: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand

by Anonymous 17 Apr 09, 135 replies : Last Post Sort by:
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3840 posts
Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 17 Apr 09 6:23 PM
I recently asked a question on another web sites forum.
Are we being ripped off in New Zeland for Solar Panels?
I went as far as quoteing our local per watt price.
Current average is around $11.00nzd to $8.82nzd per watt.
Based on 36, 50 and 72 cell panels greater than 130watts.

The reply I received surprised me.

$4.00usd to $2.50usd per watt.
Wow it answered my question, yes we are still being ripped on in New Zealand!

I ask openly and honestly to local suppliers in New Zealand, why are you asking and chargeing so much for PV's locally?


3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 17 Apr 09 9:17 PM
Why because the price is always what the market will bare. With such a small market here in NZ the retail cost has no relation to the import cost or overseas prices. If people are willing to pay high prices then the costs will never drop. If everyone stops purchasing solar PV for 12 months then we may see the retail costs drop to realistic levels.

3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 17 Apr 09 9:53 PM
So if someone was to bring in a container or three of cheap panels, retail these for under $5.00nzd per watt and flood the market this would instantly lower the panel price.

I guess those that were left with stocks panels and asking higher prices would be left with dead stock?

3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 18 Apr 09 10:52 AM
NZ has too many middlemen taking their cut. eg BDT imports mitsubishi PV panels and distributes to outlets around NZ before finally retailing to end users. With standard business markups at each point in the chain of 30 to 60% its no wonder the NZ cost is astronomical. Small markets and a lack of competition will always disadvantage the end user.

3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 18 Apr 09 11:39 AM
Current online retail prices in the USA are USA$4.74 per watt, factory direct gate prices are typically 50 to 70% lower than this. One can conclude wholesale prices are half this again.

Yes we are being ripped off here in NZ, but you will need deep pockets to import several containers from the factory, to sell direct here in NZ.

Mike S

3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 19 Apr 09 8:57 PM
Here is a good example of what panels cost in the USA near $3 per watt
http://sunelec.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=30

Its probably cost effective to import direct in a container than purchase from NZ suppliers

3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 19 Apr 09 11:22 PM
Now I like the thinking and were starting to get somewhere.
The cheapest here appears to be $2.48usd per watt ($4.37nzd)
Add to this the cost of freight it will bring the cost up to $2.65usd per watt ($4.67nzd)
Freight allowance L.C.L is $1000usd west coast usa to Auckland, divided over 28 panels.
Not bad at all.
Now comes customs & duty, maf and GST on top, hell it's still cheaper to import them!

At these prices you can get two for the cost of one here in NZ, or wear your own warranty, hell the savings alone are worth it!

The cheapest panels I've found in NZ currently is $8.25 per watt. Frankly it just makes no sense to buy them locally and get absolutely rogered and ripped off!

I've got a lead on panels under $2.00usd per watt and following this through at present.
There must be a factory in China or an importer ex China that can beat the above price.
Freight alone is cheaper, so are the panels.


3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 20 Apr 09 9:39 AM
The solar industry is in a bit of a free fall at the moment. Current subsidy changes in European markets and a lack of capital to fund large projects has put a glut of excess solar modules on the market. So far, several hundred chinese solar manufacturers have gone out of business or are very close to bankruptcy as they are forced to sell stock at or below cost. Some companies are so desperate to move stock they are selling modules at the prices referenced above.

This is good and bad news for the consumer. The price decreases are great news. The peace of mind on your 25 year warranty however relies on your confidence in the manufacturers ability to stick around for the long term.

The best place to research pricing overseas is http://www.solarbuzz.com/Moduleprices.htm. Solarbuzz is one of the industries best sources for market information.

The current AVERAGE retail price for PV modules in the states is $4.74 USD per Watt ($9.35 NZD inc GST). This is comparable to what you would get in NZ if you purchased a single module.

If you are looking at purchasing a full pallet of modules you should get a much better price from some local suppliers. You will also get support for your 25 year warranty, local stock for replacement if required, the ability to inspect before you buy, and less hassles on logistics.

You are correct that some will suffer from the problem that their are too many in the chain and the pricing may not be favorable. There are however at least 4 different companies including ourselves that purchase containers of solar modules directly from the manufacturer and import them into NZ. It does take some time for cheaper prices to filter through especially with the long transit times for sea freight to NZ and current stock to move.

Cheers, Shane
www.powersmartsolar.com

3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 20 Apr 09 5:32 PM
Shane
Although I appreciate your honesty, industry experience and valuable input, with all due respect I think your point of view is some what floored.

As I am sure you are aware there has been and are a number of influencing factors that have contributed to falling panel prices at a global level, not just limiting this to demand and manufacturing costs.

An example is raw material costs.....
“Global polysilicon price 2008 $400 per kilogram and now 2009 $40 per kilogram”
source: http://www.businessgreen.com/business-green/news/2236953/solar-panel-prices-fall-per

You've mentioned $9.35(nzd) incl gst per watt, if this is your retail price then I applaud you for this price as I know this to be under most re-sellers in New Zealand.
There are other NZ solar re-sellers of 180watt panels for $8.89(nzd) incl gst per watt.

As I've pointed out these are not the cheapest local panels at present, but given the fact you are in the solar business and not a wholesale business, I would far sooner support the likes of yourself any day!

My issue is with prices we pay here in New Zealand, local re-sellers are asking far far too much for product.

You feel that our local prices are on par or are comparative with over seas prices?
Dollars listed below are USD.

The lowest retail price for a multicrystalline silicon solar module is $3.41 per watt (€2.59 per watt) from a German retailer. The lowest retail price for a monocrystalline silicon module is $3.35 per watt (€2.55 per watt), also from a German retailer.
Source: http://www.solarbuzz.com/Moduleprices.htm

It is also noted that the above price is for the retail purchase of a single panel and not a bulk purchase. Given the above that would be $6.01nzd per watt.
As you can see still over 30% cheaper off shore.

My original post was why do re-sellers in NZ charge so much?
Let me clairfy with some data.
In twelve months the panel price has fallen dramatically at a global market level, this we know, yet here in NZ our prices have not!

I've been monitoring the panel prices for over twelve months.
Lets take a look at two common re-sellers here in NZ on trademe.
Re-seller No.1
Early 08 price for a 120watt panel, was selling for $11.25 per watt, price today for the same panel, $11.60 per watt.
Re-seller No.2
Early 08 price for 60watt panel, was selling for $9.17 per watt, price today for the same panel, $12.08 per watt.

Lets look at two common retail re-sellers here in NZ.
Retailer No. 1
Early 08 price for a 175watt panel was selling for $9.59 per watt, price today for the same panel, $11.99 per watt.
Retailer No. 2
Early 08 price for 100watt panel was selling for $8.29 per watt, price today for the same panel, $11.99 per watt.

If the local market wants any support then there has to be some change right?

Why are we charged so much for panels here in NZ?

I asked openly and honestly, I am not trying to be a smart arse, nor am I trying to embarrass re-sellers.

I would much prefer to support our local market and solar industry re-sellers, but I compare International prices to NZ's prices and ask why should I?

This aside, given the cost and hassell to import panels into New Zealand it still makes sense to import rather than support local solar re-sellers / dealers.

3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 20 Apr 09 9:31 PM
"It does take some time for cheaper prices to filter through especially with the long transit times for sea freight to NZ and current stock to move."

Hmm. then why have NZ prices been increasing over the past 12 months, seems some business are being greedy. I would suggest if the prices don't come down to global market levels then people will just go off shore, the greedy ones will go to the wall with zero sales.

Bring your prices down and you may move more stock, there is a market in NZ, but its being stifled.

Mike S

31 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 21 Apr 09 10:09 AM
We work direct with high quality manufacturers and can offer pricing competitive to what you will see overseas. Call us to price an order.

Cheers, Shane
www.powersmartsolar.com
09-889-0500

3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 21 Apr 09 5:10 PM
the key reason that prices have increased over the last 12 months has been the exchange rate from mid to late 70cents to early to mid 50 cents US/NZ dollars, and the price per watt of solar hasnt come down much in that time, as everything is imported in USD, however if you buy bulk in NZ you can get some great prices, and prices in NZ are often cheaper than in Australia

3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 21 Apr 09 10:08 PM
Agreed the exchange rate has been less favorable, however at this point in time the NZ prices are way out of sync with overseas components.


3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 22 Apr 09 10:02 AM
“the key reason that prices have increased over the last 12 months has been the exchange rate from mid to late 70cents to early to mid 50 cents US/NZ dollars”
I thought this may pop up, however after working the numbers myself, I could not see any correlation between the two.
If you can then I'm all ears, or in this case eyes (please post)

Shane cheers and thank you for the “ You can offer pricing competitive to what you will see overseas” comment, I will be in touch in the not too distant future.

3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 24 Apr 09 7:30 PM
Importing a container load of these would surely drop the pricing of the existing market, throw a bunch of them on trademe and you would have the current suppliers scurrying around for more. Or you can simply buy from overseas and bring in what you are wanting yourself. Here is an option - http://www.solarpanelsstore.info - loads of different solar-panels to choose from!

3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 6 May 09 8:37 PM
So what price is fair on Trademe for 125's

3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 12 May 09 12:47 AM
Re 120watt panel prices on Trademe.
Currently $9.00 per watt is the cheapest and $11.60 per watt is the most expensive.

source http://www.nzpv.org/page.php?32

3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 13 May 09 11:46 AM
Here is a good web site in the USA with up to date prices on quantity rates.
http://www.ecobusinesslinks.com/solar_panels.htm

5 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 22 May 09 10:01 PM
so I wonder what would be the likely margins involved to retail a panel here? If there are multiple phases in the sales chain, what would amount manaufaturers, distributers etc are charging and the likely retailer margin etc. All things being equal, our retailers buy in the same market as the rest of the world, though contend with higher shipping and the exchange rate, but the local market should influence the relative margin each local retailer can charge. I've waffled around the point a bit, but does anyone know the likly purchase and sale chain involved so we can compare NZ to other markets?





129 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 23 May 09 10:10 AM
Sorry 3m, no retailer is going to give you that information, the retail price has nothing to do with the original cost, but what the market is willing to pay.

I expect when a company brings in 1/2 a container load of brand name panels they are getting them for about $5 watt landed in NZ including shipping. If the market is conditioned to buy them at > $10 per watt then that's what they will sell them for. The installation companies that bring them in direct can afford to lower the price somewhat, as when they also install them they recoup the lost margin.

If we want the prices to come down in NZ then just say NO we are not willing to pay that price and walk away. The retailers will soon change their tune with 6 months of no sales.

The alternative is to create a group if people whom all want panels and get together to either import them direct or go to the wholesalers this time and negotiate a bulk deal, normally the wholesalers don't sell direct to the general public, but no sane business will turn away a sale of $50 k or more.

Anyone want to start a bulk purchase group.

1 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 29 Jun 09 2:38 PM
the solar panels will drop in the price in the future, as technology increases and market forces move etc. Just think of how big and expensive computers were 20 years ago, compared to computers these days. The same transition will happen with the solar industry.

the good website you could ask for the price of the various brand pv moduels

www.solarf.com

Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand

3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 29 Jun 09 2:56 PM
Thanks for the link Carol, prices will drop and they have done so here in NZ in recent months due to the world wide glut and oversupply. However there is still much more downwards pressure and expect NZ prices to keep dropping as retailers are forced to lower margins to get rid of stock that otherwise is not moving. There is still a price disparity between overseas and NZ converted prices.
Lets see how low they get by the end of the year.

335 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 21 Aug 09 1:30 PM
Hi Solar Mike

I'm interested in a being part of a buying group - if you do get a few responses to this, I'd like to participate.

Seeker

3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 31 Aug 09 4:54 AM
Great thread and lots of info for local NZ market, thanks. I am starting to look at getting a project together and was quite surprised to see the price back home in NZ (per panel/watt or whatever you want to measure it by).

I am in Switzerland at the moment. I am trying to work out if it is better to bring some panels home with me or if it makes sense to buy at home (support NZ etc).

I follow the solar market pretty closely over here and see quite a bit of "downwards price" pressure on the Solar companies. They are all hurting now that raw materials cost less and panel pricing is lower. Most of them have poured massive amounts of money into the R&D with venture type capital or share/stock sales.

Still, Europe is a long way ahead of home. It is quite surprising that we, as kiwis, don't seem to have embraced this technology. Not enough people at home I guess (I see this as a huge advantage after seeing overcrowded Europe!!).

I wonder if the price/w stated here includes the subsidies that other countries use (USA starting, Europe/Germany always has)?

Lastly does anybody have info or maybe a list of the companies that let you pump power back onto the grid? (probably here somewhere, I just haven't looked yet).

Cheers everybody. Post some details of the possible buying group if you guys get closer. I could be in as well if it is a little later in the year/early next year or I could possibly help if there was something interesting here in Switzerland/Germany etc.

SonnyT

3840 posts
Re: Solar Panel Prices in New Zealand 
Posted 31 Aug 09 9:40 AM
Use the chance and buy there.
Buying building related products locally is not a good option since some local companies try to re- invent the wheel without having the resources or expertise to develop it to a state of the art product.

Examples are:

Solar panels
Energy efficient construction
Heating
Windows/Doors
Home ventilation

 

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