The solar industry in 2009 will produce almost twice the number of panels as the market will absorb, according to new data from the market research firm iSuppli.

The firm predicts that global solar panel production this year will grow 14.3% to 7.5 gigawatts, up from a revised 6.5 GW in 2008. But iSuppli contends installations this year will total only 3.9 GW, which means that nearly one of every two panels produced in 2009 will go into inventory.

Henning Wicht, iSuppli analyst for photovoltaics, says the glut will have a long-term imapct on the solar business, with over-supply likely to persist until 2012…

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