This article in Green World Investor discusses the current state of Polysilicon production. Solar Polysilicon prices have stabilized at $20/kg to $25/kg. The surviving Polysilicon vendors are making money at this price level and are investing in efficient new plants. High cost producers have exited the business. This points to health in the business as efficiencies are restoring profit margins and the viability of the poly producers.
Its not clear if PV wafer and PV module vendors have similarly restored some level of profit. China has shown reluctance to let inefficient businesses fail. Many seem to be able to sell at cost, but are not repaying their debt. China invested over $50B in PV companies a few years back.
This Poly pricing reinforces the reality of the last year which has seen PV panel prices stabilize at around $0.70/W. Historically the PV panel business has seen long periods of price stability and it is reasonable to expect current prices to persist for several years so long as supply and demand stay in balance. If China, Japan and the US maintain current subsidy levels, then this volume level should see PV panel prices slowly decline. The republican congress will probably let the PV investment tax credit expire in 2016 which will reduce US investment levels significantly.
These price points are still far too high to compete with fossil fuels. The recent IEA 2014 roadmap is also in line with this assessment. PV may be on a path to be competitive on a LCOE basis in a decade or so, but backup, storage and transmission costs will still have to be accounted for.
StratoSolar's 3X boost along with gravity energy storage would significantly alter this calculus for the better.