Monthly Archives: December 2016

What Just Happened: SunPower Struggles And Restructures

2016 was a wild year and not just for solar and after decades of reliance on government incentives, subsidies and mandates the global solar industry may be inured to unpredictability but the industry as a whole should be wary of global trends.  Solar PV expert Paula Mints looked at a number of the developments for solar companies in the December edition of  SPV Market Research's Solar Flare.  Adapted for AltEnergyStocks.com, this series of articles is reprinted with permission. The high efficiency monocrystalline cell pioneer and manufacturer SunPower (SPWR) began signaling its competitive struggle in early 2016 and...

What Just Happened: First Solar’s Strategy Shifts

2016 was a wild year and not just for solar and after decades of reliance on government incentives, subsidies and mandates the global solar industry may be inured to unpredictability but the industry as a whole should be wary of global trends.  Solar PV expert Paula Mints looked at a number of the developments for solar companies in the December edition of  SPV Market Research's Solar Flare.  Adapted for AltEnergyStocks.com, this series of articles is reprinted with permission. Though First Solar (FSLR) indicated recently that 2017 would be a transition year there is no indication from...

What Just Happened: Solar Module Prices Drop To New Lows

2016 was a wild year and not just for solar and after decades of reliance on government incentives, subsidies and mandates the global solar industry may be inured to unpredictability but the industry as a whole should be wary of global trends.  Solar PV expert Paula Mints looked at a number of the developments for solar companies in the December edition of  SPV Market Research's Solar Flare.  Adapted for AltEnergyStocks.com, this series of articles is reprinted with permission. Over 60% of global PV cell and module manu-facturing is either in China or owned by...

What Just Happened: Chinese Solar-Boom or Bubble?

2016 was a wild year and not just for solar and after decades of reliance on government incentives, subsidies and mandates the global solar industry may be inured to unpredictability but the industry as a whole should be wary of global trends.  Solar PV expert Paula Mints looked at a number of the developments for solar companies in the December edition of  SPV Market Research's Solar Flare.  Adapted for AltEnergyStocks.com, this series of articles is reprinted with permission. China’s 2016 market for solar deployment soars to near 30-GWp: Solar PV deployment in China ballooned in 2016 to...

What Just Happened: SunEdison, First Solar, and SolarCity

2016 was a wild year and not just for solar and after decades of reliance on government incentives, subsidies and mandates the global solar industry may be inured to unpredictability but the industry as a whole should be wary of global trends.  Solar PV expert Paula Mints looked at a number of the developments for solar companies in the December edition of  SPV Market Research's Solar Flare.  Adapted for AltEnergyStocks.com, this series of articles is reprinted with permission. In 2015 SunEdison (SUNEQ) was still buying up companies, developing projects, sponsoring conferences and was viewed – though skeptically...

BioAmber Launching Asian Joint Venture

Amber Waves of Gain In South Korea, BioAmber (BIOA) and CJ CheilJedang Corporation signed a LOI for a joint venture in China to produce up to 36,000 metric tons of bio-succinic acid per year. It’s not a greenfield. The CJCJ JV involves a retrofit of an existing fermentation plant in a market that BioAmber cannot readily penetrate today. How is BioAmber able to convert this plant? It comes down to a low pH yeast, which allows us to leverage CJCJ’s existing fermenters and purification equipment. The retrofit will allow the partners to bring this capacity on line quickly,...

Quick Take: What Sunpower Project Sales to 3rd Party Mean for 8.3 Energy Partners

This morning, SunPower (SPWR) announced that it had sold a majority interest in two solar projects totaling 123MW.  Owners of stock in SunPower's jointly sponsored Yieldco 8point3 Energy Partners (CAFD) might be wondering, "Hey, shouldn't SunPower be selling these projects to CAFD?" The Yieldco model has Yieldcos using inexpensive capital from income investors to fund the purchase of projects from their developer sponsors, which have more expensive capital because developing solar projects is riskier than owning already-developed ones.  In fact, one of the two projects in question can be found in 8point3's "Right of First Offer" or ROFO...

Quick Take: Albemarle

Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Albemarle Corp. (NYSE:ALB) has come up twice in recent conversations with investment advisors in the last couple weeks.  I'm not sure why the recent surge of interest, but I thought I'd share my email in response to the most recent query. An investment advisor friend: Any thoughts ?  A mining company corners about 35% of the raw material for the manufacture of lithium batteries for electric cars. My response: I like it better than most Lithium plays, because they are vertically integrated.  That said, I don't like Lithium...

Aerovironment’s New Farm Worker

by Debra Fiakas CFA Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) had their starting point in military exercises, carrying surveillance cameras and even bombs to sensitive sites.  Drones as we have come to call them have also zoomed across the horizons of adventuresome consumers, who see sport and entertainment possibilities.  However, drones offer time and cost savings, quality and accuracy in data gathering and safety to a host of scientists, engineers and infrastructure operators.  According to industry research firm Markets and Markets, the unmanned aerial market is estimated to be $13.2 billion in the current year and has the...

Ten Clean Energy Stocks Under Trump (November 2016)

Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA So far, the broad stock market seems to like the idea of a tax and regulation-cutting and infrastructure spending Trump administration and Republican controlled Congress.  The bond market is less pleased at the rapidly growing deficits such a "borrow and spend" policy will inevitably entail.  While the S&P 500 advanced 3.4% in November, bond funds fell in the face of rising interest rates.  The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) fell 8.4%. Clean energy stocks were also hurt by the incoming President's climate change skepticism and his promises to undo environmental regulations put...

3 Biofuels Reports We Can Ignore, and One We Can’t

Jim Lane This week, in Washington and Brussels, four news flashes on global renewable fuel volumes appeared on the radar. Can you safely ignore them and get on with other work, or is there something to get deeply informed about? Let’s look into it. Ignore This #1. The Point of Obligation RFS Crisis. The issue. Several parties petitioned the US EPA to shift obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard from them to someone else. Basically, to anyone else. The petitioners want relief from buying RINs, thinking about renewables, or experiencing any pain associated with the change...