p-series

Sunpower’s Mating Call

SunPower Corporation (SPWR:  Nasdaq) has sent out an unusual mating call.  Like a bird with a newly built nest, the company is seeking a partner to help build out and operate SunPower’s production facility in Hillsboro, Oregon.  The plant was acquired in late 2018, from SolarWorld Americas after the Trump administration slapped tariffs on solar panels imported to the U.S.  Domestic production, even at higher local costs, could make sense when compared to such prohibitive import tariffs. Uncomfortable Three-some Some investors might see the tie-up as an uncomfortable three-some. Indeed, the solar panel tariffs came about when SolarWorld Americas and its compatriot Suniva filed an application...

Incredible Shrinking Solar Stocks

Doug Young More clouds for solar sector There's a flurry of news coming from the embattled solar sector, led by a sharp cutback by Suntech (NYSE: STP) at its main US plant that looks suspiciously like it is being ordered by Beijing part of a government rescue plan for the struggling company. Meantime, JA Solar (Nasdaq: JASO) and LDK (NYSE: LDK) are struggling just to stay listed as their market values quickly evaporate. And in a rare but fleeting piece of good news, Yingli (NYSE: YGE), Trina (NYSE: TSL) and others are getting a temporary boost...

Hanery Shares To Remain Suspended During Manipulation Probe

Doug Young  Bottom line: Hanergy shares will remain forcibly suspended until the Hong Kong securities regulator completes its investigation into price manipulation, and could ultimately return to China where oversight is far less strict. I had to smile when I read the latest reports that said the Hong Kong securities regulator has taken the unusual step of ordering a continued suspension of shares of solar power equipment maker Hanergy (HKEx: 566), as it continues a probe into stock price manipulation. My smile wasn’t due to the continued suspension, but rather to the reason that media reports gave for the...

Will Crystalline Solar Kill Thin Film?

A Conversation with Applied Material’s Solar Head Charlie Gay by Neal Dikeman I had a chance to chat today with Dr. Charlie Gay, the President of Applied Materials' (AMAT) solar division.  You may recall, we broke the story in the blogosphere 5 years ago about Applied’s entry into solar, which was anchored with a highly touted and very aggressive strategy for turnkey large format amorphous silicon and tandem cell plants called SunFab. Charlie reminded me that when they began 5 years ago, they did so along two major thrusts:  The acquisition of Applied Films in...

SunRun: The Next Big Solar IPO

By Jeff Siegel Good news for solar investors … Another solar financing/installation company is about to go public. And if history serves as any indicator, this could be yet another opportunity to land some pretty solid gains. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, Sunrun, Inc. is set work with banks including Credit Suisse Group AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on an IPO. No final price has be set at this time, but currently the company is valued at more than $1.3 billion, which puts it roughly in the same box with Vivint Solar (NYSE: VSLR). The fastest...

Yingli or Trina May Bid For Suntech

Doug Young August 9th was “Solar Friday”, as we were bombarded with a flurry of news that showing the sector is rebounding and could also see its first major merger. In the former category, earnings updates from Yingli (NYSE: YGE) and Trina (NYSE: TSL) are showing steady improvement for the embattled panel-making sector, while a quarterly report from Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) is showing the sudden improvements may already be starting to plateau. In the latter category, Chinese media are reporting that both Yingli and Trina are also showing interest in investing in Suntech (NYSE: STP), the former...

First Solar’s New Research Platform: Big News for Intermolecular

Tom Konrad CFA Two years ago, it seemed like First Solar (NASD:FSLR) could do no wrong.  The company could manufacture it’s thin film Cd-Te photovoltaic (PV) cells at a fraction of the price of traditional crystalline silicon (c-Si) cells.  First Solar was the first company to break the $1/W barrier for manufacturing cost. That was then.  Now, a supply glut caused by overbuilding and reduced subsidies has dramatically slashed the price of c-Si cells.  Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) forecasts that demand will not catch up with supply until 2014, even in their most optimistic scenario.  In May, the...

European Commission Recommends Tariffs on Chinese Solar

James Montgomery Trade War. photo via Bigstock The European Commission has decided to recommend duties on Chinese solar panels up to 67.9 percent, according to reports from multiple sources. Wall Street Journal reports that the tariffs will affect more than 100 companies, and be implemented at a range from 37.3 to 67.9 percent at an average of 47.6 percent, close to projections earlier this week. Companies will face tariffs as follows: Suntech (STP) and its subsidiaries: 48.6 percent LDK Solar (LDK): 55.9 percent Trina Solar (TSL): 51.5 ...

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 the company’s behavior...

Solar Stocks Rise on Bejing Subsidies

Doug Young Sunrise over Mount Huang in China. China's solar panel industry is starting to look more and more like a beggar kneeling on the doorstep of Beijing, with the latest word that the central government is preparing to hand out an additional $1.1 billion in subsidies to the struggling sector. That news comes just after a government official was quoted saying Beijing is considering a plan to double its already ambitious target for a massive building spree of new solar electricity plants, again in a bid to support...

Channel Problems Keep BIPV Out of the Money

Dana Blankenhorn Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV)  is often in the news. There's a romance to it. Instead of having ugly solar panels on your house, your whole house could be an integrated solar system. It could use all the heat and light hitting it, from any angle, look like any other house, and pay for itself. Pythagoras Solar, an Israeli start-up, says its solar windows, cells sandwiched in glass, can both lower heating and cooling costs while they generate electricity, paying for themselves in 3-4 years. Pythagoras is private, but most publicly-traded BIPV plays are penny stocks, like...

Chinese Anger at EU Solar Tariffs

Doug Young I’ve been trying to avoid writing about the latest punitive tariffs for Chinese solar panels that look set to come from the European Union this week, since the story has dragged on for more than a year now and the outcome was almost inevitable. But that said, it would be a bit remiss of me not to write at least something on this latest move, which is expected to see European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht formally recommend the introduction of anti-dumping tariffs for solar panels supplied from China. (English article) The latest reports...

New Suntech Rises From Ashes, Eyes UK

Doug Young  Suntech. faces final sunset. Opportunities for me to write about former solar pioneer Suntech (OTC: STPFQ) are growing fewer with each passing day, as its life as an independent company nears an end with the imminent finalization of its bankruptcy liquidation. That said, a company announcement saying that a new Suntech has emerged after the yearlong bankruptcy storm seems like a good opportunity to write about this company one last time before it and its stock permanently disappear. The announcement features a photo of Suntech’s youthful looking...

Why I Believe in Thin Film

Analyzing Solar Stocks With False Assumptions Dana Blankenhorn When most people think of solar energy, they see flat panels on a roof. They don't think about thin film. They don't see it. This is one of the many advantages of CIGS  and other thin film solar technologies. So what if its efficiency is half that of a panel? It conforms to the shape of the place where it lays. Thin film can also be productized in ways no panel can. It can be turned into something retailers can sell or bloggers will...

Beijing Bails Out Yingli, Shareholders Not So Much

Bottom line: Yingli’s new bank loan will be followed by a major restructuring that will force big losses on bond and shareholders, while a new asset-backed bond program to help the broader panel sector raise money will meet with tepid reception. China is throwing a couple of lifelines to its struggling solar panel sector, including a relatively large rescue package for Yingli (NYSE: YGE), the player in the most precarious position. That package will see a consortium of banks, led by the policy-driven China Development Bank, provide Yingli with 2 billion yuan ($300 million) in funds as the company...

Suntech Forced into Bankruptcy, Yingli Partners with GCL

Doug Young The inevitable has finally happened at tanking former solar star Suntech (NYSE: STP), which has been forced into bankruptcy ending a months-long battle between the company's founder Shi Zhengrong and just about all the company's other stakeholders. In the meantime, I would be remiss not to mention another solar news tidbit that has panel maker Yingli (NYSE: YGE) forming a new strategic tie-up with GLC-Poly Energy (HKEx: 3800), in what could eventually become the first mega-merger in the struggling solar panel sector. Let's start with Suntech, which has been in the headlines nearly non-stop these...