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...

Solar Trade Case Analysis and Implications

by Paula Mints In terms of the current trade petition and the USITC decision, government interference will not correct an imbalance that is embedded in the industry (globally) particularly when it is put in place by a body that does not understand the nuances of the problem. Despite evidence to the contrary, attorneys and consultants for Suniva/SolarWorld seem to have convinced the USITC that cell manufacturing in the US can be resuscitated and that tariffs and quotas the mechanism that will stimulate manufacturing. In reality, this situation is stimulating uncertainty and doing harm. Table 1: Tariff Recommendations   ...

From Solar 2009: Investment Opportunities in Solar Stocks, Part 1

Tom Konrad, Ph.D. The last panel I attended at Solar 2009 focused on investment opportunities in Solar.  This is the first of several entries with ideas from the speakers.   They were: Allen Goodman, of ECG Consulting Group James Groelinger, of Bellegrove Associates J. Peter Lynch, of Salem Financial, Inc. Pradeep Haldar, Ph.D., MBA of the University at Albany Each had perspectives on the solar (mostly photovoltaic (PV) industry, and struck me as very knowledgeable in the field.  The caliber of the industry and investment knowledge on display impressed me, so I'll share with readers some of the...

China, EU Solar Talks Less Cloudy

Doug Young After a disastrous round of talks last month that broke down almost as soon as they began, China and Europe look set to try again with a new round of negotiations to resolve their dispute over the EU’s claims of unfair state-support for Chinese solar panel makers. Much has changed since the failed round of talks in late May, including a growing number of individual European leaders who want to resolve this dispute through negotiations rather than trade wars. As a result, this new round of negotiations will take place between top-level government officials, an important...

Why SunPower (SPWR) is a Solid Bet on Solar

By Jeff Siegel I've been singing the praises of SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY) since the company first went public. Even as renewable energy bears attacked anything with the word "solar" in the name, I stuck to my guns. And I'm glad I did. Here's a quick look at how SCTY has performed since its debut: Of course, at this point, SCTY is an easy ride. Even if the company's next earnings disappoint, the long view remains solid. So when the company delayed earnings this week, I didn't lose any sleep. The fact is, those who took...

Where To Next For Solar PV Stocks?

Charles Morand There was an interesting post in Barron's tech trader daily on Monday discussing how solar PV stocks are coming under pressure, in part because product prices are falling further than expected. About a month ago, I discussed the potential return effect for households in given states of removing the $2,000 ITC cap. Such measures, it seems, are failing to kickstart demand, and solar recovery might end up being significantly slower than many had been expecting. Case in point, since hitting a high of $11.49 on June 11, the TAN ETF is down about 12%. KWT, for...

Solar Bonds For Small Investors

By Beate Sonerud SolarCity (NASD:SCTY) is issuing US$200m of asset-linked retail bonds, with maturities ranging from 1-7 years and interest rates from 2-4%. Wells Fargo is the banking partner. While the bonds are registered,SolarCity expects the bonds to be buy and hold, and not traded in the secondary markets. The bond is issued for small-scale investors, with investment starting at US$1000, giving this bond issuance a crowdfunding aspect. Choosing such a different structure allows SolarCity to diversify their investor base – the company stresses that small-scale investors are a complement, not substitute, for large-scale institutional investors. While...

Alternative Energy Companies Posting Large Returns

Alternative energy companies delivered compelling returns for investors.  A look at Crystal Equity Research’s ‘indices’ of renewable energy, conservation and environmentally-friendly technology companies found some exceptional price moves.  We review five companies here that have experienced top price moves from 52-week lows. Codexis, Inc. (CDXS:  Nasdaq) has gained 257% from its 52-week low. The company won a place in our Beach Boys group through development of proteins for a mix of applications from biocatalysts for industrial enzymes, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.  While the company has started generating revenue from its technology, it has yet to post a profit.  Codexis delivered a smaller than expected loss in the...

Solar Storage Dream Becomes Reality

By Jeff Siegel While the solar industry continues to heat up, I maintain that one of the best plays in the space is SunEdison (NYSE: SUNE). This is an aggressive operation, run by incredibly smart people. The company is well-capitalized, fairly liquid, and well-diversified in the energy space, boasting both a top-notch, vertically-integrated solar operation, and a basket of healthy wind assets, too. The company is also now advancing on energy storage – the final obstacle to the creative destruction necessary to alleviate the world's reliance on fossil fuels. In a press release this morning, SunEdison made the following...

SolarCity Buys Zep: Behold The Power of Vertical Integration

To win the U.S. solar installation game, SolarCity (SCTY) continues to go vertical and thin its margin stack... so what'll be next? James Montgomery SolarCity (SCTY) is acquiring Zep Solar and its rackless mounting design in a $158 million stock deal, illustrating the growing importance of improving costs and complexity in residential solar. Much of the cost-cutting in solar PV has been shouldered by the upstream manufacturing side, but half the costs or more in a residential solar PV system come from the softer side, and they'll have to keep coming down dramatically to support widespread deployment of...

Signs Of Trouble For Chinese Solar Stocks

Doug Young Regular readers will know I’m a bit bearish lately on the solar panel manufacturing sector, largely because I believe its recent rebound is being fueled as much by hype as real business after a prolonged downturn. A new report on some of the sector’s so called “growth engines”, coupled with a separate report on a dispute at one of the top surviving players, are adding fuel to my skepticism that the sector’s recent sharp rebound isn’t really happening. At the very least, the recent reports indicate the rebound isn’t nearly as strong as many are claiming,...

Can Panasonic Produce High Efficiency Solar Modules at Tesla’s Gigafactory 2 in 2017?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Yesterday, Tesla (NASD:TSLA) announced that it has no intention of using Silevo's technology at "Gigafactory 2," the former Silevo facility in Western New York, now owned by Tesla through its acquisition of SolarCity.  This makes some background on Panasonic (Whose technology Tesla plans to rely on instead) in this month's Solar Flare particularly relevant. Panasonic recently announced that the New York Facility would be operated under the name Panasonic Eco Solutions Solar New York America (PESSNYCA?) and that equipment will be installed and production will begin by summer 2017. In 2014 SolarCity acquired Silevo...
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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...

US-China Solar Wars Enter Second Round

Doug Young Trade War. photo via Bigstock Just days after China finalized anti-dumping tariffs on US makers of polysilicon, the main ingredient used to make solar panels, the US has announced it is opening a new anti-dumping investigation into solar panels imported from China. The close timing of this latest round of developments in a solar trade dispute between the US and China may look worrisome on the surface, especially if they had come a year ago. But in this case the solar signals seem less confrontational...

Why Power-Save (PWSV.ob) is No Longer on our Stock List

Mea Culpa. We often get request from readers to add companies to our Alternative Energy Stocks list.  Since the field is very active, we do some quick checks to make sure that the companies at least: Provide enough information to make an informed investment decision. There's nothing obvious which indicates serious investors wouldn't be interested. We by no means feel that everything in the list is a good investment, but we do feel that our list a good place to start your own research. Usually. Last weekend, we received a request from a shareholder to add Power-Save...