Making Residual Value Real: Where is Solar’s Emilio Estevez?

by Colin Murchie Seeking Solars' Emilio Estevez It is no secret that costs of capital must decrease to make distributed generation a massively scaling resource. And, as costs of capital steadily decrease, the “residual value” – what happens to the asset once the PPA has run out – becomes more and more important. With that in mind, it no longer seems reasonable to fill the years after the PPA’s expiration – with a row of zeros on the pro forma. There is residual value there that is often...

Will Investors Flock to SunEdison’s Emerging-Market YieldCo?

by Tom Konrad CFA SunEdison is proposing something entirely new: a YieldCo with a focus on projects in Africa and Asia, but it's a long way between an S-1 filing with the SEC and and IPO. The June launch of SunEdison's (SUNE) first YieldCo, TerraForm Power (NASD:TERP), transformed the parent company's prospects. Now it wants to repeat the performance with a first-of-its kind YieldCo that will focus on investment in Africa and Asia. A YieldCo is a publicly traded company that is formed to own operating clean energy assets that produce a steady cash flow,...

Chinese Solar Cos Go Shopping To Avoid Troubles At Home

Doug Young  Bottom line: Sputtering progress for China’s solar power build-up could erode domestic panel makers’ performance, prompting some to buy more overseas assets to avoid punitive trade barriers in the west. The latest trouble signs in China’s ambitious solar power build-up are coming in newly released quarterly results from Trina (NYSE: TSL), which has reduced its annual sales targets after scrapping one of its planned new projects in the country. At the same time, China’s industry continues to look for ways to circumvent anti-dumping tariffs in the west by setting up off-shore production and purchasing foreign assets to...

New Energy Exchange Limited Has A Market Cap of $3 Million, But Owns $54...

Esplanade Capital Issues Open Letter to the Board of New Energy Exchange Limited Urges the Company to Reregister with the SEC to Maximize Value for Shareholders Esplanade Capital LLC, a significant shareholder of New Energy Exchange Limited (OTC PINK: EBODF), announced today that it has issued an open letter to the Board urging the Company to reregister with the SEC in order to maximize value for shareholders. The full text of the letter follows: April 25, 2017 New Energy Exchange Limited (f.k.a. Renewable Energy Trade Board Corp.) Board of Directors Shun Tak Centre West Tower...

EBODF Owns Over $22 Per Share Of Solar Developer Goldpoly,Trades Under $7

by Shawn Kravetz In ten years of solar investing, we have never encountered an opportunity as obscure and potentially lucrative as Renewable Energy Trade Board Corporation (OTCPK:EBODF).  Disclosure: I am long EBODF. Before walking through the long thesis, we must caution potential investors that EBODF "went dark" with the SEC in March 2013. However, we have conducted rigorous due diligence on the ground in Asia and through the Hong Kong Stock Exchange filings of Goldpoly New Energy Holdings (0686.HK) - EBODF's sister company sharing the same parent/leading shareholder - China Merchants New Energy Group (part of massive Chinese...

Solar REITs: A Better Way to Invest in Solar

Tom Konrad CFA The last day for a solar developer to submit an application for the Treasury’s 1603 grant program was September 30th, and only for grandfathered solar projects which broke ground before the end of 2011. Solar panel prices have continued to drop this year, but solar project development remains a capital-intensive business.  The 1603 program allowed solar developers to monetize the solar investment tax credit (ITC) much more quickly than they could otherwise, and this essentially reduced their cost of capital.  As the rush of projects begun before the end of 2011 are completed, developers are looking...

The Most Sustainable Solar Companies

Ed Gunther Trina Solar scores 94 to lead the 2012 SVTC photovoltaic (PV) solar sustainability survey. Making the SEIA Solar Commitment. The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) released the 2012 SOLAR SCORECARD just in time for the SNEC 6th (2012) International Solar Industry and Photovoltaic Exhibition & Conference in Shanghai, China. Trina Solar Limited (NYSE:TSL) achieved the best result followed by SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) at 93, and CASM (Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing) protagonist SolarWorld AG (OTC:SRWRF) with 91. In SVTC’s own words: The Scorecard reveals how companies perform on...

Chinese Bureaucracy Casts Cloud Over Shiny Solar Finance

Doug Young Bottom line: Complaints of problems from a major solar plant builder reflect the difficulty of new construction in China, and could wreak havoc on the sales and finances of panel makers and their construction partners. Solar entrepreneur Shi complains of bureaucracy Two solar energy news items are showing both the attraction and also the frustration that developers are feeling as they try to build new clean-energy power plants to help China wean itself from its dependence on fossil fuels. On the attraction side of the story, the industry...

SolarCity Announces Expansion in New York, Files for $200 Million IPO

Vince Font Just days after announcing the launch of major expansions in New York state, the San Mateo-based solar company SolarCity has filed for an IPO in excess of $200 million. Having already received more than $1.5 billion in funding from a variety of high profile companies including Google, PG&E, and U.S. Bancorp, SolarCity is betting on the success of its business model to appeal to stock investors eager to snatch up a slice of the potentially lucrative solar pie. The company’s business model is simple and effective, and has led SolarCity to rapidly become...

Investing In Solar Innovation

By Jeff Siegel The road into the digital age has been paved with innovation. Everyday items have been electrified with panels and displays for endless possibilities of interaction. Automobile windscreens, household appliances, even walls and furniture are lighting up all around us, wired with sensors and displays that receive and transmit information. It seems the only surface left to electrify on this road to an everything-digital future is the roadway itself. Some folks believe one day soon, your local road network could be carrying not only the flow of vehicle traffic, but torrential flows of digital data and...

Canadian Solar’s Chinese Loan

Doug Young China’s struggling solar panel makers must are slowly transforming into de facto state-owned enterprises as they take increasing loans from Beijing, with Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) becoming the latest to take a handout from the policy lender China Development Bank (CDB). If Beijing is trying to convince Europe and the US that it’s not unfairly supporting its solar sector, then this certainly isn’t the way to do it. But that said, I doubt that Canadian Solar or many of its peers could get financing to maintain their operations from any true private sector banks right now,...

Tesla’s Buffalo Solar Tiles: As Hot As They Seem?

by Paula Mints In August, Tesla (TSLA) announced that production of its roof tiles at its not-yet-a giga-factory in Buffalo New York would be delayed until late in 2017. Wait ... it is late in 2017. Tesla indicated that production on the tiles was continuing at its 25-MWp pilot scale facility in Fremont, California. The Fremont facility was the former home of the dearly departed Silevo. On August 31 Tesla announced that it was now manufacturing solar cells at its facility in Buffalo and indicated it would have 2-GWp of cell capacity eventually. During Tesla’s earnings call Mr. Musk showed pictures...

Vulnerable Solar Markets and What Makes Them Tick

by Paula Mints All industries and the companies that populate them are vulnerable to macro and micro economic shocks, substitutes, changing tastes and other economic, political and social events. The global solar industry is vulnerable for all-of-the-above reasons and as it is incentive, subsidy and mandate driven while trying to unseat the conventional energy status quo, it is particularly vulnerable. The solar landscape remains low margin and requires government intervention of some type to thrive. It is correct to say that the global solar remains primarily policy driven, but this statement does not go descriptively far enough. Many deny that solar deployment still requires incentives, mandates and/or subsidies...

Crowded Playground of Solar Panel Makers

The last post discussed the proposition of solar panel manufacturer SunPower Corporation (SPWR:  Nasdaq).  The company is looking for a partner to help build out and operate SunPower’s production facility in Hillsboro, Oregon.  SunPower plans to manufacturer its innovative P-Series panels in Hillsboro to fulfill U.S. orders. The Hillsboro plant was acquired in early 2018, from SolarWorld AG after the Trump administration slapped 30% 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. SunPower is widely regarded as the go-to source for the highest quality solar cells available with efficiency ratings as...

Cree, a Solar Play?

For investors excited about Cree's (NASD:CREE) Light-Emitting Diode (LED) business, here's one more piece of good news: The EE Times Reports that the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Freiburg, Germany) claims it has achieved a record efficiency for its inverter designed for PV generators, using Cree's SiC transistors. I've previously noted that inverters are a good way to participate in the Solar and Wind power markets without needing to invest in the high priced (or foreign) companies which dominate those markets, and even without this news, Cree is a longtime favorite of this blog.  The stock shot up...

Trina and BYD Grow With State Support. How Will They Do Without?

Doug Young Bottom line: Trina’s new loan and BYD’s uncertain outlook for EV sales this year reflect continued reliance of new energy technology companies on state support, which could pressure them as government incentives get retired. Two new energy stories are in the headlines today, reflecting the progress but also the continued reliance on government support that this up-and-coming group of companies faces. That particular reality isn’t new, though some who were hoping the industries would become commercially independent more quickly may be disappointed. But more important, this reality could challenge many of the companies in the...