What The US Election Will Mean For The Global Solar Industry

by Paula Mints   The endless and endlessly not amusing US presidential election is thankfully wrapping up in November and there is a lot at stake for solar – globally. This is because the market for solar components and systems is global. Even the smallest installer buys imports. Even the smallest component manufacturer has the potential to ship product into any global market. A hiccup in one market (China, for example) reverberates throughout the entire global market for solar components and systems. A hiccup in the US market for solar deployment would affect business plans and forecasts...

SunEdison: Giving Optimism A Bad Name

by Paula Mints Potentially stranding a significant number of solar development plans as well as some assets, SunEdison (SUNE) finally took the step that many expected and filed for bankruptcy. Pondering where things went wrong for the troubled firm leads to a winding road of overexpansion, debt and the traditional sidekick of highly visible companies and people, hubris. Hubris, of course, happens quite often in the corporate world and there is a long list of companies that were swayed by it – who knows, one is probably being swayed at this very minute. In the solar...

Yingli is Tanking, but the Solar Industry Remains Vibrant

By Jeff Siegel Solar stocks are getting a thrashing today after Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE) came clean about a possible bankruptcy. The stock tanked at the open and is still trading below $1.00 – down from yesterday's closing price of $1.70. Of course, the writing was on the wall with this one. Yingli's been struggling for a long time. And while I'm extremely bullish on solar, I've kept a safe distance from Yingli, as well as a lot of other China solar stocks. That being said, even the solid, revenue-generating companies not operating out of China are...

Five Solar Stocks To Own In 2015

By Jeff Siegel This past Saturday afternoon, Rick Diaz locked in another customer. A former roofing contractor, Rick is now a sales rep and installation manager for a small roofing and solar company in Maryland. He tells me most people he talks to about solar have pretty much already made up their minds before he even walks in the door: The investment works out for young couples who are going to be in these homes for more than ten years. But most seem more concerned about the environment than the return on investment. Either way, it's a...

Positive Signs For For The Chinese Solar Sector

Doug Young Just months after tapping financial markets for nearly $250 million, solar panel maker Trina (NYSE: TSL) has just announced another plan to raise a similar amount as it tries to take advantage of improving sentiment towards its sector. Such fund-raising would have been unthinkable as recently as a year ago, when recovery of the solar panel sector was far from certain following a prolonged downturn. In a relatively positive sign, Trina’s latest fund-raising plan didn’t trigger a major sell-off in its shares, indicating investors are more confident of the company’s and the sector’s future prospects. Meantime...

Hannon Armstrong’s Strong Q2 Keeps It In My Top Picks

By Jeff Siegel Hannon Armstrong (NYSE:HASI), one of my top picks for 2014, just made me very happy. Yesterday, the company announced its Q2 Core Earnings of $4.7 million or $0.22 per share. On a GAAP basis, the Company recorded net income of $2.9 million. Here are some other highlights. . . Raised approximately $70 million in April, 2014 in a follow-on offering. Increased the flexibility and expanded the capacity of its existing credit facility by $200 million. Completed more than $200 million worth of transactions, including the acquisition of a $107 million portfolio of land...

Unlocking Solar Energy’s Value as an Asset Class

by James Montgomery 2014 is predicted to be a breakout year for solar financing, as the industry eagerly pursues finance innovations. Many of these methods aren't really new to other industries, but they are potentially game-changing when applied in the solar industry.

Will Outsized Solar Stock Returns Continue?

By Harris Roen Any way you slice it, solar investing has been on a tear for the last year. Of the 69 solar stocks that the Roen Financial Report tracks, three quarters are up for the year. On average solar stocks have gained 85% for the year, with 60% of solar companies up in the double digits. What is most impressive is that the top 17 solar stocks are all up in the triple digits, and one, Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ), is up 903%! This article will look at who these outsized performers are, what...

SolarCity’s Brilliant Marketing Plan

By Jeff Siegel DISCLOSURE: Long SCTY. Well here's a sweet marketing plan. . . In an effort to get to homeowners before they actually buy their homes, SolarCity is working with homebuilders in Oregon to offer solar to potential buyers. Essentially, SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) will be giving future homeowners the opportunity to save on their energy bills from day one without paying a single penny more for their homes. Brilliant! SolarCity reps commented on the new plan, stating. . . Solar power delivers distinct benefits for homebuilders and homebuyers. While many upgrades and additions to homes...

Why SolarCity is the New Solar King

And Why I Just Got Back Into This Stock By Jeff Siegel DISCLOSURE: Long SCTY. I'm not sure how many people realize it just yet, but something very big happened last year in the world of solar. A small start-up called Mosaic came onto the scene offering New York and California residents the opportunity to invest in solar projects. These investments offered a 4.5% annual return, net of servicing fees, with terms of about nine years. This is basically a crowdfunding opportunity for those looking to invest in small solar projects. It's a pretty simple...

The Pros Pick Four Solar Stocks For 2014

Tom Konrad CFA Green 2014 image via BigStock With the average solar stock having doubled in 2013, it’s much harder to find bargains in the solar industry than it was a year ago.  But two of the professional green money managers think there is still value to be found.  When I asked them for their top three green stock picks for 2014, they came back with two solar picks each.  You can also read about my panel’s green income stock picks and...

New Reports See Solar Outlook Brightening

James Montgomery Sun emerging behind saguaro by Tom Konrad Scanning the new crop of reports from IHS, NPD Solarbuzz, and Navigant, here are a few key themes that emerge: Demand Is Shifting to Asia. Global solar PV demand reached 9 GW in 3Q13, up 6 percent from the prior quarter and nearly 20 percent from a year ago, according to Solarbuzz. China's share of that 3Q demand exceeded 25 percent, compared to 10 percent just two years ago. Meanwhile, the National Energy Administration reportedly has increased its 2014 targets for...

Solar REITs Unlikely to Win Favorable IRS Ruling

by David K. Burton In early 2013, many in the solar industry appeared to be thinking that the IRS’s blessing of a solar REIT would be provided within weeks. It is now the middle of 2013, and it appears the thinking from a few months ago was at best irrational exuberance. Three events have triggered a change in perspective on solar REITs. First, Hannon Armstrong’s (NYSE:HASI) private letter ruling request as to its REIT status is now public. Prior to the ruling being made public, the industry scuttlebutt was that the ruling would bless rooftop solar as REIT...

Solar Gainers and Losers

By Harris Roen Five solar stocks announced key updates – three show improved prospects, and two warn of danger. Power REIT (PW) More Info Power REIT will acquire 100 acres of land underlying a 20 megawatt solar array to be developed. The leasee will sell electricity to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE), which should then provide a steady income stream to PW shareholders. The stock price is up 11% for the year, in addition to a yield of 3.9%. Press release ...

Power REIT’s First Solar Deal

Tom Konrad The 5.7 MW Solar Farm in Salisbury, MA is the largest solar farm in New England. The land under if was purchased by Power REIT (NYSE:PW) in December. Photo source: Power REIT I first wrote about Power REIT’s (NYSE:PW) plans to invest in renewable energy real estate in May 2012.  The intent was to buy the real estate underlying a solar, wind, or other renewable energy project, charging the project owners rent.  This can be done profitably because REITs often have a lower cost of capital...

What Does 2013 Hold for Solar? Predictions From Four Green Money Managers

Tom Konrad What will the New Year hold for Clean Energy?   For the people who manage clean energy portfolios, mutual funds, and indexes the question is more than idle curiosity.  Getting the answer right means finding the stocks which will put a shine on your solar portfolio’s returns.  Getting it wrong means the competition will blow away your wind stocks. I asked my network of green money managers what they thought, and they gave me a lot more than I expected.  This is the start of a series on the predictions and stock picks from my...