Tag: CSIQ

Who’s on First, What’s on Second and Why It Does and Does Not Matter

by Paula Mints Sizing the supply side of the global PV industry has never been easy. As annual shipments grew to gigawatt heights outsourcing increased in tandem making it almost impossible to settle on a reliable number for the size of the industry in any given year. Outsourcing, a common practice in all industries, takes place when one manufacturer buys a product or component from another manufacturer.  In the PV industry, manufacturer A buys cells from manufacturer B, assembles the cells into modules and includes these modules in its in-house production.  When both manufacturers report the resulting...

EU Likely To Impose Further Sanctions On Chinese Solar Firms

Doug Young Bottom line: A widening investigation into violations of an anti-dumping solar panel settlement between China and the EU is likely to result in punitive sanctions, dealing a blow to the Chinese panel makers. What started as some quiet rumblings earlier this week is quickly brewing into a major storm, with word that a landmark settlement between the EU and China a year ago to resolve an anti-dumping dispute over solar panels is quickly unraveling. In this case it’s probably more accurate to say the settlement was between the EU and actual Chinese solar panel makers,...

EU Probes Chinese Solar Firms

Doug Young Bottom line: The EU is likely to resolve its latest dispute with Chinese solar firms over implementation of a year-old pricing agreement, but the clash will undermine trust and hints at future conflict over the issue. After several months of relative quiet, Chinese solar panel makers are back in the headlines this week with another looming trade dispute in Europe. This particular story, and much of the industry’s woes over the last 2 years, stems from broader western allegations of unfair government support for Chinese panel makers. In this case China and the EU signed...

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...

Solar Stocks Slide On Oil Slick

Doug Young  Bottom line: The recent plunge in solar stocks is the result of panic selling due to falling oil prices, meaning the shares could rebound sharply once the sell-off subsides. US investors were showing signs of new energy indigestion in the shortened trading day after Thanksgiving, dumping stocks of all the major solar panel makers in a messy post-holiday sell-off. With no major news from any of the companies, the driving force behind the sell-off appears to be the recent plunge in oil prices, which hit new 4 years lows late last week after OPEC declined to cut...

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...

China Plans Aggressive Renewables Deployment But Falling Incentives

Doug Young Lofty targets contained in a new report show that China intends to push ahead with ambitious plans to build up its renewable energy sector. But perhaps the most interesting thing about this new report is word that Beijing finally intends to sharply reduce the inflated state-set fees now paid for solar and wind-produced power, in one of the sharpest indicators that it expects the industry to stop depending on government support and become commercially viable on its own. Such state support through a wide array of measures, which also include export credits and low-interest loans,...

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...

Chinese Solar Development Funds: Recipe For Disaster?

Doug Young Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) has joined a growing field of Chinese solar panel makers entering the risky business of speculative development in China, with its launch of a new locally-based fund for solar power construction. The move follows the establishment of self-financed vehicles for similar speculative construction by rivals Trina (NYSE: TSL), Yingli (NYSE: YGE) and wind power equipment maker Ming Yang (NYSE: MY), as they try to create more demand for their products. Under such a strategy, solar panel makers typically provide some or all of...

Trina Thrives On Solar Financing

Doug Young Investors were applauding a new announcement by Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL), after it announced a deal that would see it help to finance and build a massive solar power farm in southwest Yunnan province. The deal should indeed help Trina generate big sales for the near-term, as it involves construction of a farm with huge capacity of 300 megawatts of power. But I’m just a bit wary of this kind of development, which will also see Trina pay most of the bills to build the facility. This kind...

3 Stocks For The Coming Solar Shortage

By Jeff Siegel An impending glut of solar panels was going to be the death knell for the industry. Or at least that's how the solar bears framed the argument just a few short years ago. Today, however, it's a different story... A shortage of solar panels is now going to kill the industry. Or at least that's how the bears are framing the argument this time. Meanwhile, I'm grinning ear to ear. Because just as opportunity existed during the great solar glut, opportunity exists as the solar industry gears up for a potential shortage. So don't...

Rulings Boost China Wind, Solar In US

Doug Young In a quirk of timing, 2 completely unrelated rulings are boosting the outlook for Chinese new energy firms from the wind and solar sectors in their complex relationship with the US. The 2 cases are quite different, but each reflects the wariness Washington feels towards these Chinese firms due to their government ties. In the bigger of the 2 cases, a World Trade Organization panel has ruled that US anti-dumping tariffs against Chinese solar panel makers violate WTO rules. In the second case, a US judge’s ruling has given a boost to a...

Chinese Commercial Solar Group Formed To Tackle Trade Wars

by Doug Young Chinese solar panel makers have taken an important step to solving their ongoing trade spat with the west by formally launching a private sector trade association to speak on their behalf. The move gives the panel makers their first truly commercial representative to discuss the matter with peers in the US and Europe, providing a better alternative to the government-backed groups that previously spoke for them. This kind of step is long overdue, and should help to de-politicize and hopefully solve what is largely a commercial matter, involving western claims of unfair state...

Ming Yang To Build 300 GW Chinese Wind Farm

Doug Young Wind power company Ming Yang (NYSE: MY) became China’s latest new energy equipment maker to dip its toe into project finance and development last week, when it announced a new plan for a massive wind farm project in Jiangsu province. Its announcement follows similar moves by many of its peers from the solar sector, and comes as Beijing embarks on a broader plan to clean up China’s air through initiatives like clean energy development. Plans like Ming Yang’s will certainly help China to meet its ambitious goals; but they also carry a huge burden and...

Private Equity Giant Eyes Chinese Solar

by Doug Young Following reports last month of the imminent formation of a major new private equity investor, media are now saying the company, China Minsheng Investment, has formally registered and is gearing up to make its first investments. The new company certainly has the resources and connections to quickly become a major player on both the domestic and global private equity scenes, with an initial 50 billion ($8 billion) in registered capital. Now it appears the company will start by helping to consolidate China’s embattled solar panel-making sector, which will become its first focus area....

Beijing Taking Hands-Off Approach To Solar Recovery

by Doug Young China sent an important message to the struggling solar panel sector last week when one of the country’s major manufacturers was forced to turn to global capital markets to raise new funds, hinting that it couldn’t receive the money from state-backed domestic sources. The move sparked a sell-off for New York-listed shares of Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE), as its request for funds met with a frosty response on Wall Street. The fact that Yingli had to seek funding from commercial-oriented western investors indicates Beijing is taking a hands-off approach to financing...