Tag: STPFQ

New Yingli Fund Evokes Shades Of Suntech

Doug Young I wrote earlier this week about troublesome signs for the solar panel sector’s fledgling recovery after a revenue warning from Trina (NYSE: TSL), and now we’re seeing another worrisome signal with news that Yingli (NYSE: YGE) is launching a new fund to build solar power plants. This kind of scheme looks eerily similar to one that kicked off the downfall of former industry leader Suntech (NYSE: STPFQ), though there are also a few differences. Still, Yingli’s latest move signals that the industry may not have learned its lesson from the Suntech debacle. Yingli’s decision...

SunTech’s Sunset Illuminates State Ties

Doug Young  Sunset for Suntech. Photo by Tom Konrad As the sun rapidly sets on former solar pioneer Suntech (OTC: STPFQ), I thought I’d take a look at the latest reports that show just how closely the company relied on state support. At the same time, another major development has seen Suntech’s shares finally de-list from New York, where they have traded since its 2005 IPO. The de-listing is something that should have happened long ago, even though investors continued to bet that Beijing would rescue Suntech ever since...

Italian Courts Seize GSF Solar Plants Complicating Suntech Bankruptcy

Doug Young Asset seizure casts new clouds over Suntech retrench Someone should write a book about solar panel superstar Suntech (NYSE: STP), whose the incredible rise and spectacular fall has taken yet another intriguing twist with word that some of its major assets have been seized by a court in Italy. The Italian angle is just the latest turn in this international story of a company founded by an Australian-educated Chinese engineer, which once look set to revolutionize the solar energy sector, only to be forced into bankruptcy when...

China Boosts Solar With Construction Ban

Doug Young China halts construction of new solar manufacturing plants Beijing took an important step towards rejuvenating the global solar panel sector last week when it announced new steps that will strictly limit new plant construction. This kind of government-led approach is a good short-term solution, as it will halt the introduction of new supply, which in turn will allow prices to stabilize after more than 2 years of steep declines caused by massive overcapacity. But over the longer term, China needs to address the...

Bejing Should Oust Shi to Save Suntech

Doug Young New developments have come rapidly over the past week at Suntech (NYSE: STP), leaving the former solar superstar on the brink of collapse as its founder Shi Zhengrong blocks a potential government rescue. Shi’s exit is believed to be a main condition for the government bailout, and his refusal to leave could well result in the failure of a company that is otherwise an industry leader with strong potential. To prevent such a collapse, the government should take the unusual step of forcing Shi to go so that Suntech can begin a desperately needed reorganization....

Suntech Plunges as Reckoning Day Approaches

Doug Young I rarely write about the same company 3 times in a single week, but in this case the developments are coming so quickly at plunging solar panel pioneer Suntech Power (NYSE: STP) that an update to this fast developing story is necessary. Company watchers will know that Friday was the official deadline for Suntech to repay some $540 million in bonds that have just come due. The company has no cash to make that repayment, and earlier this week received a 2 month extension on that deadline from a majority of bondholders. (previous post) Meantime, Chinese...

Suntech: Shinier Days Ahead?

Doug Young With only a week before a key deadline for a big debt repayment, solar panel maker Suntech (NYSE: STP) appears to have cleared a major hurdle for a rescue plan by settling a big dispute with one of its major partners. I suspect that settlement with GSF, a builder of solar plants in Europe, was a major condition by Suntech's bondholders for a deal that could see the company avoid both bankruptcy or a takeover by Chinese government entities. In the meantime, Suntech's colorful founder Shi Zhengrong is speaking freely to the media about his forceful...

Suntech Nears Final Reckoning; Yingli’s Sales Grow While Losses Narrow

Doug Young New developments in the battered solar energy space indicate the day of reckoning is fast approaching for embattled Suntech (NYSE: STP), even as the latest results from rival Yingli (NYSE: YGE) are showing early signs of a rebound for the battered sector. Industry watchers will recall that cash-strapped Suntech has nearly $600 million worth of bonds that will mature on March 15, even though it lacks the money to repay the bondholders. The company hired investment bank UBS in October to try and renegotiate the debt, though we haven't heard anything from the company since...

Solar: Big Gets Bigger, Small Suffers

Doug Young A couple of new items from the battered solar sector hint that the situation may be improving for the largest companies, even as smaller players continue to struggle and face the very real danger of collapse. Of course I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that I've predicted a rebound for this embattled sector once or twice before based on optimistic company statements, and in each instance the rebound I was sensing never came. This time the difference could be that many smaller players have now closed or are tottering on the brink of insolvency,...

Suntech’s Woes Drag On

Doug Young The woes at fast-fading former solar superstar Suntech Power (NYSE: STP) keep on coming, with the company releasing its latest earnings report that shows its woes are likely to continue until its increasingly inevitable takeover by the state. That takeover, if and when it comes, is likely to be as filled with fireworks as Suntech's actual decline, with all signs indicating that founder Shi Zhengrong won't easily yield control of his company to the government-backed funding sources he needs to provide it with desperately needed new capital. Before we delve too deeply into that...

US Finalizes China Solar Tariffs

Doug Young President Obama's election victory has dominated US headlines over the last 2 days, but Washington showed it was still hard at work with news that the Commerce Department has finalized punitive anti-dumping tariffs against Chinese solar panel makers. In a way, this kind of quiet ending seems appropriate for a drawn-out process that began more than a year ago with a Congressional probe into a bankrupt US solar firm. With this trade issue now resolved, China, which produces more than half of the world's solar panels, can now focus on simply saving an industry that is...

Chinese Government Comes to Suntech’s Rescue

Doug Young New reports of a government-sponsored rescue package being assembled for for fast-sinking Suntech (NYSE: STP) and other major solar firms highlight everything that's wrong with China's struggling solar sector, most notably exposing the ridiculous levels of state report it receives. At this point the Chinese seem to no longer care about denying the allegations of unfair government support made by their western peers, and instead are focused on simple survival as the industry remains caught in its worst ever downturn created by a massive supply glut. The western allegations have only made the situation worse for...

Report Suggests Solar at Grid Parity Tipping Point

by Clean Energy Intel A new academic study published last week suggests that solar energy has already reached grid parity in some areas in North America and is therefore poised to move into the mainstream. The study, 'A Review of Solar Photovoltaic Levelized Cost of Electricity', was co-authored by Joshua Pearce of Michigan Technological University and Kadra Branker and Michael Pathak of Queen´s University in Kingston, Ontario. It was published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. You can read an abstract of the study here. The study focuses on the assumptions behind many of the past studies of the...

SolarCity Shows Private Sector Can Respond To Funding Gap Left By DOE

by Clean Energy Intel Solar City has today announced that it has obtained private sector financing for its SolarStrong Project to put solar on the rooftops of 120,000 military homes across the US over a five year period. Bank of America (BAC) has now agreed to provide the finance, though the project has been slightly downsized from it original target of 160,000 homes. This is very good news for the solar sector. SolarCity had of course been let down by the DOE, which in the immediate aftermath of the Solyndra affair had said that it could not complete SolarCity´s...

Asia-Pacific Demand To Help Sector Re-Balance

by Clean Energy Intel Asia Pacific Market Demand By Region Source:  NPD SolarBuzz: Asia Pacific Major PV Markets Quarterly New data published today by SolarBuzz in their Asia Pacific Major PV Markets Quartely points to a surge in new installations in both China and the Asia Pacific region as a whole. Indeed, the region seems likely to add a total of 2 GW of new installations in Q4 of this year. This is good news for the solar industry and could help bring supply and demand in...