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...

E.On Launches $34.72B All-Cash Endesa Bid

German utility E.On AG launched a 29.1 billion euro ($34.72 billion) all-cash bid for ENDESA (ELE) on Tuesday, topping a previous offer from Gas Natural by more than 30 percent and threatening to disrupt carefully laid plans for Spanish power-market consolidation. Endesa said in a statement that the E.On offer was "clearly" the better of the two, but added that it still did not adequately reflect Endesa's true value. Shares of Endesa were up 15% in yesterday's trading.

Tyler’s Elk Conference Call Notes

Tyler at Clean Break was able to listen in on the Elk Corp (ELK) earnings conference call this morning. Elk has had a multiple year partnership with ATS Automation (ATA.TO) solar division Spheral Solar. The two companies have been planning a commercial release of solar-integrated roofing and building material products. Elk Roofing chairman and CEO Tom Karol, responding to questions from MacMurray Whale from Sprott Securities, said the Spheral Solar roofing product is still in alpha testing but the company hopes to move into beta testing i.e. put it on real rooftops in the marketplace in...

WorldWater & Power Announces Significant Construction Milestone for California Project

Worldwater Corp (WWAT) announced that a major solar project had received inspection approval to begin generating full solar electric power - one of two irrigation systems being installed at a tree farm in Borrego Springs, California. The tree farm project uses the patented AquaMax(TM) variable frequency drive (VFD) to power a 250 horsepower well pump. A second irrigation system, scheduled to be completed by the end of March, will drive a similar pump. Once fully operational, the entire $1.8 million project is expected to save an estimated 70% of the farm's electrical bills.

Cheap Photovoltaics Are Eating Solar Thermal’s Lunch

Tom Konrad CFA The falling price of photovoltaic (PV) solar is undermining the case for Concentrated Solar Thermal Power (CSP).  According to a recent report from Pike Research, of the 6886 MW of CSP projects awarded in the United States since 2004, 36% have been replaced with PV.  That's more than the number which are actually under construction (1,532 MW, or 21% of announced projects), and all of those required the backing of the US DOE loan guarantee program. With this recent track record, and no ...

A Great Day For Solar Stocks, But Beware The Volatility!

Is it the unprecedented amount of media attention climate change is currently getting? Is it the State of the Union Address? Is it the price of oil? Or is it a combination of factors? In the end, it doesn't really matter; it's this time of year again and the value of the solar sector is heading north. Today was a great day for solar stocks, while the market as a whole was mainly flat. I remember this period last year very well. I was long Suntech Power and Energy Conversion Devices , acquired...

SunPower Announces $330 Million Global Solar Supply Agreement with PowerLight

SunPower Corporation (SPWR) announced its largest ever product supply contract. The supply agreement with PowerLight Corp., a global solar systems provider, calls for the delivery of $330 million of solar panels from 2005 through 2009. SunPower's industry-leading products will be incorporated into PowerLight's advanced solar power systems for commercial, government and new home residential customers worldwide. SunPower is trading up over 6% today on the news.

Solar Parking Developer Envision Solar Now Public (OTCBB:EVSI)

Tom Konrad, CFA One of the best things about Solar Photovoltaics (PV) is that they can be installed close to load but need not take up open space.  Now public company Envision specializes on solar shading for parking lots that not only produces power, but also shade where it's needed most. I lived in Tucson, Arizona for two years in the early 2000s.  Like everyone who lives in the desert Southwest for any length of time, I became very aware of what would happen if I left my car in an open parking lot for more than...

Western states take lead in the drive for renewable energy

The political climate for many of the western states are slowly starting to change to see the need for conversion to renewable energy sources. These test installations for Solar, Geothermal, and Wind energy are now producing real power for these areas. The key for us is to find the vendors that supply these installations. As the funding increases in these test beds, our growth will increase. Here is a good article from the sfgate.com about the various western states initiatives. "California's goal is to produce 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2017. New Mexico...

Grid-Based Energy Storage; Notes, Questions and Heresies from Storage Week

John Petersen Last week I had the pleasure of participating as a panelist in Infocast’s Storage Week and attending four days of presentations by industry executives, national thought leaders and policymakers. While most of the presentations were too detailed and specific for a blog about energy storage stocks, there were a few high-level discussions that may be interesting to readers and while I'll never qualify as a journalist I can at least share some of the thoughts I jotted down. Storage for Integration of Renewables Two of the most important presentations came from Dr....

Another State Mandate for Alternative Energy

Right on the heels of Colorado passing Amendment 37, Pennsylvania is waiting for State House approval on the passage of their own legislation mandating clean energy production. This new bill states that by 2020, utilities would be required to provide 18 percent of the electricity used in Pennsylvania from alternative sources, like wind, solar and waste coal. Wind should be the big winner for this region.

Investing in Solar

The one session I was most interested in attending at the Solar Energy confernce dealt with Investing in Solar. This session was primarily focused on venture capital. The panel was moderated by Ron Pernick from Clean Edge The panelists were: Bill Gross - Energy Innovations and IdeaLab. His company is making small CSP units that can be used for roof top installations. Dave Pearce - Miasole. This company is reasearching and producing a CIGS based thin-film PV. Howard Berke - Konara. This company is producing an organic based polymer solution for thin-film PV ...

BT gets behind renewable energy

British Telecom has announced a three-year plan to get all of its energy needs from renewable sources - the biggest such project in the world. The electricity used, worth hundreds of millions of pounds, could power a city the size of Nottingham. Renewable sources of energy include wind, wave and solar power, rather than using fossil fuels like oil or coal.

Spire to Provide a PV Module Manufacturing Line to Solaria Energia y Medio Ambiente,...

Spire Corp (SPIR) announced that it has executed a contract to provide Solaria Energia y Medio Ambiente, of Madrid, Spain, a customized SPI-LINE(TM) turnkey photovoltaic (PV) module production line. Spire's advanced PV module manufacturing equipment and process technology provided will enable Solaria to manufacture state-of-the-art photovoltaic modules from solar cells to address the rapidly growing needs of the European market. The modules produced from the line will be used for on-grid and off-grid electrification projects in Spain and elsewhere.

Stirling Solar Power

Privatly held Stirling Energy Systems is in the news today. This company takes the 19th century Stirling engine and pairs it with a solar collector to generate clean energy. "The Stirling engine makes solar power so much more efficiently than photovoltaic solar cells can," said Robert Liden, chief administrative officer at Stirling Energy Systems Inc. (Phoenix). "That's because the Stirling solar dish directly converts solar heat into mechanical energy, which turns an ac electrical generator." The bottom line, he said, "is that large farms of Stirling solar dishes ��? say, 20,000-dish farms ��? could deliver cheap solar electricity...

From Solar 2009: Removing The $2,000 ITC Cap

Charles MorandLike Tom, I attended part of the Solar 2009 conference last week. One of the most interesting presentations I heard was by Andy Black, CEO of OnGrid Solar, on the potential impact on residential solar installations of removing the $2,000 ITC limit (link to the actual paper). Prior to changes in October 2008, ITC tax credits for rooftop solar PV installations were capped at $2,000. In the author's own words: This paper presents revised and expanded financial analyses of residential cases . It will look at Internal Rate of Return (IRR) only (for simplicity of...
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