No. 02 – Bullish on #Solar – #Stocks

What happens to an industry when the big names get hammered in the stock market? Everyone begins to worry.

SolarCity and Sunrun were once the market darlings but are now casualties of their own fame and the momentum of a larger downward trend in all markets, especial the oil industry. Cheap oil has reduced the urgency to switch to solar, at least in the consumers’mind.

But what about stocks? I though COP21 would have had a stronger affect on renewables. In 2014 I wrote about the solar trade war and how China would be left with glut of solar panels unless the Middle East and India stepped in the buy up the supply. It was surprising to hear Saudi Arabia  ambitiously tout their renewable energy plans, even implying that they would reduce their reliance on oil. Well, now we see the fruits of those seeds. (Saudi Arabia was smart enough to put quite a bit of cash in its sovereign wealth fund (which was the third largest in the world) to reduce the impact of the economic shocks.)

And what about Neveda and Net-metering? The debate has grown increasingly hot in Hawaii and Nevada, leading me to believe that utilities have fround their golden nugget. Nevada is a bear market for solar. Could that wave spread to other states and jurisdictions? Forget Big Oil, beware of Big Utility.

I’ve sold solar stocks toward the end of 2015, and the remaining stocks I have are so devalued that it wouldn’t make a difference if I continued to hold them. They can only increase in value. And that’s the outlook for solar – it can only get better, but it might get worst before it does.

[Update on my attempt to contact Solar companies operating in Nevada: I did receive one call from a gentleman operating there, and I want to apologize for not calling him back. Talk to you soon.]

No. 04 – How Solar Software Can Save The World

VCs have avoided solar deals ever since Solyndra became a four-letter word. But while their attention has strayed, the industry has been on a tear. In 2010, U.S. solar installers hit a milestone of 1 GW per year. Five years later, they’re installing more than 1 GW per month. This tremendous growth has fed a swelling herd of solar unicorns populated by the likes of SolarCity, SunEdison, SunPower and more.

http://techcrunch.com/2016/01/23/how-solar-software-can-save-the-world/

[Solyndra is not a four-letter word. I’ve researched the events and the market influences surrounding their failure. If you look at the oil companies who have received tax incentives and the market forces at play, you would have the same situation occurring now – bankruptcy. The difference is that the consumer benefits from a cheaper product (oil) because it is widely used, where as Solar; and Solyndra’s panels were a radically new design utilizing light from all angles, is a growing industry. Brooklyn.Solar ]

No. 01 – Is SolarCity’s move to cease operations in Nevada indicative of all companies operating there?

That is what I planned on finding out, but unfortunately getting through to some of the entities there was harder than I thought.

After reading about SolarCity I felt that the Solar Power market would now be open to small to mid-size companies. Maybe they would be able to capitalize on the news and start to market to their service;”We’re still here.” I went on line, typed in solar installers in Nevada. I printed out a list of about twenty companies operating in Nevada. I called eight that looked reputable, and didn’t get through to anyone. Not one. One company’s number led me to a little old lady; sorry Ma’am. Most of them had answering services; “for our directory press 1.” No wonder national companies are able to dominate the market, there’s no competition. And now the impression is that there’s no market at all. SolarCity’s announcement is dominating the discussion about Solar in Nevada.  I was expecting to reach people that would be willing to discuss their plans to innovate, advertise, and fight for market share. I wanted to know whether their customers had questions, whether they even thought that the decision actually hurt the Nevada solar market. I also wanted to know whether or not there was a demographic that could still be marketed to, such as conservationist, empty-nesters, upper middle-class owners, green renovators, off-grid homeowners, farmers, and businesses. Tomorrow NV Energy is supposed to submit their rate plan for Net-metering, I’d be nice to hear from the industry, not just SolarCity, about their plans for 2016 under the new rate scheme. Stay tuned.

Amtech Announces $22 Million in New Solar Orders in Fiscal Q1 Includes Significant Order for High Throughput Diffusion and PECVD Systems

TEMPE, Ariz.Dec. 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASYS), a global supplier of production equipment and related supplies for the solar, semiconductor, and LED markets, today announced its solar subsidiary, Tempress Systems, Inc., has received approximately $22 million in new solar orders, of which approximately 50% is for its PECVD systems. The majority of the orders is from a top tier solar cell manufacturer in Asia and is expected to ship within the next six to nine months.