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.]
“Emerging Green Desalination: Solar and Wave Technologies, says desalination will grow to 140 million cubic meters in 2020, reflecting soaring demand for freshwater and growing viability of renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind.
Read more: http://www.environmentalleader.com/2016/05/26/will-clean-energy-desalination-be-a-game-changing-water-fix/#ixzz49s1mKyBM
“As enacted, the PTC and the ITC presently are subject to a sunset and will expire. Eligibility for either credit hinges on the date on which construction of the facility begins. As part of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the “PATH Act”), Congress extended the PTC for two years, extending the date before which construction must begin for certain facilities to January 1, 2017, and extended the PTC for five years with respect to wind facilities by providing that construction must begin before January 1, 2020. Congress also modified the PTC for wind facilities by providing that the credit will phase out over the next four years. In addition, the ITC has been extended for solar energy facilities the construction of which begins before January 1, 2022.”
“On the bright side, the Order immediately lifted the Commonwealth’s net metering caps, enabling a large volume of stalled projects to move forward.”
“But in New York, utilities and solar companies have called a truce and are working on a plan that aims to please both sides of the debate.
In April, six utilities and three solar companies shook on a deal to transition away from net metering policy and toward a set of declining incentives and fees for developers. The deal comes as the state moves forward with the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative, a comprehensive regulatory proceeding that aims to overhaul the traditional utility business model and align utility incentives with the deployment of distributed resources from multiple parties.” Here
“But the commission and the lawmakers are more interested in having utility NV Energy buy energy from large, centralized solar panel farms built in the deserts of Nevada, which can provide electricity for less cost than a solar panel installed on a rooftop can. Even though the same solar panels could be used in both situations, installing a solar panel on a home is more expensive (per energy generated) than building a large solar panel farm, due to the added costs of necessities for rooftop solar like expensive customer sales, permits, marketing, rooftop gear, and installation labor costs.” Fortune
Nevada’s Net-metering debate had sent shivers through the solar industry, but urban areas have little to fear since there’s less open space to construction solar farms. Different regions will have economies of scale conducive to their environment – rural vs urban.
“Major residential solar companies are currently experiencing unprecedented industry headwinds. Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN), however, is faring far better on the growth front than its main competitors SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) and Vivint Solar (NYSE:VSLR). The company’s quarterly deployment figure of 60 MW grew an impressive 62% YOY. In even greater contrast to its competitors, Sunrun’s bookings grew 46% YOY at 56 MW booked. Sunrun even reported a net income of $13.1 million.” Seeking Alpha
“PJM says its “second auction with stringent pay-for-performance standards attracted a significant amount of new resources at competitive prices to the PJM footprint,” as it procured ~167.3K MW in the auction to ensure electricity capacity for the June 2019-May 2020 delivery year; the clearing price was $100/MW-day for the majority of the 13-state PJM region vs. the $164.77 rate set during last year’s auction.”
“We want to let you know that we are totally committed to this business,” the company said in a letter.”
“In operation, this approach would use a conventional solar-concentrating system, with lenses or mirrors that focus the sunlight, to maintain the high temperature. An additional component, an advanced optical filter, lets through all the desired wavelengths of light to the PV cell, while reflecting back any unwanted wavelengths, since even this advanced material is not perfect in limiting its emissions. The reflected wavelengths then get re-absorbed, helping to maintain the heat of the photonic crystal.”
Tiny defects in perovskite’s crystalline structure can hamper the conversion of light into electricity in a solar cell, but “what we’re finding is that there are some defects that can be healed under light,” says Stranks, who is a Marie Curie Fellow jointly at MIT and Cambridge University in the U.K. The tiny defects, called traps, can cause electrons to recombine with atoms before the electrons can reach a place in the crystal where their motion can be harnessed.