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.
[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 ]
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.]
This paper uses confidential U.S. Customs data on U.S. importers and their Chinese exporters to investigate the frictions from changing exporting partners. High costs from switching partners can affect the efficiency of buyer-supplier matches by impeding the movement of importers from high to lower cost exporters. I test the significance of this channel using U.S. import data, which identifies firms on both sides (U.S. and foreign) of an international trade relationship, the location of the foreign supplier, and values and quantities for the universe of U.S. import transactions. Using transactions with China from 2003-2008, I find evidence suggesting that barriers to switching exporters are considerable: 45% of arm’s-length importers maintain their partner from one year to the next, and one-third of all switching importers remain in the same city as their original partner. In addition, importers paying the highest prices are the most likely to change their exporting partner. Guided by these empirical regularities, I propose and structurally estimate a dynamic discrete choice model of exporter choice, embedded in a heterogeneous firm model of international trade. In the model, importing firms choose a future partner using information for each choice, but are subject to partner and location-specific costs if they decide to switch their current partner. Structural estimates of switching costs are large, and heterogeneous across industries. For the random sample of 50 industries I use, halving switching costs shrinks the fraction of importers remaining with their partner from 57% to 18%, and this improvement in match efficiency leads to a 12.5% decrease in the U.S.-China Import Price Index.
“BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese clean energy generator Hanergy Holding Group Ltd on Wednesday said it has broadened its solar power technology portfolio with the purchase of Alta Devices Inc, a California-based developer of thin-film solar cells.
The acquisition comes a year after Hanergy bought Arizona-based Global Solar Energy Inc, which in turn followed the purchases of Silicon Valley start-up MiaSole and Germany’s Q Cells AG [QCEG.UL] subsidiary Solibro GmbH.”
China has bet on solar energy as a cleaner alternative to coal, but whether installed solar panels can meet the country’s need for energy is becoming a troubling question.
China had installed nearly 19.5 gigawatts of solar panels as of the end of 2013. However, “many solar installations failed to generate as much electricity as planned,” said Ji Zhenshuang, deputy director at the Beijing-based China General Certification Center, which examined 472 Chinese solar projects over the past four years.
via ‘Solar PV industry clouded by dumping’ | Business Line.
“Competitive pressure from foreign module manufacturers, particularly from China, and excess supply in the equipment market have had a significant impact on the domestic manufacturing business. An anti-dumping investigation against these low-cost imports is currently in progress, and the government needs to issue a preliminary tariff ruling at the earliest to provide desperately-needed relief to the ailing manufacturing industry.”