“Americans overestimate the contribution of renewable energy in powering the U.S. and underestimate the role of coal, oil and natural gas now and in the future. In 2016, solar and wind together made up just 3% of U.S. energy consumption, while survey respondents put the figure at 20%. Furthermore, respondents predict that wind and solar will make up 34% of energy consumption in five years; however, the experts predict that they will be less than 5% of our energy consumption. Conversely, respondents perceived fossil fuels to be a much lower percentage of the energy mix than they are today and projected them to be even less in five years.”
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 ]
Rumor has it that a lot of energy companies are on the brink of bankruptcy, will the Feds step in to stabilize it. It’s been said that they’re heavily leveraged, sorta like Lehaman.
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.]
Worry for Solar Projects After End of Tax Credits – NYTimes.com
This is probably the worst time for tax credits for renewable projects to end, as major energy producers scale back construction plans due to lower oil prices. Though peak production has not made renewables any more popular, looking at the whole picture – America’s energy needs, slow steady growth in the background is how solar would have eventually beat the hare. How convenient is it for oil that renewables’ growth would be hampered at such a time as this.
There is also a possibility that further deterioration in energy construction could derail a recovering economy. There have been serious adverse affect to not only to construction companies, real estate in neighboring municipalities but construction equipment manufacturers have suffered as well.
Do only bright spot:
Transmission Line That Could Bring Wind And Solar Power To Millions In West Gets Go-Ahead | ThinkProgress
As I mentioned in October 2014, HVDC are the probably the only projects that we’ll be seeing in the future. Why? Because they’re independently owned, and the present a cost advantage to utilities: no construction, maintenance or liability. And none of the regulatory hurdles that utilities would like to avoid while they apply for rate increases to combat Solar.
“For solar industry bellwethers such as SolarCity, First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), SunPower and SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE), there have been significant declines in stock in recent months.
SolarCity is down 31% over the past three months, First Solar 39%, SunPower 35% and SunEdison 16%. Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ) stock has fallen 33%.
Shawn Qu, CEO of Canadian Solar, said that “demand for solar energy is and will not be affected by oil price change,” noting that 39% of U.S. electricity is coal-generated, 27% comes from natural gas, 19% from nuclear, 7% hydro, 6% renewables and 1% oil.
Chinese solar stocks have sold off too. ReneSola (NYSE:SOL) has plunged 52.5% the past three months. Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL) has lost 28% and Yingli Green Energy (NYSE:YGE) 38%.”