Discusses the recent news that renewable energy (including hydro as well) now supplies more electricity to the US grid than does nuclear power. The post then goes on to list some large solar and wind projects in advanced stages of the development pipeline as a reason for being optimistic that the solar and wind side of the renewables is rapidly growing in scale.
The solar sector is among the most hated on Wall Street. Many names in the solar sector that are heavily shorted, in spite of it being the fastest growing energy sector in the U.S. Meanwhile, the world is using oil faster than it’s being pumped, which is economically dangerous, because oil price spikes have preceded all recessions since 1970. More renewables could serve to lessen our ridiculous economic vulnerability to oil prices.
After lagging behind the utility scale segment of the solar power renewable energy sector is really starting to take off in the US; it is is now on par with the commercial and residential segments in terms of market size and growing at a higher rate. This post summarizes AltaTerra Research’s newest report, “Utility Solar: U.S. Market Takes Off”.
Suntech CEO, Zhengrong Shi, a prime mover in helping to turn China into a global force in photovoltaic technology, has been a major influence in bringing China’s solar PV cost structure down and making China a powerhouse in photovoltaic technology–and became a billionaire in the process. Shi’s ambition is to make solar power as cheap as conventional electricity.
In this survey we are looking at the large US headquartered solar PV manufacturers with a view to examine how they are doing in this difficult economic climate. As basically anyone knows, who has not been cloistered away meditating in some cave, 2009 has been a very tough year for pretty much everyone.
By some measures 2009 has been the worst year in the young solar PV sectors history. In fact, global revenue for Photovoltaic (PV) panels is expected to drop by nearly 20 percent in 2009, as oversupply causes prices to crash by nearly fifty percent. Many of the weaker firms may not survive this shakeout and right now things do look very gloomy – even though by some other measures 2009 is not as bad as it may seem. For example more newly installed capacity (4.2 GW) is installed this year than any year – ever; however this is of little comfort to the many firms in this sector that are being buried under an avalanche of negative revenue. This article examines the short term outlook for the solar PV sector going forward, basing itself on market data from a recent iSuppli study.
The Report can be purchased as part of a subscription to Progressive Investor or separately for $89. Progressive Investor is a monthly newsletter that guides investors and analysts toward green investments. Published by SustainableBusiness.com, it covers all green business sectors, including renewable energy, green building and healthy lifestyle. You can read an excerpt of the Report on SustainableBusiness.com. It is an in-depth interview with Patrick McVeigh, president of Reynders, McVeigh Capital Management, a green/social portfolio management firm. Progressive Investor talked with him about his impression of market conditions, the impact of the stimulus plan on cleantech, and how they are managing porfolios under these circumstances. You can also read the sample article, The Green Investment Landscape.
After a run of some years of heady double digit growth the Solar PV sector in the US has hit a period of slower growth in which some of the weaker players are being shaken out of the market. This year will be characterized by consolidation as more successful firms and better capitalized firms build their market share and absorb weaker players. This shakeout was inevitable and is natural, but it was undoubtedly triggered by the financial crash of late 2008 coupled with the bursting of the oil futures speculative bubble and the temporary collapse in prices on the oil spot markets.
Earlier this month, First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) announced that it has reduced its manufacturing cost for solar modules in the fourth quarter 2009 to 98 cents per watt, becoming the first solar cell manufacturing company to break the $1 per watt price barrier. This is a major price milestone for the solar photovoltaic manufacturing sector and represents a significant step towards achieving what is known in the industry as as grid parity, the price level where the per watt cost for solar electricity reaches the current averaged cost of electricity on the grid a goal First Solar plans to reach by 2012.