First Solar stock has been on a roll in recent times and has doubled in a short span from its all time lows. This is in sharp contrast to other solar energy stocks especially the big Chinese ones which continue to make new all times lows. Many of the them like JA Solar, LDK, Suntech [...]
US based thin film solar panel manufacturer First Solar has captured the lead marketshare in India’s solar panel market. This is quite surprising since First Solar’s competitive position is being eroded globally by Chinese crystalline solar panels which are cheaper and of higher efficiency. In fact First Solar has mostly stopped selling solar panels because [...]
Solar Stocks have made their investors suicidal with drops of of 80-90% from the top common even amongst the biggest solar companies. A number of solar companies like Q-Cells, Solar Millenium, Solon which used to be amongst the 10 biggest ones have gone bankrupt. In fact most of the German solar companies have either gone [...]
This may be a dramatic statement to make about the world’s most valued solar company but there are several reasons which I will explain below to illustrate this point. Note the solar industry is in a league of its own in the astonishing drop it solar panel prices (80% price drop over the last 3-4 years) and the rapid increase in demand (60% CAGR over the last 10 years).So the comparison and analysis by your usual stock hacks on financial portals like Motley and Seeking Alpha is way off the mark. First Solar had the worst 2 quarters in its history in 2011 as it went from a record breaking profit company into the red. Many issues which were hidden by its past success came out in the open and some of them are life threatening. Here are these problems
Solar Thin Film Technology has been growing rapidly despite falling costs of the mainstream Photovoltaic Crystalline Silicon Technology.While the current solar supply glut has resulted in some of the thin film solar film companies going out of business,big thin film suppliers continue with their growth plan.Solar Thin Film Technology is supposed to be the 2nd Generation successor to the mainstream Crystalline Silicon (c-Si) Technology which accounts for around 85% of world production.While a number of Weaker Hands in Thin Film have downed shutters,Thin Film Producers continue to grow and expand.The massive growth potential of Solar Energy makes it possible for both of these PV technologies to flourish.Thin Film Technology unlike c-Si has a number of variants.Amorphous Silicon (a-Si),Copper Indium Gallium Sulphide (CIGs) and Cadmium Tellurium (Cd-Te) are the 3 main types of Thin Film Technology.There are a number of manufacturers of all of these 3 types of Technology.CIGs Technology is said to have the most potential in improving efficiency and competing with c-Si,however Cd-Te is currently the top dog as the world’s biggest solar producer First Solar currently uses this technology.a-Si Technology is not that hot with low efficiencies however Oerlikon and Sharp are pushing ahead with developing this technology.
Solar Panel Manufacturers in USA are facing a torrid time from the falling prices of Chinese solar panels.This has caused the bankruptcies of some big solar panel companies in recent times like Solyndra,Spectrawatt and Evergreen Solar.Only those solar panel companies with the lowest cost and good quality will manage to survive the price war in solar panels that is currently on.Most companies are running losses as the prices of solar panels have decreased by 40% in 6 months.This would cause any industry to see massive bankruptcies and this is the case with the solar panel industry as well.Note Solar Industry is a new one with rapid technology and cost changes which makes startups with bad business models go bust.This is a natural effect of capitalism and nothing to be afraid of .However you have to be careful of which solar panel manufacturer to buy from as your 25 year solar panel warranty will become useless if the solar panel manufacturer from which you brought the solar panel goes out of business.On the Bright Side the sharply declining costs of solar has made it the biggest advantage of using solar power.