Taiwanese Solar Companies have been the biggest beneficiaries of the duties on Chinese solar panels imposed by USA and the uncertainty arising from possible sanctions by Europe and India. To hedge their risk, solar companies have been diversifying their orders to solar cell factories in Taiwan which does not suffer from any anti dumping or [...]
Consolidation is the new way for Solar Companies to Suvive Consolidation in the global solar industry continues at an accelerated pace with companies exiting the solar business (Sharp, Siemens), bankruptcies being announced (Q-Cells), takeovers by government (LDK) and private companies (GTAT buys Twin Creek). Now two of the largest Taiwanese solar companies have decided to [...]
The US imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on China made solar cells has brought out unintended beneficiaries and losers. I had explained in an earlier post that US based polysilicon factories and solar equipment makers will be hurt due to this decision. They will probably face Chinese government duties on imports of polysilicon and [...]
China does not have many friends in its neighborhood,in fact it does not have any friends with relations with most countries being quite tense.The only friends it has is a tinpot communist dictatorship North Korea which has managed to keep its citizens in the Stone Age and Pakistan which is well on its way to become a failed state with a suicide bombing a day.What is interesting is that China holds the world record for sharing borders with the maximum number of countries,so one would consider it prudent to hold good relations with a large number of them.On the contrary China has had tense relations with almost all of them with low level military incidents the order of the day.China has a very cagey relationship with India where tensions have risen all the time with numerous friction points like Tibet,Arunachal Pradesh,supplying Pakistan with arms and building ports in smaller countries.South Korea alleged cyberattack a few months ago from hackers close to the Chinese government as well.
The Taiwanese Solar Industry has become the 2nd largest in the world following in the footsteps of China.Taiwanese Solar Industry has a longer history than the Chinese with Solar Cell Makers Motech and E-Ton establishing themselves globally way back in 2006.However the steep fall in solar panel prices following the Lehman crisis had led to losses for these companies as the Chinese companies surged ahead using their low cost manufacturing.The crisis also led to the emergence of newer Taiwanese companies like Gintech,Neo Solar which are growing at extremely fast rates.Note Taiwan is a hub of semiconductor manufacturing with leading companies like TSMC,AUO,UMC,HTC etc.Solar Industry uses many of the same technologies,raw materials and techniques common to semiconductor and Display Panels Production giving Taiwanese firms a natural advantage.Taiwan has been predominantly present in the crystalline Solar Cell part of the supply chain and lacks a big manufacturer of polysilicon ( though a facility has been started).The lack of vertical integration has also made the costs of the Taiwanese industry higher.The entry of large companies like AUO,TSMC has further increased the competition in the Taiwanese market.Note Taiwan’s government has also promoted the use of solar energy in the country through the use of a Feed in Tariff program.
There are only 2 Solar Energy ETFs in the Market right now – TAN and KWT.Note buying solar ETF provides a less risky way of investing in solar energy as some stocks can dramatically underperform in this fast growing industry.However Solar ETFs will on the other hand perform much worse than the best performing stocks in the solar universe.This is because their holdings are also concentrated on some of the lesser quality companies.KWT and TAN are better investments for the less informed and less sophisticated investors.Amongst the 2 ETFs,KWT is the better option than TAN for a number of reasons which are described below.