German Development Bank Kfw which is owned by the German government is planning to invest 800 million Euros in Indian Renewable Energy Sector.Note Kfw is one of the biggest funding institutions in Germany for renewable energy projects giving concessional interest rates.The Bank will use its extensive expertise in the alternative energy and energy efficiency areas to extend its business in India as well.Renewable Energy in India is expected to see a massive expansion in the next decade and will require massive amounts of debt and equity.Kfw alongwith other developmental institutions like ADB and World Bank have a big role to play.Note Debt is quite expensive in India and these institutions provide loans at a much cheaper rate making renewable energy projects viable.ADB has already formed a JV with NTPC and is looking to rescue JNNSM as well.IFC is funding numerous clean projects in India following its developmental mandate as well.
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.
Polysilicon or refined silicon is the raw material behind most of the world’s consumer electronics.Polysilicon is used to make both solar and semiconductor silicon wafers.Silicon wafers are used in making chips which are used by the Intels and Samsungs of the world while Solar Wafers are used in making solar crystalline panels used in generating electricity from the sun.Most of the world’s major solar energy companies used c-Si Technology in making solar panels.Polysilicon is an energy intensive process which requires cheap electricity.The polysilicon is produced mostly in the western countries like Japan,USA and Germany now.However the rise of solar panel producers in Asia has given rise to large volume Asian producers of polysilicon as well.Note Polysilicon production is concentrated in the hands of 8-9 companies unlike solar panel production which is done by hundreds of companies.This is a capital intensive process and requires around 2 years to complete a single plant.Semiconductors require higher purity levels of Polysilicon than the solar industry.The massive increase in demand from the solar industry has led to massive growth in poly production.Here are a list of the main polysilicon companies in the world
Crystalline Solar Cell Suppliers are fast disappearing due to the changing dynamics of the global c-Si Solar Panel Industry.With vertical integration becoming imperative as margins and prices get squeezed,independent solar cell suppliers are having a tough time.Increasing raw material costs in terms of higher polysilicon and solar wafer prices and competition from numerous players has decreased the number of pure play solar cell suppliers.However a few of the top solar cell producers continue to grow and flourish though they are also entering into other segment of the PV solar supply chain.Most of the independent solar cell suppliers are from Taiwan and some from China.European solar cell producers have mostly disappeared due to the high cost base of the European factories.Note this list is mostly composed of solar cell producers who don’t have big module making operations.You can find a list of the top solar energy companies most of which make solar cells as well.
South Korea is one of the biggest shipbuilders with major companies like Daewoo,Hyundai Heavy and Samsung.However its being beaten down by the low cost Chinese companies which are using cheaper capital and lower labor costs to press their advantage.South Korean Shipbuilders have been trying to diversify into offshore wind energy in order to safeguard their revenues.However they face tough competition in this renewable energy sector as well from incumbent wind turbine compaeis as well as Chinese WTG companies like Sinovel,Goldwind and others.Now the South Korean government is helping them with a 300 billion won research fund.This fund will be used to do R&D into building of “Green Ships” which are becoming the new growth segment.
China based GCL Poly is the biggest solar wafer producer in the world wresting the crown from LDK Solar in 2010.GCL Poly is now set to grow even bigger in 2011 raising its wafer capacity almost 85% making it No.1 by far.Note solar wafers are made up of polysilicon and used as raw materials for making solar cells which generate electricity from the sun.They are very similar to semiconductor wafers which are used to make the basic building blocks for electronics.GCL Poly has seen a massive rise from 2010 when it started to producer solar wafers.The company’s strategy of setting up plants near its major customers have landed it major deals and lower the cost in the supply chain.