Solar Photovoltaic Company Stocks Investing

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ontario revises solar energy rules, may have to rewrite again

About 150 small solar energy developments in Ontario were able to breathe a sigh of relief this week as their operations are now to be included in the new feed-in tariffs, as long as the systems were purchased before October 1st, 2009, and they make their status known and registered by Nov. 30. These home and small-scale solar photovoltaic systems did not meet the province's new 40% local content minimum requirement, and were initially excluded from the program.

Toronto Star article on revisions to Ontario's solar feed-in tariff program

Now that the regional issue has been resolved, an international dispute is simmering over the new legislation. Germany's BSW-Solar (solar energy industry association) has already gone on the record as being opposed to the rules, and the Toronto Star quotes an industry source saying major international photovoltaic solar module manufacturers such as SunPower, First Solar, Mitsubishi, Sanyo and Schuco have qualms with the legislation.

"The actions taken in Ontario directly contravene Canada's international trade commitments and place foreign solar equipment makers at a serious competitive disadvantage," the association said.

"We respectfully request that you raise this issue with the appropriate Canadian federal and Ontario provincial authorities, indicating that the European Union will consider seriously all available options to resolve the matter successfully."

- Germany's solar-industries association, BSW-Solar

Let's look at how these rules can be improved. The new rules, which went into effect Oct. 1, require that small rooftop solar systems contain 40 per cent local content as a combination of labour and equipment.

Larger systems must meet a 50 per cent threshold. Starting in two years that target will rise to 60 per cent. The Ontario solar feed-in tariff program provides between 44.3 and 80.2 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Ontario doesn't want to exclude the big solar companies and doesn't want to violate the WTO "national treatment" mandate and so must take these concerns very seriously. One way to change the legislation in an internationally positive manner would be to shift the focus from exclusionary and make it inclusive:

ALL solar systems eligible for 22 to 40 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Systems meeting 50% of local content targets will receive a 50% bonus and get rates of 33 to 60 cents an hour.

Systems meeting or exceeding 100% of the local content requirements would receive a 100% bonus and get rates 44 to 80 cents per kwh.

Opening the game up to all players shifts the focus to how much will we get paid, and away from why can't we play.

It may also be advantageous to give the rules a term, perhaps ten years, so that the local content requirements ramp up initially over the first two to three years, but then decline until the ten year term expires and all global products and systems are treated equally.

Our focus on nuclear and coal has left Ontario playing catch-up with regard to solar, wind, geothermal and biogas projects, so we really have to get PV right to attract the manufacturing, distribution and installation employment opportunities this rapidly growing industry can provide.

Tyler Hamilton story on BSW-Solar's opposition to Ontario solar rules

I'll be covering Ontario wind energy news at my Wind Energy Stocks Investing blog.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

China Revamps and Accelerates PV Solar with Golden Sun Project

Those of you following China's progress in the area of photovoltaic solar energy will appreciate the magnitude of China's new solar energy policy. In an email received from Sam Hopkins, Editor of Green Chip International, Sam pointed out how fast things are moving across that Pacifiying Ocean.

Here's an excerpt:

The Golden Sun Project

China unveiled a multi-ministry solar subsidy package on Tuesday that will inject billions into China's solar power industry while pushing towards new national renewable energy targets.

With a three-pronged approach, China's central government will spur the creation of up to 2.6 gigawatts of new solar power capacity through 2011. By that time. . .

The Golden Sun solar subsidy, from the ministries of Finance and Science & Technology, will subsidize 640 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations across the country. . .

The Ministry of Housing and Urban/Rural Construction will administer a 500 MW-subsidy package for BIPV (building-integrated PV). . .

And the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will manage a feed-in tariff to support up to 1.5 GW in new PV installations that will sell energy back to grid utilities.

Local market observers are also expecting a new renewable generation target from the NDRC and National Energy Administration.

The NDRC's Energy Research Institute forecasts an increase in China's 2020 solar capacity goal from 1,800 MW to 10,000 MW, or even more!

State-run newspaper China Daily reports that NDRC officials want to match the European Union and its "20x20" moonshot, by which 20% of electricity capacity will come from renewable resources by 2020.

Right now, China officially has its sights set on 15% by 2020.

"Personally, I think we could reach the target of having renewable sources make up 20 percent of total energy consumption," the NDRC's international ambassador Zhang Xiaoqiang said recently.

And even though China Daily tends to make China look good, this new optimism is far from fluff.

Next to the premium that investors are delivering to stocks like Suntech, perhaps the biggest bet on China's solar power progress is coming from Washington.

U.S. Cleantech Moves Closer to China

On July 15, the U.S. and China told the world about new plans to create a high-tech energy research center that would incubate jointly developed technology while lowering trade barriers.

The first estimate of how much it will take to establish a top-notch lab complex with dual headquarters in both countries is $15 million.

But that's chump change compared to the billions it will take to establish grid-connected solar power in China and expand additional off-grid generation into the hinterlands.

Beijing will subsidize up to 70% of independent solar power projects in unconnected remote areas, official CCTV reports.

Leapfrogging thermal (coal-fired) energy in undeveloped regions will help ensure that more of China's skies stay blue and, more importantly for investors, that new solar customers will chip away at China's excess domestic capacity.

More than 95% of the solar cells produced in China are currently sold abroad.

With Golden Sun and other new initiatives, China's solar power producers will have a more robust local market to add to their revenue sources abroad.

Also, check this China solar energy article by Tom Friedman of the New York Times, posted on

As I write this I am preparing to board a very long flight to China, where I’ll be talking to a few Chinese PV module manufacturers, as well as our existing inverter supplier, Motech, in Taiwan. This will be a chance to meet and greet potential future suppliers on their own ground, and review factories as we consider sourcing more materials from China, but there are many things I already know before embarking.

Yes they have a labor advantage, but China is also pumping a lot of money into R&D in order to make the next generation of renewable energy products, and they are succeeding.

The U.S. does not have a command and control economic system, nor am I suggesting that it should. But when it comes to alternative energy, we can learn a lot from China’s strategies – regardless of differences in our economic systems. China is telling their banks to support PV companies with strong loans, both for domestic and foreign. So the real irony is that I am going to China not just to find products, but to find financing (preliminarily offered) to install those products in the US. The engine for job creation in the US may well be Chinese bank project funding. Meanwhile, U.S. banks are still waiting on a loan guarantee program, which was promised six months ago, is guaranteed to be complex and may not even work. The last U.S. loan guarantee program failed.

The demand for solar exists. The need for action exists. All that’s missing is political will, and streamlined policies that will strengthen our economy, create jobs, save the environment and, in the long term, decrease the cost of living. It’s time for the U.S. to lead; we just need leaders with vision, who will quickly put that vision into action.

Chinese Solar Energy links:

Wikipedia entry on Solar Power in China

PV Solar Energy Stocks

China and USA competing for solar energy dominance

Lessons from China's Solar Power Programs

Major Global PV Solar Energy Company Websites Links

Clean Green Renewable Power:

Investing in Geothermal Power Companies

Wind Energy Stocks Investing Tips

Water Purification, Desalination, Energy From Water Investing

Best Green Stocks Blog

Green Mutual Fund Investing Info

Green Stocks Investing Network

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

15JUL09; Canadian Solar (CSIQ) Up 13%, JA Solar, Yingli both up 9%

The second leg of the Obama bull market (or post-Bush rally) is kicking in and publicly-listed photovoltaic solar energy companies are again among the leading green power stocks.

Among today's leaders

Canadian Solar CSIQ 12.62 +1.49 (13.39%) 450.36M

JA Solar Holdings JASO 4.41 +0.38 (9.43%) 740.39M

Yingli Green Energy YGE 11.08 +0.91 (8.95%) 1.41B

GT Solar Intl SOLR 5.50 +0.40 (7.84%) 788.16M

Spire Corp SPIR 5.55 +0.37 (7.14%) 46.26M

More alternative energy news and green power investing info:

Green Stocks Investing Network

Best Green Stocks Blog

Green Mutual Fund Information

Wind Energy Stocks Investing Links

Geothermal Power Company Stock Symbols

Water Purification Stocks, Tidal Power Investing, Wave Energy Stocks

Solar Energy & Renewable Power Investing News

Friday, May 8, 2009

30% Federal Tax Credit for Photovoltaic Solar Power and Solar Hot Water

From the website of excellent USA solar power company Sun City Energy:

Solar Rebate: 30% of your solar investment is already paid for!

Simply own a Sun City Solar System and take advantage of the new 30% solar tax rebate. Not only do you lower your tax liability with the new solar tax credit, you also take control of your energy dollars by lowering your energy use. The Federal solar tax rebate is subtracted off your bottom line tax liability. If you receive a Federal tax refund, you will get an additional 30% of your solar investment added to your tax refund check.

30% solar tax rebate for solar power and solar hot water

Residential Solar Rebate Tax Credit

The residential solar rebate tax credit is 30% of your solar investment for hot water and solar power electric. To be eligible for the solar tax credit, solar thermal systems must be certified by the SRCC. There is no SRCC certification required for solar electric.

Commercial Solar Rebate Tax Credit

The commercial tax credit is 30%. The commercial solar rebate tax credit can be carried forward twenty years or back one year. Your solar investment can be depreciated over 5 years on an accelerated basis. Interest on loans may also enter into the tax credit calculation under section 266 of the tax code. For a complete guide of the commercial and residential Federal tax credits, please go to:

There is a difference between a tax deduction and a tax credit. A tax deduction is subtracted from income before tax liability is computed. A tax credit is subtracted from the total tax liability. Currently, there is no solar rebate for residential pool systems or solar heating systems.

USA Federal Tax Credits for Solar Power and Energy Efficiency Expenditures

$8,000 US Federal Housing Tax Credit for first-time Home Buyers

A Green Realtor Environmental Real Estate Blog

Solar energy stocks, Renewable Power News May 2009

Here are some recent blog posts and news articles referencing publicly-listed solar power stocks and other alternative energy companies:

Plug-In Hybrid Cars an objective in President Obama statement

Green Energy Stocks will Benefit from Proposed Climate Change Bill, EPA ruling

Top 10 Green Energy Stocks for Post-Bush Market Rally; Clean Power Investing

Johan Trip Interview with Barry Cinamon, CEO Akeena Solar (AKNS)

China Plans to Invest in Solar, Wind, Geothermal and clean fuels

Norway's Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) ASA reports profits double in 2008

Future Of Solar Power Is Thin Film Photovoltaic Solar Energy Technology

Existing Vehicle Fleet Conversion for economic and environmental benefits

Miniature PV Cells: ultrathin, semitransparent and flexible solar cells

Photovoltaic solar systems growing fastest among alternative energy sources

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spire Corp (SPIR) surprises with big quarter, analyst estimates blown away

Longtime solar energy stalwart Spire, a great American success story and maker of turnkey solar power manufacturing equipment and related photovoltaic solar energy technology, has let the world in on something solar power industry insiders have been feeling for awhile; the news ain't all bad 'round here.

Despite analys projections of 0.12 per share profit for the quarter, SPIR followers were blown away by the reported 0.62, though at least a third of it is non-recurring.

At 4.71 the shares may seem less popular than others out there, but this is a tightly-held company and one also must appreciate the move into concentrated solar power.

Spire Corp Q4 and Year End 2008 numbers summary SPIR

Official Press Release Spire Corp SPIR Q4 and Year End 2008 Financials

Green Energy Stocks Investing Info

Publicly-traded Solar Power Companies

Research Information on Publicly-listed Photovoltaic Solar Power Companies Stocks

Find info on clean power companies and alternative energy funds at

Green Energy Stocks Investing Network: Clean Power Investments Mutual Funds Best Green Stocks Investing Blog Geothermal Power Company Website Links Publicly-traded Wind Energy Companies