The undisclosed amount of new funding from Energy Investment Tech will go toward building 200 micropower plants in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, which will provide energy to over three million people in 6,000 villages.
This fall, Island Press released an Anniversary Edition of Smart Power, allowing me to supplement the original text with forewords from industry leade…
Read more: Resilience, Hurricane Sandy, Utilities, Energy, Distributed Gen…
Imagine a place where there is no electricity market. No rules, no policies, no market. A clean slate. This is what the Solar Energy Power Association (SEPA) calls the 51st State, a new initiative to get people to think outside the box when it comes to…
By Jeff Siegel
Times sure have changed!
In 2006, I attended my first Solar Power International (SPI)
conference in D.C.
It was a no-frills event but loaded with valuable information I
used to help Energy and Capital readers get a jump on
the solar bull market that ran from 2006 to 2008.
Truth be told, we cleaned up. But nothing lasts forever. And when
the market nosedived in 2008, solar stocks were not exempt from
the ravenous bears that mauled everything in their path.
Of course, as the broader market began to inch back up in 2010,
solar stocks didn’t miss a beat… at least the handful that were
Since 2010, solar stocks have enjoyed a fantastic ride. First
Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR),
SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR),
and JA Solar (NASDAQ: JASO),
just to name a few, showed non-believers that the solar industry
was no longer a niche market catering only to tree huggers and
wealthy eccentrics. And when I arrived at this year’s solar
conference, I expected to hear more cheering and chest pounding
from the gatekeepers of this industry.
What I heard instead was something every energy investor should
know about — because there’s a very real possibility that the
solar industry could soon be heading face-first into another
A Solar Nightmare
I should preface this section by telling you that despite some
ominous news, the solar industry has still put up some pretty
impressive numbers. Consider the following:
Now, the reason I focused on 2006 in this list is because this is
when the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) kicked in.
The solar ITC is a 30% tax credit for solar systems on
residential and commercial properties. And it is the ITC that,
without a doubt, has been one of the most important federal policy
mechanisms supporting the deployment of solar energy in the U.S.
It’s also scheduled to expire in 2016.
Now, if you’re a regular reader of these pages, you know I’m not
a fan of energy subsidies. There is no greater threat to a free
market than government intervention. And in the case of energy,
it’s these subsidies that push lawmakers to pick and choose
winners in the energy industry. This goes for everything from
solar and wind to fossil fuels and nuclear.
That being said, I completely understand why Rhone Resch,
president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said
the following at the opening session of SPI:
It’s absolutely imperative… job #1… that we extend the 30
percent solar Investment Tax Credit past 2016.
2015: The Year of Solar
The truth is, no one actually knows whether or not the ITC will
be extended beyond 2016.
If I had to put money on it, I’d say it’ll get extended for at
least another four years, taking us into 2020. But when it comes
to policy, nothing’s certain until all the votes are counted.
So as a result, many in the solar industry are now operating at a
capacity that suggests 2015 will be the last year for that 30% tax
credit. In other words, they’re kicking it up a notch in 2015 in
an effort to take full advantage of the ITC before it expires.
I suppose it’s a bit of an uncomfortable indicator for solar
supporters, but for energy investors, it is a call to action: Ride
the wave of aggressive integration in 2015.
There’s no doubt that the big dogs in the solar sector are
treating 2015 as if it’s the last year for the ITC. Although that
may not be the case, it’s still a precautionary measure
that’rsquo;ll help these companies hedge against uncertainty as
No solar company will take it slow in 2015, but there are five
solar companies (or companies with skin in the solar game) in
particular that I believe will intensify marketing, acquisition,
and development efforts so much that they’re going to blow the
doors off and deliver record revenues before 2016 arrives.
Not surprisingly, these are the companies that are currently well
capitalized and already have competitive and first-mover
advantages. And for the sake of full disclosure, the success of
these companies does put money in my pocket:
Of course, if the solar ITC is extended, then 2015 will just be
icing on the cake. And while I certainly won’t vocally support any
subsidy for energy, as long as fossil fuels and nuclear continue benefitting from direct and
indirect subsidies — just as they have been for
decades — then it should not come as a surprise when the
solar industry gets the go-ahead to wet its beak from the
government trough, too.
So invest accordingly.
To a new way of life and a new
generation of wealth…
Last month, NRDC engaged a nationally recognized opinion research firm to conduct polling in New York State to evaluate public attitudes about fracking and clean energy. Importantly, this is the first statewide poll in at least two years — and perhaps ever — to directly ask residents their views of the now six-year-old de facto moratorium on fracking.
Oct 22 (Reuters) – For years, the utilities responsible for providing electricity to the nation have treated residential solar systems as a threat. …
Read more: Utilities Residential Solar, Utilities Rooftop Solar, Solar Ind…
“Environmentally friendly,” “green,” “sustainable” — these words have become ubiquitous, plastered on products from handbags to home décor and everything in between. As a society, we’re more aware than ever of the difference we can make purchasing smart, sustainable products and the role we can play shifting to cleaner, green solutions like renewab