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From: Sam9/16/2009 10:06:03 AM
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Trina, SunPower, Clairvoyant: The U.S. PV Hits Just Keep On Coming
by: Greentech Media September 15, 2009

By Shyam Mehta

At the risk of sounding slightly self-congratulatory, it feels nice to be right (at least once in a while). A week after the publication of GTM Research's report on U.S. PV manufacturing, which predicted that a major build-out of domestic manufacturing capacity was gathering momentum (the numbers say that the U.S.'s share of module manufacturing capacity will grow from 5 percent in 2008 to 14 percent by 2012), three major announcements vindicated this thesis: Trina Solar (TSL), Clairvoyant, and SunPower (SPWRA) all made declarations this week to establish manufacturing module assembly plants in the U.S.

These developments aren't particularly surprising when one considers the 2.7+ gigawatts of U.S. PV projects in the pipeline over the next half-decade, combined with the knowledge that module assembly has historically followed markets. Barring a few exceptions, however, media attention on the U.S. PV landscape has focused almost exclusively on the demand side of the coin. It's somewhat understandable given that the stimulus funds made available through State Energy Program grants are all deployment-focused and that installation holds more employment creation potential than manufacturing, being more labor intensive.

Still, it's frustrating that this issue continues to be ignored by most: 20,000 manufacturing jobs ain't no joke, especially at a time when unemployment is approaching 10 percent. On top of this, a build-out of PV production in the U.S. will also create all manner of opportunities for their vendors – for example, producers of polysilicon, glass, and encapsulants, and equipment, to name a few. Perhaps most importantly, while deployments uneasily await the return of credit markets to resume, growth in manufacturing is happening here and now.

And not to beat a dead horse, but this development is all the more interesting in light of the recent competing trend of outsourcing PV production to "low-cost" locations. It certainly provides a tangible counterpoint to those in the industry who believe that, like consumer electronics, PV production will eventually be reside almost entirely in Asia. My guess: While this is likely to be true for crystalline silicon cells and wafers (MEMC (WFR), anyone?), the U.S. will be home to a sizeable chunk of thin-film and c-Si module assembly plants over coming years. Then again, with China making all the right noises about gigawatt-scale PV deployment, I could end up having to eat my words. Which, I suppose, is all the more reason to flaunt it when you got it.

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From: bob zagorin9/17/2009 1:52:19 PM
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Morgan Stanley's checks continue to indicate the China national solar Feed-in-Tariff will most likely be delayed. The firm said the Feed-in-Tariff is an expected growth driver and that the size of 2GW could be at risk.

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To: bob zagorin who wrote (648)9/17/2009 10:38:15 PM
From: Sam
   of 3962
FWIW, I sold the last of my LDK today, and am now completely out of solar stocks. Will wait awhile for an entry at lower prices.

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From: Sam9/18/2009 1:11:03 PM
   of 3962
Recommendations story about YGE, TSL, CSIQ, FSLR, STP, SPWRA, SOLF, ESLR, JASO, WFR, LDK from Collins Stewart
Collins Stewart says that for the first time in almost a year, its channel checks suggest a demand recovery in the solar market. The firm has seen a clear improvement in Germany, the world's largest solar market, as well as Italy, France, and the U.S. Collins thinks demand is exceeding expectations in Q3, which it believes could carry into Q4. The firm sees positive implications for Yingli Green Energy (YGE), Trina Solar (TSL), and Canadian Solar (CSIQ), which it upgraded this morning to Buy. :thef

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From: Sam9/18/2009 1:12:57 PM
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Enter Gigawatts: Solar Power Comes of Age

By Russell Gold

Time to put away the childish things?In the pre-industrial era, solar power was used pretty much exclusively by plants and cold-blooded amphibians. Then came solar panels – expensive and not particularly efficient – but a way to turn the sun into power. And solar power was embraced by off-the-grid hippies.

Then a few years ago, something happened. To be exact: feed-in tariffs happened. And solar power began to grow in Germany and Spain and elsewhere in Europe where government policy created predictable profits. Policy begat interest which begat scale which begat lower prices. This was the first growth phase of solar power.

We are about to enter the “second growth phase of the solar era,” says Vishal Shah, a Barclays analysts in a research note this morning. This phase is driven by utility-scale purchases of solar panels. “We expect the U.S and Chinese solar markets to lead growth during the second growth phase of the solar era, primarily driven by development of large scale solar projects,” he notes.

In short, our little boy is growing up.

Earlier this month, First Solar announced a deal to build a two-gigawatt facility in China. Granted, it will take a decade – but how long will it take to build a new nuclear reactor? (By the way, Barclays raised its stock price target for both First Solar and SunPower today, in part arguing that these companies as well as Suntech Power “appear to be best positioned to lead” in the U.S. and Chinese utility markets.)

Take a second to consider that two-gigawatt figure. That is four times California’s solar capacity and more than twice as much as the U.S. (See table 2 here.) It is not far away from the generating capacity to be added by the proposed two-reactor expansion NRG Energy’s nuclear plant in Bay City, Texas.

We don’t want to see solar through rose-tinted glasses. No, it’s not base-load electricity generation. It works when the sun shines. And yes, it is an expensive alternative to other power sources, although the spread is narrowing.

But we’re just pointing out that utility-scale solar – gigawatt-sized solar – is no longer wishful thinking. All indications are it will be here before the London Olympics.

Now that it can be built on a giant scale, what must happen before it can capture a share of the market? Do you need advances in energy-storage capability, allowing power from the sun to let us watch infomercials at 2 a.m.? Or do you need a power-generation fleet that accommodates this variable power source, increasing the use of natural gas plants that can be switched on and off quickly.

Now that our little boy is growing up, what will it look like when the solar industry demands to be treated like an adult?

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To: Sam who wrote (651)9/18/2009 1:13:57 PM
From: Sam
   of 3962
U.S. Solar Market Trends 2008

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From: Sam9/20/2009 10:40:54 PM
   of 3962
Solar: China Feed-In-Tariff Could Be 2 Years Away
By Eric Savitz
* September 17, 2009, 2:43 PM ET

It could be two years or more before China adopts a national feed-in-tariff program, Hapoalim Securities analyst Gordon Johnson writes in a research note.

Johnson points out that there have been widespread expectations on the Street that China would adopt a national FIT during 2009. But he notes that an official with the Energy Research Institute at China’s National Development and Reform Commission apparently told a reporter at a conference in Shanghai that it will take at least two years to decided on a national FIT policy. Johnson refers to a Chinese-language Web story dated Tuesday; here is an English version, via Google Translate. Johnson says the comments came from Hu Runqing (you will notice that the translation garbles the name) who in fact has a Web page on the NDRC’s English language site. I’ve e-mailed her seeking comment, and will follow up with any response.

Anyway, Johnson notes that a number of solar companies - including Yingli (YGE), Suntech (STP), Canadian Solar (CSIQ), LDK Solar (LDK) and First Solar (FSLR) - have recently announced large solar projects in China that are least partially dependent on adoption of a national feed-in-tariff. (See, for instance, the posts here, here and here.) Those companies, which benefited from the announcement of their new China projects, now ought to warn investors that the projects face delays, Johnson asserts.

Johnson - a long-time bear on the solar sector - believes that this situation poses risks to the solar stocks, given that a 2-year delay for adoption of an FIT in China “contrasts with the current thinking from investors and solar companies alike.”

In today’s trading:

* Suntech is down 64 cents, or 3.7%, to $16.62.
* Canadian Solar is up 10 cents, or 0.6%, to $17.45. (See also the upgrade today from Collins Stewart.)
* LDK Solar is down 20 cents, or 2.1%, to $9.38.
* First Solar is up $4.17, or 2.8%, to $151.16. (See also the bullish comments today from Barclays.)

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To: Sam who wrote (653)9/20/2009 10:46:36 PM
From: Sam
   of 3962
Savitz posted this bullish article on the solars about 2 hours before posting the bearish article in the previous post.

Solar: Analyst Sees Signs Of Demand Recovery
Posted by Eric Savitz
* September 17, 2009, 12:58 PM ET

The clouds may be clearing for the solar sector.

Collins Stewart analyst Dan Ries writes this morning that “for the first time in nearly a year, channel checks point to a demand recovery in the solar market.” He says the recovery has been clear in Germany, the world’s largest solar market, accounting for an expected 36% of the global market in 2009. Ries adds that there has been improvement, as well, in Italy, France and the U.S. And he says that the new government in Japan is likely to “sharply increase” subsidies in that country starting in November.

According to Ries, “demand is exceeding expectations in Q3, a situation that should carry into Q4.”; He says multiple channel checks indicate that demand has been strong enough to create stock-out conditions for modules from multiple vendors in Germany, including those from Yingli Green Energy (YGE), Suntech (STP) and Trina Solar (TSL). Ries writes that there are “obvious positive implications” for the stocks from data suggesting demand has improved and is exceeding expectations set as recently as mid-August. He thinks module vendors will likely report strong Q3 results, with many topping guidance and Street estimates.

Ries is feeling especially upbeat about Canadian Solar (CSIQ), and today raised his rating on the stock to Buy from Hold, setting a price target of $21. He writes that the combination of a strengthening of demand, cost reduction moves and a relatively low valuation “gives us great comfort that CSIQ can outperform the market in the quarters ahead.”

In today’s trading:

* Yingli is up 7 cents, or 0.5%, to $13.95.
* Trina is off 21 cents, or 0.7%, to $31.26.
* Suntech is up 14 cents, or 0.8%, to $17.49.
* Canadian Solar is down 61 cents, or 3.5%, to $16.65.

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To: Sam who wrote (654)9/21/2009 10:47:20 AM
From: bob zagorin
   of 3962
he's a reporter not an analyst....

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From: Sam9/23/2009 3:40:19 PM
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Renesola Raises 3Q View To Rev $130M-$140M >SOL


("ReneSola Inks $325M Takeover, Cuts 2009 Revenue Outlook," published at 6:56 a.m. EDT, misstated the value of the deal. A corrected version follows.)

ReneSola Ltd. (SOL) agreed to purchase Dynamic Green Energy Ltd. in an $88.5 million deal that combines two companies in the crowded Chinese solar industry.

ReneSola, which has posted a string of losses, also gave a third-quarter revenue view in line with August's forecast but cut its 2009 target and said it will sell at least 14.4 million American Depositary Shares for capital spending and other purposes.

The solar industry struggled late in 2008 and early this year amid slumping demand, tight credit and an oversupplied market. However, several companies have returned to profitability, with some exceeding Wall Street's downbeat views. Others have predicted the sector has seen the worst of the slump.

ReneSola will issue 26.8 million shares - there are about 140 million outstanding - and a $10 million convertible promissory note for Dynamic Green. Each ADS of ReneSola represents two shares. Dynamic Green makes solar cells and modules and provides services to major customers such as Evergreen Solar Inc. (ESLR) and SunPower Corp. (SPWRA).

Meanwhile, ReneSola cut its 2009 revenue target to a range of $470 million to $500 million from $500 million to $550 million on lower prices. It maintained its shipments outlook.

ReneSola ADS were down 2 cents premarket at $5.84. They are up one-third this year.

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