SOLAR TODAY Blog


>>Will financial meltdown slow renewables growth?
October 13, 2008, 8:34 pm
Filed under: Investing, Policy

During the recent stock market crash, solar energy stocks fell faster — and recovered more slowly — than the market at large. Over past 30 days, the Dow dropped 30%, while Suntech fell 47%, Trina fell 57%, JA Solar fell 51% and First Solar fell 59%.  This despite passage of the long-sought renewable energy tax credit extensions.

What’s going on here? The San Francisco Chronicle suggests that politicians and financial firms focused on their own survival have little taste for investing in climate change solutions right now. It’s true that some of the biggest backers of renewable energy projects — Lehman Bros. was one — are stressed or gone. Beyond that, the economic meltdown gives added ammunition to fossil-fuel advocates who claim that investment in renewable energy would act as a brake, not an spur, to the economy. But the most important issue is that when banks don’t loan money, homeowners don’t get home improvement loans, installers can’t stock up on components or meet payrolls, and importers can’t send letters of credit.

Clarity may emerge with the new Congress in January. Members of the House of Representatives have already begun shaping the next run at cap-and-trade legislation to limit carbon emissions.

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5 Comments so far
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Good article on the impact of the market on the big players. That said, like most equities they now represent a very good bye. Renewable energy is a hot topic with the pickens plan and other efforts going on strong. Hopefully both Congress and the next President will provide the political courage to invest and develop alternative energy production to reduce our indepence on fossil fuels as well as the transfer of wealth to OPEC countries.

There are emerging technolgies that literally we need to get fully behind and are exciting to say the least. It is important for everyone in this industry to lobby for the development and incentives necessary to help the United States become the undisputed leader in not only the development of but the advocate of renewable clean energy generation.

Jeff Dahlgren
http://www.motherearthenergy.com

Comment by Jeff Dahlgren

Good article on the impact of the market on the big players. That said, like most equities they now represent a very good bye. Renewable energy is a hot topic with the pickens plan and other efforts going on strong. Hopefully both Congress and the next President will provide the political courage to invest and develop alternative energy production to reduce our indepence on fossil fuels as well as the transfer of wealth to OPEC countries.

There are emerging technologies that literally we need to get fully behind and are exciting to say the least. It is important for everyone in this industry to lobby for the development and incentives necessary to help the United States become the undisputed leader in not only the development of but the advocate of renewable clean energy generation.

Jeff Dahlgren
http://www.motherearthenergy.com

Comment by Jeff Dahlgren

Has Solar Today ever performed a survey of warranty returns to solar panel manufacturers?

Is it ~1%? more? less? Are failure rates similar to any other well known industry?

Do panel failure/returns increase each year? or is there an “infant mortality”/shake out effect?

Thanks.

Comment by disdaniel

nice artical

Comment by brittany

Discussions of renewable energy seem to focus entirely on PV and wind since publicly traded companies produce these technologies. Solar thermal and GSHP along with super-insulation work better for most homeowners than either PV or wind. This article regarding the slowdown for the broader RE market completely misses all the low hanging fruit still out there. Speculators make (or lose) money on the sexy technologies, but the nuts and bolts technologies will continue to thrive because they actually save people money.

Comment by Alex Kelley




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