Jun 11, 2012

Green Investments Report by Conserv-A-Store week ending 6/8/12 - Solar PV Industry is still in flux

The Solar manufacturing industry around the world continues to be in great flux affected by the reduction in government spending on Green projects because of budget cutbacks from the Great Recession and the potential price dumping of Chinese manufacturers who get Chinese government funding guarantees and rewards.

Here are snippets from an article from Bloomberg, "First Solar Latest Casualty in Renewable Energy Shakeout," on how this upset is affecting First Solar, the US based thin film solar PV manufacturer.

First Solar Latest Casualty in Renewable Energy Shakeout
April 18 (Bloomberg) -- First Solar Inc.’s decision to fire 30 percent of its staff and reduce production shows that even the biggest solar panel makers aren’t immune from the shakeout that’s bankrupted at least eight companies on two continents in the past year.
The largest thin-film solar producer said yesterday it will cut 2,000 jobs by the end of the year at a cost of as much as $370 million......The largest producers in China say their profits will slump this year as shipments grow.

“Oversupply has become a problem for the entire industry,” said Ben Schuman, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities LLC in Portland, Oregon. “China’s manufacturers have not demonstrated rational behavior.” 

Solar panel prices have fallen 46 percent in the past year as manufacturers led by First Solar and Suntech Power Holdings Co., the world’s largest solar company, boosted output. Germany and Italy, the two biggest markets, are cutting rates paid for solar power to curb an uncontrolled installation boom. 

Shares Falling
The Bloomberg Large Solar index tracking 17 shares has fallen 75 percent in the past year. First Solar fell 7 percent to $21.35 at the close in New York today.

Germany’s Q-Cells SE, once the world’s biggest solar-cell maker, filed for insolvency on April 3, becoming the fourth casualty in the country since December. Solon SE, Solar Millennium AG and Solarhybrid AG have all filed for insolvency as Germany cut incentives and China’s suppliers reduced prices. 

They join Solyndra and three other U.S. solar companies that have failed since August -- SpectraWatt Inc., Evergreen Solar Inc. and Energy Conversion Devices Inc. 

Solar factories have expanded faster than demand and will be able to make as much as 38 gigawatts of panels this year, about 54 percent more than estimated demand, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. 

Solar Glut
That excess supply will arrive on the market as Europe’s largest economies, including Britain, Spain and France, follow Germany and Italy in scaling back incentives to curtail installation of power systems that are paid above-market rates. 

“Demand is falling as governments, particularly in Europe, lose appetite for subsidizing the industry,” said Theodore O’Neill, an analyst at Wunderlich Securities Inc. in New York. 

The shifting support in Europe is particularly painful to First Solar because it favors rooftop power systems, which are more likely to use Chinese polysilicon panels.
 First Solar focuses instead on ground-mounted utility-scale plants that use its thin-film products, he said.
The U.S. Commerce Department, responding to complaints from U.S. solar manufacturers that Chinese competitors receive unfair government support, imposed tariffs last month of as much as 4.73 percent on panels made in China. 

We added the Bloomberg Large Solar Tracking Index to  our portfolio this week, BI Solar:IND
Remember you can click on the link of the investment to get more info on it's history and charts

Here's the Portfolio as of close of biz on Friday

Today Since Purchased
Symbol/Name Price* Change Last
Trade
Gain/Loss
(USD)
Shares Price
Paid
Purchase
Date
Gain/Loss
(USD)
% Change % Port Value
(USD)
2208:HK (HKD)
Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co Ltd

2.92 -0.08 06/08
-0.01
1 16.30 01/03/2011
-1.72
-82.09 0.00
0.38
BISOLAR:IND
BI Global Large Solar Energy Valuation Peers

11.42 -0.15 06/08
0.00
0 01/03/2011
0.00
0.00 0.00
0.00
FAN:US ($)
First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF

6.08 -0.014 06/08
-0.01
1 10.40 01/03/2011
-4.32
-41.54 3.10
6.08
FSLR:US ($)
First Solar Inc

12.80 -0.04 06/08
-0.04
1 132.78 01/03/2011
-119.98
-90.36 6.53
12.80
GAAEX:US ($)
Guinness Atkinson Funds - Alternative Energy Fund

2.31 0.00 06/08
0.00
1 5.24 01/03/2011
-2.93
-55.92 1.18
2.31
GAIA:US ($)
Gaiam Inc

3.99 +0.11 06/08
+0.11
1 7.67 01/03/2011
-3.68
-47.98 2.04
3.99
ICLN:US ($)
iShares S&P Global Clean Energy Index Fund

7.08 +0.013 06/08
+0.01
1 16.07 01/03/2011
-8.99
-55.94 3.61
7.08
KWT:US ($)
Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF

2.45 0.00 06/08
0.00
1 11.17 01/03/2011
-8.72
-78.07 1.25
2.45
NALFX:US ($)
New Alternatives Fund Inc/fund

32.47 +0.06 06/08
+0.06
1 40.88 01/03/2011
-8.41
-20.57 16.58
32.47
NRX:FP (€)
Naturex

48.39 +0.39 06/08
+0.49
1 41.10 01/03/2011
+9.14
+17.74 30.98
60.70
OPTT:US ($)
Ocean Power Technologies Inc

2.07 -0.01 06/08
-0.01
1 5.86 01/03/2011
-3.79
-64.68 1.06
2.07
ORA:US ($)
Ormat Technologies Inc

20.78 +0.01 06/08
+0.01
1 29.47 01/03/2011
-8.69
-29.49 10.61
20.78
PBD:US ($)
Powershares Global Clean Energy Portfolio

7.30 -0.01 06/08
-0.01
1 14.12 01/03/2011
-6.82
-48.30 3.73
7.30
PUR:CN (CAD)
Pure Technologies Ltd

4.39 -0.21 06/08
-0.20
1 4.75 01/04/2011
-0.35
-7.58 2.18
4.28
RSOL:US ($)
Real Goods Solar Inc

1.2205 -0.0395 06/08
-0.04
1 2.45 01/03/2011
-1.23
-50.18 0.62
1.22
VWDRY:US ($)
Vestas Wind Systems A/S

1.79 +0.06 06/08
+0.06
1 11.14 01/03/2011
-9.35
-83.93 0.91
1.79
WFIFF:US ($)
WaterFurnace Renewable Energy Inc

16.557 +0.427 06/08
+0.43
1 24.63 01/03/2011
-8.07
-32.78 8.45
16.56
WGGFX:US ($)
Winslow Green Growth Fund

13.65 +0.14 06/08
+0.14
1 14.62 01/03/2011
-0.97
-6.63 6.97
13.65
Totals
+0.98
-188.88
-49.09
195.90

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