Posts Tagged ‘state incentives’

What the #%*!? is Going on in the Solar Energy Industry?

Friday, October 14th, 2011

The whirl of events have left even the closest market observers shaking their heads in disbelief at how much has changed in the solar industry over the past several months. The solar industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. Just how much is the solar energy business growing in the US. Well, a lot if you are counting watts. If you take the second quarter of 2010, 186 megawatts was installed; 2011, 314 megawatts, or an increase of 69%. The irony is that despite this explosive growth in the solar industry and a lot more people putting solar panels on their roofs, solar companies are getting hammered. Their margins are being squeezed and they are not making much money. I am not even talking about the woes of Evergreen Solar, which filed for bankruptcy and is down 99% year-to-date. We won’t even talk about the spectacle of Solyndra, the financial problems of which may only be the least of the problems for some of the executives there. (When the FBI comes knocking on your door, they are usually not bringing gifts.) If you are or were an investor in solar energy stocks, don’t even look at your stock holdings unless you want to barf up your breakfast. But if you are a homeowner interested in a home solar panel system, you may still be smiling as prices have come way down.

Financing, Incentives and the Future Forward for Solar

Friday, February 5th, 2010

The Renewable Energy Technology Conference (RETECH 2010) here in Washington, D.C. convened over the last couple of days. I am sure that there will be much written about the conference that concentrated on strategic issues, finance and incentives for renewable energy. The Conference highlighted many of the common challenges faced by renewable energy projects, regardless of whether they are solar PV, biomass, wind or geothermal. There were some recurrent themes at many of the sessions that I attended on federal and state incentive programs, local programs, and financing of solar energy products.