Solar Stocks Heating Up

Investors bet on solar stocks last Wednesday. In a sense, the solar power industry should thank the renewed Chinese interest in solar power and the increasing oil prices. These factors help encourage the demand for clean and sustainable energy sources.

青海湖  Qinghai Lake !
Image by Tianyake via Flickr

Investors bet on solar stocks last Wednesday. In a sense, the solar power industry should thank the renewed Chinese interest in solar power and the increasing oil prices. These factors help encourage the demand for clean and sustainable energy sources.

Among the major gainers are U.S. solar panel manufacturer Evergreen Solar Inc (up by 19 percent), Chinese LDK Solar Co Ltd (up by 19 percent), and Chinese solar panel manufacturer Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd (up by seven percent). These are just some companies that enjoyed profit after the market closed last Wednesday.

The stocks of U.S.-listed Chinese companies are boosted by the speculations that the Chinese government is preparing some sort of feed-in tariff to encourage the use of photovoltaic solar power. That move will give Chinese companies lots of business in the near future.

As early as now, Suntech has stated that it is engaged in talks of developing a 500 megawatt solar power station in the Qinghai province. If this pushes through, it will be the first photovoltaic project in China in the three-digit megawatt range. There has been an oversupply of solar panels the past year and this increase solar demand in China will be good for the industry. The abundance of solar panels on the market has caused the price to drop and has caused profits to go down.

The rising oil prices are also one of the major factors in the investors’ decision to go for solar stocks. The prices for one crude oil barrel closed at $71. More people are looking for alternatives and a solar photovoltaic panel is the most common solution.

It’s not just in China that solar power is in demand. In the US, there’s was a 16-percent increase in installed capacity in 2008. This is due to the federal stimulus fund that President Obama appropriated within the 2009 federal budget.

Some cities are aggressive with their plans on going green. Philadelphia, for one, wants to list all of city-owned rooftops and open spaces to determine spots that can be used for solar panel installations. Its city water department is planning to place a solar array on top of its water storage basins. In California, San Francisco residents can go online to find out what solar power can do for them. Berkeley used property taxes to fund its solar installations. In New York, city engineers are trying to find ways of incorporating solar power systems into the state’s power grid.

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