Next Generation Solar Stocks

Discussion in 'Stocks' started by keanu89, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. keanu89


    Am looking for a nice solar stock, a company with second-generation technology, like high-efficiency fleksible CIGS cells, flexible substrate and aggressive ramp-up plan (well funded companies). According to my analysis CIGS has the potential to outcompete silicon-based technology within the next 5 years. Just look at the value of current silicon-based solar companies - 5bn here, 3 bn there, driven by demand in Germany and soon - California!!

    Have had a look at DSTI but looks like they've swallowed a poison pill, maybe their technology sucks? Which other companies out there that might be interesting?
  2. Corey


    FSLR maybe?
  3. Every major manufacturer, big name companies, all have their own divisions doing research on thin-film & non-silicon based solar. Shell actually sold their panel division to throw money into their next gen development. That was almost 2 years ago.

    DSTI is old news, they just can't seem to come online with production. I and my friend have actually attempted to contact them, never got a response. A possibility that they are a scam, but who knows.

    You need to do some more analysis, Germany is sending panels back because they are flooded with them. Thin-film is still inferior, it's too expensive for the cost. Silicon based PV modules are what's driving the market, any new technology has to be cost effective and also has to qualify under the state & federal regulations.

    Nano tech solar is what everyone is looking at 10 years down the line. But it's all mostly speculation, when it comes to real product application, good old fashioned panels is where it's still at.
  4. keanu89


    I've never heard that Germany is sending panels back. Could you please give me a source, an article or someone I can call? Solarbuzz says the market in Germany is growing at 30% or so, and the subsidies are not going anywhere now that half of East-Germany is employed in the solar industry.

    High costs? Which thin-film technologies are you talking about? CIGS, a-Si, CdTe? a-Si efficiency is too low to be competitive with silicon, but the cost is much lower than silicon. Remember that cost is a factor of many things. For silicon cells, first the silicon has to be refined, grown into crystals, cut, handled, etched, mounted etc, and then you have 30 pound, hard, fragile panels to install. CIGS is competitive cost-wise, but has ALOT MORE potential for cost reduction than silicon, cost can be cut to 1/10th with mass production. If you look at the whole production value chain for all the different technologies, you'll see.

    The challenge with CIGS is to build reliable and consistent mass production. Once you have a standardized and consistent process, ramping up production to several hundred mw is just about buying and installing more standard printing machines, unless you use custom ones. Using standard machines is the way to get your costs down. The price of silicon cells can't be reduced like CIGS or CdTe, 'cause the production process is too complex, energy demanding, and you need ALOT of an expensive raw material - silicon. I assume selling the cells will be easier if you have the right partner (for example a building integrator).
  5. Germany was growth driver for at least 5 years. It was not meant to last forever. Solarbuzz is correct, but not up to date. A lot of companies based their operations there, some even stopped bother with selling to US. Last I heard is that there are too many panels in Germany and the growth has curbed off. It's a natural cycle. After all, that nation is not THAT big. Yet almost every European, Asian, & American manufacturer has a selling base there, let alone sales reps.
    The fact that panel pricing has changed little in the last year is another sign that Germany's growth is lower than capacity growth. It was projected to fall off as well.

    In the real world, where you actually have to install solar systems, then gauge production and deal with customers, your standard c-Si based panels still rule. You think they are fragile but they are actually made to withstand a category II hurricane.
    It's one thing to hypothetically evaluate everything from a computer based on websites, it's another when you have to order materials and install systems. Especially when you have limited roof space. During a solar panel glut, every installer is seeking alternatives, the smarter ones were looking for new technology years ago. It's just not there for the right price, the proper performance and the proper quantity.

    Silicon refining is being advanced as well, one proposal I saw had a process which would decrease costs to 1/10th. Some Austrian investor ended up grabbing them. The problem with silicon production is the heavy investment needed to start operation. During the tech bust, a lot of capacity was shut down and dismantled. New capacity has been going online, but not prior to price gouging. The silicon was never the issue, it was production capacity & economies of scale. Supply & Demand, cause only a little over a few years ago, panels were half the cost they were today.

    Well it's obvious that mass production is a big factor. Starting a solar cell production facility is a minimum 50-100 million dollar investment which can take 1-2 years to put up. A lot of process has been made cookie cutter by companies like SPIR. Cause essentially, almost all PV production is about the same, no matter what the sales reps keep trying to say.

    DSTI is claiming to have one of the top CIGS technologies out there. But I already mentioned my take on it. I want to take a position at this price, but I am suspecting that the whole thing is a scam. I been following them for at least 2 years, they claimed to have production online a year ago. I have yet to see anything out there or been able to get a response. Cause if they can save us even $.50/watt, it's on.

    In the end it's all about $/watt figures and ROIs. New technology is cool and flashy, but numbers speak more when it comes to buying system installation or making decisions. For example, little known fact is that solar heat-electric is still superior to Photovoltaics, even though PV is the future. Well really, organic PV is the future. Spraying it out of a can onto any surface is what the nano tech wizards are projecting.
  6. I shorted CSIQ, FSLR, ESLR and TSL as a basket.
  7. keanu89


    ASTI looks interesting, but seems I'm too late, the company is being bought by some Norwegian conglomerate, the second largest building integrator in the world? Doubt this is a financial investment for them, seems they've also invested in the new silicon-startup of the founder of REC (which went public at $5 bn last year).

    According to the December 06 press release ASTI has plans to build a 100mw plant this year, and now they have the money for it. Price to cash ratio is crazy. Wonder whether the technology is any good.
  8. ASTI is one I'm watching too. With a slowing economy and oil on the way down, warm weather rolling in...
    it's just tough to commit to an alternative energy solar play at this time. They are of course driving me crazy by continuing to go up.

    I've done a ton of research into this field and I can say I'm intrigued with some of the smaller uses of solar energy that can be worked into the average person's home to reduce costs. This dream of massive panels out in the desert- that's ok for Vegas but on the east coast it's not going to happen. In China I'm not sure the quality of the air allows enough good rays to come through!

    Geothermal is really an interesting story and it's getting no pub at the moment. Keep an eye on any new stock that plans to build geothermal plants-- there the technology is proven Ormat in Israel being the leader
    andan ADR here.
  9. Not too keen on whats been happening in NJ for the last 7 years huh? Or NY to an extent?
    Like I say, it's one thing to surf websites from a PC, it's another to actually get out there, make sacrifices and get real experience.

    Geothermal is an old and proven technology, which has one of the best rates of returns. There is little support for it from the US Energy department. It's really not needed, though, it proved itself for heating purposes.

    For large scale electricity production, areas are limited and Ormat has some of the top locations in USA. Most Geothermal operations are held by big utilities who did a lot of experimenting with it in the past.

    Don't expect many new & unfound stocks in Wind or Geothermal, it's not how that game works nowdays. The generation gets sold out privately and quick, even prior to doing any real construction.

    DSTI is what I am looking at and ESLR is what I want to buy cheaper if this market sells down more. SPWR is the USA leader. I stay away from small Chinese names, cause they are shady. Except STP, but that's too expensive.
  10. Hydro- you know Stoney doesn't talk sh*t if he hasn't kicked the tires!
    "Not too keen on what's been happening in NJ for the last 7 years huh? Or NY to an extent?
    Like I say, it's one thing to surf websites from a PC, it's another to actually get out there, make sacrifices and get real experience."

    Lets start with New Jersey. They have my football team held hostage and they are dragging them down into a swamp like state of disrepair. I have travelled far and wide in NJ, my rents used to live in Bernardsville' I got to say the solar power use is VERY minimal there but there is some good BBQ that you can find off the main road Texas-style.

    I am NY so I can tell you aside from a hot water tank boost or two on a big building or a CB radio / police scanner booster roadside assistance box there is no solar being done in the big apple.

    Now There are two gentlemen who on Cape Cod of all places... maybe it was nantucket? I think Cape Cod they have dug a damn hold in their backyard and developed an cost efficient machine that captures geothermal energy and turns it into electricity to run their house! How they got past the ordinances in the town I have no idea but if this stuff can get done in snooty Cape Cod it can get done anywhere. And that's the point of Geothermal> IT's ALWAYS ON!

    Look outside today Hydro gloomy isn't it? Just like yesterday. No power for you today or yesterday solar fan> your food is rotting in the fridge. Me? I'm sitting on a big old batch of natural fart gas, practically " electric " and my god the Meadowlands? Do you have any idea the latent energy built up beneath that sulfuric mess?

    I have donned hardhat and walked the fields with Ormat officers in a virtual way. I have visited all their plants and I got to say I have no idea why no one is paying attention. The Earth's Core Is Ready To Roar Bro-.
    Also land fill garbage dump gas is another proven energy provider >yes making electricity out of garbage and our friends in Japan are doing that in a big way. Both of these are better alternatives I believe than solar-- although solar surely has it's place.

    In China again there is a small play: Deli Solar.
    I like this one for it's non tech attributes.

    Deli Solar makes solar-powered water heaters and a range of coal and alternative-energy fired boilers. Deli Solar primarily sells into rural Chinese markets, where basic electrical and gas utilities are often unreliable if available at all. It sells through a network of 585 distributors and 2000 retailers in 27 Chinese provinces. The Company says that new laws encourage sales and give it tax incentives:

    The National People's Congress, the equivalent of the parliament of the PRC, passed the China Renewable Energy Act, effective January 1, 2006. This law creates new opportunities for the growth of the solar power industry in that it promotes the installation of both solar hot water and space heating systems, the integration of these systems into new construction, the application of solar energy in rural China and affords certain financial incentives to these projects.
    Deli is profitable. Last quarter it earned $.07 per share (fully diluted) on $6.56M in revenues. Annualized, that would be $.28 on approximately $26M in revenues, giving the company a P/E ratio on the run rate of under 5, and a P/S of under 0.5.

    The numbers get even more amazing when you consider the cash on the balance sheet. At the end of last quarter, Deli had almost $4.6M in cash and no debt, or almost $.60 per fully-diluted share, approximately 6.2 million common shares and 1.8 million warrants outstanding.

    The company's tax rate will increase in the coming year as a 100% exemption is scaled back to 50%. The exemption will remain at 50% through 2010, when it expires.

    Deli unknown and maybe for me today!
    DLSL Deli Solar Usa Inc (OTC BB) 2.61 +0.11 ( +4.40%)
    #10     Mar 14, 2007