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  1. Today
  2. Rumors intensifying that China is ready to do away with PV subsidies altogether: http://guangfu.bjx.com.cn/news/20191021/1014534.shtml May the Lord have mercy on our souls you guys.
  3. Last week
  4. Well I spent 30 years in bleeding edge technology. In Tech the product life cycles run around 5 years before the product is basically obsolete. To give you an example, a company I worked for acquired a next gen product when they bought a startup for $400M. They brought that product out as a high speed high density product. I looked at it and said it was too small. People thought I was crazy. 1.5 years later we had 10 times the density and speed. 2 years after that we had new products that were 4 time faster than that with tech that was another 10 fold faster. Then the density climbed. Each and every next gen bleeding tech and IEEE spec all became standards. The fact is solar is technology and it is not coal nor gas. There is new tech every 3 years sometimes incremental sometimes revolutionary. There is always early adopters and as the product stays out there it becomes the standard generally within 2 years and has a life of 2 -3 active years before it becomes obsoleted by the next gen. That is the fact of Tech which solar is. Sure it is a commodities business but it is tech. The Tier 1's and the next gen modules are not new tech rather incremental tech. Right now Bi Facial is the next gen as it can gain 5-30% more power and is optimal for Ground mount and commercial at minimal cost impact. In fact much of the change in bifacial is just the back eva. The new half cell still uses the same Si tech but cuts the cell in half. That gains power by lower heat and resistance. It is not a huge leap but incremental. The shingling of the cells is not new either as that was first developed in the 60's. Anti reflective coating and etching has been done now for going on 10 years. As far as larger panels, they have had 72 cell modules for 8-10 years. So the size relative has not changed. But then again, FSLR new Series 6 is a new format a large format they never made prior. So they are prone to some of the same issues. You can say what you want about the author, but 72 cell modules is the mainstay of ground mount systems. All I did was say I disagreed and gave a reason based on real customer demand to point to why I disagree with some of his points. As for FSLR, as I noted, they are in a protected market for now. They are a 1 trick market as of now and can milk it. I believe they will have issues internationally now and in the future as their future costs are out of line with market costs these days. They will not have 9GW of U.S. protected markets in the US come 2022. Your target costs of $0.22 is where similar products are selling at today. You can expect those products to gain another 10-20% lower costs in the next 2 years. In fact the targets being suggested in China by 2025 is in the $0.15 range. Where is First Solar earnings when they are selling 8GW of modules at $0.04/watt gross and all their US pipelines are sold? We can disagree to disagree.
  5. When you find yourself thinking you know more than Finlay Colville you might want to take step back and reevaluate things. He is perhaps the most knowledgeable person on the solar industry. In regards to First Solar, the company has said it plans on making ~$2.50 this year and should get the S6 manufacturing wrinkles ironed out by the end of the year. With costs around 22 cents and a backlog averaging 37 cents for the next two years, 2020-21 will be extremely profitable. That gives the company 2 years to get efficiency up to 20%. When that happens, it will have around 9GW of modules at a mid teen cost. With solar reaching cost parity and battery technology improving, it is doubtful prices will far much further.
  6. They already impaired the hell out of the S4 lines at the end of 2016 and three years later there should be only peanuts remaining. If you are concerned about impairments why not focus on Jinko Power's and CSIQ's Chinese power plants now that the Chinese government has confirmed that it has no plans to raise additional subsidies for legacy plants? Those potential impairments look way juicier to me.
  7. FSLR is currently at a disadvantage in energy intensity relative to high-end bifacial modules but the gap is not as radical as you portray it. Your assumptions are off and not apples to apples imo. You pick a high-end bifacial module of CSIQ (instead of an average one) and compare it to the least efficient FSLR module. Also you ignore FSLR's temperature advantage and work with unrealistic bifacial gain assumptions. These are the mainstream poly PERC bifacial modules of CSIQ: https://www.canadiansolar.com/upload/6fe376b80cce7983/64632b2f47ca72b2.pdf The highest efficiency module here, CS3U-365PB-AG, has a NOCT power of 271W. Assuming a bifacial gain of 7% (mix sand/grass, p. 13) you get 290W. Relative to the area of the module that's 145W/m2. The mid-range module on the S6 datasheet has 435W at STC and 328.5W at NOCT. Relative to the area that's 132W/m2. http://www.firstsolar.com/-/media/First-Solar/Technical-Documents/Series-6-Datasheets/Series-6-Datasheet.ashx Yields a 10% energy intensity advantage for the bifacial module of CSIQ. However this is not equal to an LCOE advantage as the module cost hasn't entered the equation yet.
  8. Most of the power gains have been incremental and not game changing. The article is clearly off a bit. For example Florida Power and light/NextEra is partnering with Jinko Solar and is taking their high powered latest and greatest 400W modules. So clearly something is worth having the modules and large companies are not shunning them. While I agree a few pennies does not make a difference on a project but $0.05 or $0..10 does when a project is being built for sub $1/watt. What really the discussion is about is FSLR costs and the reliance on a single market as well as their past marketing suggesting HUGE cost savings advantages with their(yes I will go their) next gen high powered modules. Those cost savings that used to be preached for the Series 6 is gone when comparing to current gen Si modules. When FSLR steps outside of the current protected US market, they are not competitive and they still have a large series 4 capacity that will be written down further.
  9. Sunpower should get pounded every day until they are a penny stock. The company is horrible. It has negative shareholder equity and is continuing lose money as they have for the past several years. Their core manufactured products are way to expensive to compete except for a niche rooftop and even then I believe homeowners are wisening up. Their OEM products if built in Mexico will get an exemption on tariffs but the panels built in China are not exempt from my understanding. They are a 1 trick market similar to FSLR but with poor cash and poor operational metrics.
  10. It is impossible to predict. FSLR planned on selling Sun Streams, Sunshine Valley, Seabrook, Ishikawa, and various plants in India this year. Earnings will vary considerably depending on whether these sales close in Q3 or Q4. My hunch is these won't close until Q4 so this quarter will be a miss, at least as far as revenue goes.
  11. 1 week til earnings. Let's hear some predictions, number crunchers.
  12. This silly debate inadvertently spells outs First Solar's best selling point. FSLR make one product while Canadian Solar and others make several dozens of panels, all of varying sizes and technologies. Good luck to any developer using these non-traditional sized panels finding replacements in a few years. This article does a good job spelling out the mess the industry is in with this absurd game of claiming high wattage panels. https://www.pv-tech.org/editors-blog/solar-panel-suppliers-fixated-on-power-gains-but-is-the-industry-really-ben
  13. Hmmm using that data sheet, the HiKu modules you are referencing are 10% smaller not 24% smaller using the make and model I mentioned. Using the specs in the installation manua(pg 26)l for the CSIQ module I identified being the CS3U-420PG-AG. I get 24% smaller and a smaller weight. https://www.canadiansolar.com/upload/f9acf4466d1e0c6f/87ce57c92c82e873.pdf The dimensions in your data sheets still have the CSIQ footprint as smaller and the module is still 30mm vs FSLR 49MM or FSLR is 50% thicker and is atleast 7 KG heavier than the CSIQ module And with the spec sheet I see the HIKU 420W Bi Facial module producing 462W @ 10% backplane power vs FSLR 420W . Based on dimensions of your module the CSIQ 420Module @10% generates backplane .2067W per 1000squareMilimeters while FSLR gnereates 0.168W in the same square millimeters. Looking at those power numbers you preset, the CSIQ module generates and astounding 21.9% more power in the same square meter than the FSLR module and they could generate more. but I chose the 10% backplane power. Oh and did I mention that was the second lowest power module on your data sheet. The 435W module in the same foot print generates more than 3% more power on top of the 420W per square meter vs the FSLR module. As for the rest, the thermal impacts, FSLR is better at -0.32 while CSIQ is at -0.37. That is not very much degredataion at higher heat for CSIQ and certainly not even close to the 22% more power generated in the same surface area. From what I see the specs of the CSIQ blows the doors off the FSLR for power generated per square meter and weight. Your data does nothing to support my suggestion of lower costs for builders who use CSIQ 420 modules. Like I said, FSLR was comparing their Series 6 to 5 to 7 year old Solar module tech to get their what 15% lower LCOE which is a false claim these days, come on Kloth, I know you can do better your not that far off your game are you?
  14. A good discussion of solar grid parity and subsidies in China: https://www.carbonbrief.org/solar-now-cheaper-than-grid-electricity-in-every-chinese-city-study-finds Some good news (grid parity is basically here), some bad (that doesn't automatically increase the uptake of solar).
  15. Thanks ScSolar! So it doesn’t affect SPWR as much, but they sure got pounded severely in these past 3-4 weeks! Almost 45%! I thought that might the reason why, beaten down by the ones looking out 6 months from now. Thanks again!
  16. 'With this in mind, Wacker also announced plans for a comprehensive program of cost savings and efficiency increases. “We must, and will, effectively counter the increasingly difficult conditions in our business,” said Staudigl.' Very interesting...! Means Wacker is getting ready for a lengthy and costly battle for survival. This will depress ASPs for a while since ASPs can only recover once Wacker and OCI exit the industry and the CN players can find a supply balance among them.
  17. I think this is part of what has been pressuring shares over the last hours: http://guangfu.bjx.com.cn/news/20191017/1013731.shtml 1) There is gossip that China plans to wind down subsidies for PV in 2020 and transition fully to non-subsidized solar in 2021 2) China officially hit this year's target of residential installations in September, which triggered the deadline of October 31 for remaining residential systems to be grid-connected in order to receive subsidies.
  18. Well we work with different assumptions so our conclusions are different. For starters if I compare these datasheets I get lower differences in area efficiency and weight: http://www.firstsolar.com/-/media/First-Solar/Technical-Documents/Series-6-Datasheets/Series-6-Datasheet.ashx https://www.canadiansolar.com/upload/35ccd0bf406656df/de4cee449c973a76.pdf I also look at NOCT power and that gives a different picture since CdTe has a lower temperature coefficient. I also don't think CSIQ can produce that module for 20 cts but probably for 22-23 cts (China). Just the additional glass sheet may increase cost by one cent, you can do the math: https://en.pvinfolink.com/ It all hinges on the assumptions.
  19. Indirectly yes for FSLR as the average ASP is lower due to Si costs being lower. The Si cost in Silicon being around $8/KG would be around $0.032 in material costs. That is down about 1/2 to 1 cent or 4-5% of the cost to make a panel. For Spwr, due to higher costs for their manufacturing, the cost savings would be less. Their OEM purchased modules should have an advantage in they buy at lower costs, however I look at OEM modules as that company being a middle man re-seller in which they take a small margin of profits out of the middle.
  20. Scsolar, Does low ASP affect companies like FSLR or SPWR? Thanks
  21. Wacker slashes profit forecast amid polysilicon price slump https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/10/16/wacker-slashes-profit-forecast-amid-polysilicon-price-slump/
  22. Oh she is probably pretty accurate. DQ has indicated a $7.50 Q3 production cost. The Mono is around $8.80-$9/KG. Their blended ASP is probably going to fall in around 8.75 +/-. The Gross will should climb slightly to $11 from $8.6M. With Opex and Interest running at $11M a quarter, the profits will be near zero if not a loss due to added decline in the RMB. The issue is the demand is not picking up in China, thus the ASP is going to be flat to down through the next several quarters. As more comes on line, that blended ASP is likely to drop and the higher end Mono Poly should decline. The poly ASP is already near their costs to manufacture with depreciation. There is no profit there. What you will see is a cost to produce to ASP spread in the $1 range +/-. DQ is going to have to write down their legacy capacity in the near future that is producing in the $8 range with depreciation or in the $6.75 range without depreciation. Once that is done, then their costs will fall below the $6.50 guidance they gave for ramped production in early next year. That will allow them to get slightly better margins. Even with that I do not see the ASP to production spread breaking the $1.25 +/- range with the glut of new capacity. That spread is going to drag earnings probably well into next year if not 2021, DQ could be looking at $1-$2 a share in earnings for 2020 with those spreads. That is a far cry from the consensus average of $4.44 for 2019 that is going to be missed as well as the $8.80 a share average in 2020. The market has not yet adjusted down for the future low ASP prices. They are looking at the production costs and not recognizing the impacts of a sustained low and further decline in ASP. You could be looking at the stock testing the lows of October of 2018 or worse within the next 6 months if earnings point to a sustained low ASP..
  23. Been there, done that (wry grin)! I'm concerned with the continued steady drop in DQ. Has me wondering if Klothilde is right in her pessimism, and if bad news has already leaked somehow. I'm just a little heavy in it--I bought a couple of extra trading positions on the way down, expecting a rebound that didn't come. But like you, I'll wait until earnings to reassess.
  24. Yeah, that's why I'm not dumping these... unless we lose 50 or something absurd. Too much big money involved to let this crash without getting out a bit higher first is how I see it. Nevertheless, they got me holding this bag of one-trick-pony-poo for a while longer.
  25. Perhaps more of a calculated risk. If they make that $1/share Klothilde expects, and if they guide for similar or better for next quarter, they should certainly move back up to the mid-60s. It's only if they don't meet those lofty expectations that trouble may set in.
  26. 62.89 high on tariff day, down to 54.36 now. Market seems to really believe the bi-facial tariff hype dished out by BS analysts! Thinking they're more in line with Pete here. Traded it a few times on the way down, then decided to hold some. Yet another stupid mistake.
  27. FSLR series 6 has about the same power output of a CSIQ CS3U-420PG-AG. FSLR takes up 23% more space to get the same power as the CSIQ CS3U-420PG-AG. FSLR series 6 weighs 40% more than the CSIQ CS3U-420PG-AG. FSLR series 6 is 60% thicker that the CSIQ CS3U-420PG-AG CSIQ module being smaller in footprint, lighter and thinner will reduce shipping costs, means that more panels can be installed in the same square area and thus a higher density of panels for higher outputs per acre leading to lower cost per watt generated overall. All those benefits that FSLR preached 3 years ago about cost savings due to more power in the module is all wiped out when it comes to LCOE. I believe even the temperature coefficients and low light absorption benefits that FSLR used to have is mostly wiped out. Yet FSLR keeps reference their benefits over Silicon modules by comparing to outdated 7 year old Silicon technology. As far as price points, CSIQ is about $0.20 today, FSLR Series 6, is not ramped and by most estimates of their target costs when ramped was to be around $0.21. That was before line process modifications to debottle neck a manufacturing process issue that was causing significant line down and throughput issues. FSLR is a 1 trick pony in a protected market. Yes they can make money in a protected market but will struggle outside of that 1 market.
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