Solar Investor
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solarpete last won the day on March 27

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About solarpete

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  1. Yeah, you're definitely decades away from those kinds of changes--and as you say, who knows if the current leaders are still the major players then. I still think the current environment is too uncertain for major bets one way or the other. I just try to play the volatility--buy a little (not "load the boat") when it goes down, sell a little when it goes up, never bet the farm on any one position.
  2. Sorry, but I disagree. The problem we face with these stocks is that they still have not figured out a way to reliably make money in a global market of some 100 GW (!) of demand annually. It's not that they're not producing enough--they produce huge volumes; they're just not selling those volumes at a decent profit. And in the past, every time demand has gone up, they've just expanded capacity to MORE than make up the difference, resulting in repeated gluts. The world is already trampling to get solar panels compared to a decade ago. And if the past is prologue, changing that trample to a stampede still may not make much difference, as these companies simply expand capacity again. The question we need to be focused on is what will drive margin expansion? Volume expansion is not the answer.
  3. OK, that makes sense. Thanks.
  4. Time to show my ignorance--why is this good news? I thought the purpose of a yieldco was to buy completed projects from the parent (thereby returning capital to the parent so it can build more projects), then operate them long enough to recover the capital, plus extra which is paid out as dividends spread out over the operational life of the project. No projects, no yieldco. So why would a yieldco sell a project? I can think of two reasons: either the metrics have changed and the project will no longer pay for itself (total income derived over operational life of project is now projected to be less than initial capital expense plus dividends), or the yieldco needs cash. Solar project metrics are usually pretty stable (operational plants have long-term power production agreements). So does TERP need cash? For what? To buy more projects (swapping out an older, less productive project for a newer, more productive one)? Interested in hearing your thoughts on this....
  5. They are indeed different industries, but they are both in the technology sector. And I don't know how much of a "niche" Square really is--electronic payment has been around for decades now. Yes, their device is handier than the traditional credit card reader. But how long will it be before a competitor arises? I'm not trying to knock Square here, or extol CSIQ. But losing money is losing money, whether you're a commodity or a niche. (And CSIQ is NOT losing money, as far as we know.) I'm lamenting the fact that so much of a stock's valuation is driven by psychology, and not by underlying business fundamentals. (Just look at Tesla!!) Of course, if it weren't, the market would be much more rational--and the world would be full of stock market millionaires. Or, more likely, you just couldn't make (or lose) that much money in the market, because everything would always be priced in.
  6. Maybe. Maybe not. The market is paying $20 for Square, Pop's favorite non-solar stock--and they're guiding a LOSS of 20 cents in 2017. This double standard in stock valuation is the most frustrating part of holding solars. (And why I've given up holding them, and just try to trade them these days.)
  7. OK, if he's taking personal credit, of course that's ridiculous. But he's not the only politician falling into that trap (think Al Gore and his [in]famous "I invented the Internet." Of course that's not how he meant it, but that's how it came out.) I actually think he's not so bad. He's a pragmatist--show me you can make money from an idea, and I'll support it. That is where we are with solar right now. We're cheaper than fossils in some areas already, and we're CLOSE to being cheaper everywhere. That argument has pull with people who only care about the bottom line. He's not an anti-environmental ideologue per se--show him environmentalism is good for capitalism, and he can be convinced. As opposed to Scott Pruitt, who IS a total disaster for the environment. That guy has never seen a chemical he wouldn't want to put in (someone else's) air/soil/water.
  8. That is the key. If they can manufacture at a price such that the completely unsubsidized, un-incentivized installed cost of a system (residential or utility-scale) is below the cost of fossils, eventually they will supplant fossils (especially once the storage problem is also solved). From what I've learned so far, both here on this forum and from other sources, we're close to that point now, and indeed have reached it in a few locations. But we have not quite reached it yet everywhere. We definitely should in a few years. Once we've reached the point where solar is truly cheaper than fossils, there's no reason to continue to drop prices in this cut-throat spiral we've been in the past few years. We should finally see margins stabilize and even rise again at that point, although I don't think they'll ever go back to the levels seen when we had large subsidies supporting the industry.
  9. Could be. But they're certainly not participating in the up-and-away rally of JKS and JASO. And volume is below average. They could rise back up to 14, or just as easily fall into the low 13s. Really hard to predict a direction until we see their earnings.
  10. If things are as good as you expect, they should announce their earnings call sooner rather than later. Perhaps the date (when announced) will give us a clue.
  11. I feel your pain! Took a gamble on it myself and entered a small trading position when it pulled back from 7.00, figuring it would blast through on its way to 8 (the way it blasted through 6 on its way to 7)--only to watch it promptly pull back even farther, and now obstinately refuse to participate in rises in other solars. Think we're stuck at this level until their earnings. Last quarter's were driven by a one-time gain--hope they don't collapse when they can't repeat that this quarter. Well, at least I was smart enough to limit my exposure here.
  12. Precisely! Good luck (to us all)!!
  13. Your Base 10 prejudice is showing. Say that in binary!
  14. Agreed. Anyone care to speculate on whether they'll actually cease operations, which should ease the oversupply problem?
  15. Exactly the conclusion I came to as well. The very uncertainty that makes it difficult to pick long-term winners produces enough fluctuations in share price to allow plenty of trading opportunities. To use the baseball analogy, I've given up on swinging for the fences, and am concentrating on peppering the infield with singles instead. It's slow, but it seems to be working.