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SunPower (SPWR)

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Sharpen your pencils, Q4 release season is upon us. REC tomorrow and MEMC on 13th.

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Guest ILOVEPV

REC trades ONLY in Oslo. Did I miss anything? Why REC is on your watch list as an important stock?

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SPWR said they have lowered their costs by 25%, in 2012 from 2011. This means that they have not reached their objective of 0.75 per (adjusted for efficiency) I think this is about 0.80 per watt. This is about 14% higher than REC Solar. Their module efficiency of 23% and the technology (copper based cells with 4.2g of poly per watt) is pretty exciting.

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SPWR said they have lowered their costs by 25%, in 2012 from 2011. This means that they have not reached their objective of 0.75 per (adjusted for efficiency) I think this is about 0.80 per watt. This is about 14% higher than REC Solar. Their module efficiency of 23% and the technology (copper based cells with 4.2g of poly per watt) is pretty exciting.

I think their efficiency adjustment should be at least in the order of 25 cents and I think I've seen numbers confirming that before, but it seems they don't keep all their prior publications on their site.. Will look into the 23% module efficiency. This is huge improvement from their current 20%. Cell level must be 25%+ then. Quality-wise SPWR are progressing greatly, but they must reduce cost too, since competition have cut costs with more than 50% from an already much lower level. Once SPWR get to within cost range they could become disruptive.

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25% is .28 per watt

The 25% cost reduction was .28? So from 1.12 to .84? Efficiency adjusted I guess. So their unadjusted per watt cost is around 1.10? Haven't had time to check the report myself..

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Q4 2011 it was 1.08 so the 25% is .27-.28, I call it .80, not adjusted is probably a $1.

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I see thanks. So on the apples to apples (efficiency adjusted) they're 25 cents above best in class China with 80 cents vs 55 cents. This means that they are still a "no go" from a PV economics perspective. US and Japan residential rooftop is still a nisch where they can compete I guess.

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Guest Klothilde

Please let's not get carried away here. In the CC they stated that "Blended cost per watt declined by more than 25% in 2012, with cost in our largest format panels coming in at less than $1 per watt in Q4." http://seekingalpha.com/article/1166721-sunpower-management-discusses-q4-2012-results-earnings-call-transcript?source=google_news Beware with the funny efficiency-adjusted cost figures. SPWR tweaks these to appear good. I remember that they have stated in the past that they take FS as a basis for adjustment, so a comparison against c-Si will yield a smaller adjustment. For instance if you assume area-dependant BOS-costs of 40 uscent/Wp (utility) then going up from 14,9% efficiency to 20,25% will give you only an 11 cent bonus relative to multicrystalline. Adjusted cost per watt would then be 89 cents (SPWR) vs. 70 cents (YGE Q3). As you go into residential and expensive markets the bonus will be higher, of course. @odyd: Where did you get the 23% module information? @odyd @explo: 25% cells is not realistic, the lab record for mono cells stands at 25.0% (NREL 1999). This means we can forget about 23% modules as well. http://www.scribd.com/doc/118399751/Green-Et-Al-2013-Solar-Cell-Efficiency-Tables-Version-41 http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/01/solar-cell-efficiency-round-up-thin-film-is-closing-the-gap-with-silicon

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For instance if you assume area-dependant BOS-costs of 40 uscent/Wp (utility) then going down from 20,25% efficiency to 14,9% will give you only an 11 cent bonus relative to multicrystalline. Adjusted cost per watt would then be 89 cents (SPWR) vs. 70 cents (YGE Q3). As you go into residential and expensive markets the bonus will be higher, of course.

I'm using $1 BOS saving instead of 40 cents. That's why I arrive at 25 cents instead of 10 cents efficiency adjustment. For SPWR the nisch is tight space, so instead of looking at area-dependent costs (since area is often fixed), you'll look at power independent costs (which I guess is the bulk).For same install size (same non-power dependent cost, like labor etc.), SPWR panels generate 36% more kWh, i.e. reducing per watt or per kWh costs with 26%.

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@odyd @explo: 25% cells is not realistic, the lab record for mono cells stands at 25.0% (NREL 1999). This means we can forget about 23% modules as well.

Apparently from my vivid imagination: Cell 23%, module 21.5%, my bad for confusion.

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Guest Klothilde

I'm using $1 BOS saving instead of 40 cents. That's why I arrive at 25 cents instead of 10 cents efficiency adjustment. For SPWR the nisch is tight space, so instead of looking at area-dependent costs (since area is often fixed), you'll look at power independent costs (which I guess is the bulk).For same install size (same non-power dependent cost, like labor etc.), SPWR panels generate 36% more kWh, i.e. reducing per watt or per kWh costs with 26%.

Ok I see. $1 BOS seems right for SPWR key residential markets. I would deduct at least the inverter however, as it clearly scales with power. Funny thing: In Germany residential BOS excluding Inverter is more in the order of $0,50, so BOS savings are not more than 12-13 uscents. This is not enough to generate a price premium that would allow profitable business. That's why we are seeing SPWR Europe numbers going down the drain. SPWR's business hinges heavily on its own project development (incl. leasing) and on high BOS-Cost markets.

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Guest MichaelZhao

Wow! that's the power of sun. So, JKS first, then SPWR, who is the next? (FSLR, CSIQ, SOL, TSL...)

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Guest ILOVEPV

The only thing makes me a little bit puzlled is a gap in 6.30 area. Statistics says that gaps get filled in 85% of cases. On the other hand 6.30 is a way too far from a current 11.40. Any thoughts on this issue. I concider SPWR as a very solid player due to state of the art high efficient panels. If you have a lack of space such as roof tops it can be a crucial factor when you make a choice what panels are more beneficial (Japanese may be the best customer for SPWR). Any idea if any of Chinese 11 are able to reach the same or close efficiency in the nearest future? BTW: FSLR panel efficiency over 12% is impressive (if memory servese me right they had less than 8% only a year ago).

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Guest MichaelZhao

I do not see why the gap will not get filled. I think SPWR is way to expensive.

I agree, BUT nothing too expensive for a US company, for Chinses company, it is another story. Double standard, american style. :)

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Guest chrisceeaustin

From the companies going out of business? Or does Sunpower maintain market share at same level, raise ASP, and ride the rising tide of demand? Also, how much more will Apple contract SPWR for building solar plants? How good will Q1 be? Q2 will be not so great, but there has been talk from at least one analyst of a "wildly profitable" H2. Any thoughts on just how wild the second half will be? Compare SPWR with what CSIQ is predicted by bulls of earning in H2. SPWR should earn a huge sum in H2 and in 2014. Must be measured in dollars, not cents. I am long on both stocks, seeing how CSIQ is ridiculously low in share price.

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