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Guest redsolar

It says... On 15 November 2012 we sold two projects in California totaling 48MW for US$50.5mn 48MW for 50.5M$ ????? Is this a typo?

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On 15 November 2012 we sold two projects in California totaling 48MW for US$50.5mn

Either sold before completion, or 50.5m was their share of the JV for the 48 mw. Didn't odyd mention something about gcl dumping projects prematurely?

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Guest redsolar

Odyd, The data you collect for the export figures...do they reflect only the modules...or everything like wafer+cell+module? Thanks Red

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Guest nanofrogfish_spf

I've never really fully bought into the "panels are just a commodity product" perception that is repeated often in the news media. It did seem like they were, based on the $/W seemingly the only thing that mattered. However, my thoughts always were...how can something that is supposed to perform well for over 25 years, and sits outside the entire time, be considered a commodity item, since quality materials and workmanship truly do matter? It's not like some computer chip sitting in some computer that needs to last about 5-years. So now it looks like the quality, workmanship and bankability are starting to get some real attention.; http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2012/11/solar-struggle-a-rise-of-poorly-made-pv-modules CEO Qu from CSIQ has made it a point the last several conference calls, and especially this last one, on how quality and bankability are becoming much more important in the decision making process, and they are picking up market share because of it. I'm sure the other top Tier-1's are saying the same thing. Qu had a comment way back when something like "they go for low cost at first, but after those first projects they then decide they want something that works" It will be interesting to see going forward on how much certifications of quality assurance and bankability plays in the top Tier companies gaining market share from the lower tier/quality players.

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The prices for 11 stocks look like the graveyard, only familiar to me with real estate investment trusts from few years back. Those who invested in strongest of them all made money. It is hard to recommend anything right now as there seems to be no end to loss. In my recent article I stated three concepts, EPC, factory abroad and stop loss, by efficiency. Who can afford all three or is doing all three well, is worth putting money in. But for the price appreciation it will take years. So if you a long term and like to see your money sit there, it is ok, but I would not even suggest to buy anything. I have TSL and YGE. I will probably average down, I have no choice, it is a necessity buy, to bring me closer to current prices. Those who do not have solar I would suggest to stay away, perhaps missing some of better low entry points.

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Nice article on Canadian. I think it is the best tier-1 play now, since it is approaching the top 3 and the top 3 has too much issues now. Trina is still double market cap to Canadian.

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You seem to like csiq. I would av down on tsl, but since all stocks are down you av down your yge even if you buy csiq sort of. In my opinion yge has less limited downside than the other two and should not be over weighted. Long-term upside i see as most limited for csiq (market dependent input cost limits margins over time).

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Guest redsolar

You got to be a bit careful there with YGE...their Market CAP is still very high with a lot of shares...compared to the peers. With Q3 ER...they could become a penny stock...(not that they deserve it). Just a cautionary note!

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Guest nanofrogfish_spf

Long-term upside i see as most limited for csiq (market dependent input cost limits margins over time).

Explo, I have to disagree with you on this. If we were just talking pure module sales, I would agree. But CSIQ profitability is less dependent on module sales margins than the others. I think FSLR loses money on every panel it makes, but still turns a nice profit overall. CSIQ has invested in the downstream side of the business, instead of the upstream side as many of the others had. They do have their own internal ingot/wafer (300MW) and cell capacities, but are structured on a top-down model (each step lower has less internal capacity). I believe they've built up a very powerful and long-lasting relationship with GCL to fill the gaps (and others...they don't just buy from GCL). Eventually, they will probably sacrifice a few cents per watt profit on their modules, but will (most likely) get a better and quicker return on their invested capital on the downstream side. Basically, they would rather concentrate on the project work than try to expend resources competing at the wafer level. And if this dynamic changes to a point where it really starts hurting CSIQ's profitability, well they can at that point in time expand the % of the internal upstream side of the business accordingly (with the newest, most efficient equipment), but I really don't see that happening to a large degree. Regardless, stability is starting to return, and this dynamic won't be changing significantly overnight, so there would be plenty of time to adjust.. I really think that the most important things moving forward for all the solars will be their flexibility and adaptability to meet the ever changing challenges of the marketplace, their technological innovations, and their ability to maintain a strong balance sheet. Just my honest opinion, of course.

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Nano, i only mean long-term. Short-term csiq has almost the perfect structure for profitability, but spreads are not normal between the verticals now. You are right that they are good for now and could add upstream capacity later, e.g. wait for the HiCz breakthrough at GTAT. Some negatives are: maybe a bit too much Chinese cell capacity. A bit too much debt when not having much upstream capacity to show for it.

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Guest Klothilde

According to IHS polysilicon could rise slightly as soon as December or January. Seems like Q3 utilization was 80% for Wacker and <50% for GCL. Does anybody know if OCI and Hemlock have cut production as well? http://www.pv-tech.org/news/report_polysilicon_prices_to_rise_but_supply_and_demand_in_balance_remains Any guess where the rebound is headed? $25 or maybe $30 per kg? Cheers, Klothilde

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Any guess where the rebound is headed? $25 or maybe $30 per kg?

Looking at what prices the poly suppliers need there's a big difference between the price where they can cover the cash cost of production and the price where they get as reasonable return on investment. For the low capex plants (25 $/kg) a price between $25 and $30 can result in a reasonable return, while $15 to $16 cover the production cash cost. For the expensive plants (100 $/kg) you cannot get a reasonable return at prices below $35, while you can cover your production cash cost at $11 to $12. REC future plan of a FBR plant in China suggests cost levels that can accept a $20 to $25 price range with a production cash cost at $8. This should give you an indication of a normalization target, my guess is around $30 near term (current cost level) would be likely "normalized" price in the hypothetical scenario that a demand surge cause the supply and demand to reach a balance again. In case of shortage scenario in a coming demand boom prices can rise above $60. When there's no enough to go around suppliers will set the price to highest possible without risk of completely puncturing end demand. Spot prices might go beyond such contract limit in panel maker's fight for market-share. We see the same contract spot digression now during oversupply (contract level $23 to $24, spot level $16). Note also that poly cost per watt, will go down as consumption (grams per watt) goes down from development of thinner wafers, thinner wire saws (less kerf loss) and higher conversion efficiency. So there's a lot of room to reduce poly cost per watt without a reduction of poly price per kg.

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Guest Klothilde

Thanks explo. Your figures are consistent with some estimates I made based on GCL's 2012 interim report: http://www.gcl-poly.com.hk/attachment/20120912163201001502254_en.pdf I obtained following ballpark figures: production cash cost: $16 depreciation: $3 OPEX: $2 interest: $2 So price needs to be roughly > $20 for GCL to be CF positive. For a financial return they have to price above $23-$25. Your estimate of $25-$30 makes sense to me since it ensures profits for GCL, neutral to positive CF for OCI, Hemlock, Wacker, and lets everybody else bleed (excluding the FBR guys). I don't see a shortage before 2014, since the big 4 producers can handle roughly 40GW of demand and I don't see demand in 2013 exceeding this figure.

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Guest nanofrogfish_spf

Some general observations recently on the Big-4 and China’s solar policies;

[align=left] 1) China’s Big-4 module makers (STP, YGE, TSL, CSIQ) have worked together, and with the Chinese Commerce Dept., to address the anti-dumping/subsidy investigations, especially when it came to the EU. They have issued joint statement press releases on these investigations. [/align]

[align=left]

2) The B4 (or at least TSL/CSIQ) seem to have almost simultaneously decided not to chase the ASP’s down below costs. Seems that they are drawing the line at about 0%GM, even if it means closing production and laying-off workers. Is this just coincidence, or part of a previous strategy that was agreed upon?

3) Chinese (Wen) and EU (Merkel) have met, with subsequent meetings by various officials, with the goal to structure a solar trade agreement that both parties can live with.

4) The China Development Bank has stated (not sure if that’s official or not) that going forward, they would only support a handful of companies and other measures to help consolidation.

5) The potential solar market in China alone is absolutely huge, with various measures being implemented by the government and utilities to promote this objective. The biggest hurdle right now seems to be the financial support for this build-out.

6) The Ministry of Finance has raised the minimum efficiency bar again (15%, or 8% for thin film).

So if I put all these random thoughts together, it seems like the plan is to put the lower Tier’s out of business, while providing enough of a domestic market to support their “chosen ones”. Since selling modules right now is not profitable, but Development/EPC is, then the banking system can effectively control that dynamic due to the capital intensive financial aspect of the latter. Collectively with the trade barriers, these measures would squeeze out almost all remaining Chinese Tier-2 and Tier-3 module capacity (which CSIQ’s Qu had just stated were already idled right now anyway) out for good. Hopefully LDK can be squeezed out with them, or at least reduced considerably in size.

This approach would also help ease the tensions on international trade, and help facilitate an agreement being reached with the EU Commission. The demand/supply equation would also be more in balance (I don’t think the Tier-1’s by themselves are the problem here). At some point selling modules will become profitable again (but only enough so as to keep new entrants at bay), but these will be slim profits based on volume and automation.

Ultimately, this would help the chosen ones to grow and be profitable gain, but is it enough to overcome the huge debt loads of STP & YGE, without some type of restructuring? Will be interesting to watch how this all plays out in 2103...

Just some food for thought on Thanksgiving Day.

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I am hoping to offer for sale shipment export data (for now just this) for Chinese modules and cells. Any ideas how much would one willing to pay to get it? One page, by country, by a company. This is with association with Solarzoom, who collects the data, I would distribute it.

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we are going with $25CAD. We are planning a database of Chinese companies and other prospects. I think the price is pretty manageable for someone who would like to know the data ahead of the curve.

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Sounds like a reasonable price. The data can be very interesting to an investor. I guess it is quite reliable to get a picture of minimum shipments, but didn't the data say that SOL exported more than they now report and JKS export data was low, but they reported high shipment (maybe a lot domestic). Have you analyzed how it can be used to predict (minimum shipments), i.e. when is port data during one month recognize as shipments. On the other hand it would be ok if you know that the data is accurate to leave the correlation analysis to the buyer.

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Sounds like a reasonable price. The data can be very interesting to an investor. I guess it is quite reliable to get a picture of minimum shipments, but didn't the data say that SOL exported more than they now report and JKS export data was low, but they reported high shipment (maybe a lot domestic). Have you analyzed how it can be used to predict (minimum shipments), i.e. when is port data during one month recognize as shipments. On the other hand it would be ok if you know that the data is accurate to leave the correlation analysis to the buyer.

Hi Explo, very good observations. The data is accurate the analysis is incorrect. So in both cases JKS and JASO had massive amounts of the volume from China, as declared these were only shipment numbers overseas and so this was very effective. The second part is exactly that shipment of something on the last quarter may not be recognized until the receipt of the funds which happen in the quarter. The recognition of the revenue is the trigger of the recognition of the shipment in the financial aspect. The database provides logistical representation of the shipments in calendar period of the month and then can be added monthly to a quarter to understand how companies performed. Absolutely, this is for the buyer to recognize, outside of the data breakdown by the country and 26 companies, conclusion belongs to the purchaser. I hope that people will be attracted to it. SPVI offers small discount, Solarzoom sells this data at $330 per year and I do not think they offer monthly purchases.

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Recent Q3 results from Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL) at first glance added to discontent about the state of the industry, but the first glance should not be made the last, as there is a lot more to see in that quarter.

Read more: http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/trina-solars-q3-results-provide-proof-of-financial-strength-and-needed-hope_100009454/#ixzz2DzzJlrvN

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Thanks. Where did you learn that 20 million of the revenue was from cell shipped to China? That would mean around 45MW cells shipped in addition to the 380 MW module shipments? Assuming no systems revenue, Trina's ASP was then 73 cents, more in-line with Canadian's 71 cents and Yingli's 70 cents (shipped much more than Trina and Canadian though). The ASP gap to tier 2 is closing for those trying to keep decent utilization. Yingli was only 2 cents over Jinko and that with much more high end products. Renesola has during the year predicted that the ASP gap would close completely in Q4. The gap has reflected contract terms delay effect and high price market penetrations more than tier/brand premium. We'll see. Yingli is at least a clear no 1 in market share now. The 100m opex+interest is an issue and the growing non-controlling interest, but otherwise they start to look interesting. Trina as always seems clean and prudent, but are they slipping on market aligned product offering, aside from the 20% Honey? Jinko has added 5 W to their poly panels in latest product sheets, still average 10W below Renesola's poly, but 5 W above Trina's and Yingli's poly offering.

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Thanks. Where did you learn that 20 million of the revenue was from cell shipped to China? That would mean around 45MW cells shipped in addition to the 380 MW module shipments? Assuming no systems revenue, Trina's ASP was then 73 cents, more in-line with Canadian's 71 cents and Yingli's 70 cents (shipped much more than Trina and Canadian though). The ASP gap to tier 2 is closing for those trying to keep decent utilization. Yingli was only 2 cents over Jinko and that with much more high end products. Renesola has during the year predicted that the ASP gap would close completely in Q4. The gap has reflected contract terms delay effect and high price market penetrations more than tier/brand premium. We'll see. Yingli is at least a clear no 1 in market share now. The 100m opex+interest is an issue and the growing non-controlling interest, but otherwise they start to look interesting. Trina as always seems clean and prudent, but are they slipping on market aligned product offering, aside from the 20% Honey? Jinko has added 5 W to their poly panels in latest product sheets, still average 10W below Renesola's poly, but 5 W above Trina's and Yingli's poly offering.

HI Explo I had conversations about it with the company. I wrote this article basically with the company' reviewing data used. The ASP was 0.72 , I hate to solicit to friends, but some of the interesting facts can be found in the reports for October 2012, how about trying a data for September for a $1? At this point and those prices (I get the commission and vaguely able to use total data its supports this business (SPVI)), You could let me know what you think as well.

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I feel very disappointed how this industry turned investors to load of stupidity on yahoo board. I am also disappointed that very few people have found use for this board. Lastly, I am honestly confused that we have absolutely no takers, even for $1 sample we offer. I suppose in summary, the interest in the industry is so limited that people who are invested in it are not looking for any type of the leverage, they are committed to it as to dying, no way out. Moreover investments made a desperation hold ups, so no amount of data can change this. Irony is that we made sales, and the only those who bought are the research firms, not individual investors. What is this telling?

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Give it some time. This board is steadily increasing in value while yahoo is crashing. Suddenly people will discover that here is where it is possible to discuss. Abc, is one of the serious posters on yahoo and frequently used links. He could be a recruitment target. On the data reports. I would give it time too. The $1 taste price is obviously not an issue for anyone, i think its more the money transfer questions. Is it possible to have taste completely free for members? That could help recruit new members too.

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