Tuesday, February 19, 2008

NCN Solar: The current state of things (ENER; EMKR; FSLR; SPWR; STP)

Is FSLR going to buy ENER? I'm seeing (and hearing) that ENER would be attractive to a couple companies, for a couple different reasons. Hmmm...
From Notable Calls:

"Last week I asked NCN Solar, a trader closely following & trading the Solar space give us an overview of the current state of the things. I talk to NCN Solar almost every morning going over the most important developments - a great help to undestanding the rapidly changing sector.

I also regularly paste his best comments to other Notable Calls Network (NCN) members.

NCN Solar:
I put some thoughts together more to educate you as to what is happening, and perhaps will make it easier to capitalize on coming news in 2008. It will continue to be choppy and unpredictable, so its best to just be prepared for what may happen and to know how to react.

There seems to be more private equity money going into alternative energy than in any other sector. The high oil prices of the last few years as well as climate concerns, has led to a quest to reach grid parity with electric rates. Most of the ways to play the growth in the US markets involve stocks in the Solar sector. There are 2 well known technologies: Thin Film which includes First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), Energy Conversion Devices (NASDAQ:ENER), and many exciting private companies and Silicon which is led by SunPower Corp (NASDAQ:SPWR), Suntech Power (NYSE:STP) and many others.

Let us take a closer look at both these groups. FSLR is the clear cost leader. They developed Thin Film CDTE technology which doesn't require the currently expensive polysilicon, and is a quick production process which FSLR has successfully copied at their other facilities. There are certain geographies, such as areas of Germany, where no other product can come close to comparing. As they increase their conversion efficiency to 12% of the sunlight to power, and continue to increase production and yields, they appear well in the lead towards grid parity, at a point which this growing market expands to incredible levels. There are a number of private companies, NanoSolar, Miasole etc. as well as ASTI and DSTI which are working on Thin Film CIGS technology in a well financed drive to reach what FSLR has accomplished. There are various challenges in scaling this technology, and its certainly hard to know exactly how close these companies have come. The Thin Film amorphous technology, is a bit difficult to understand, because the conversion efficiency achieved so far, does not seem high enough to compete."...MORE