Stock picks: Solar in, biofuel out

2008 could still be a bad year for ethanol stocks but brighter for solar, according to this excerpt from the Wall Street Transcript’s Alternative energy report.

In the report, Pavel Molchanov of Raymond James & Associates said the solar sector will continue to thrive despite the US recession largely because demand is largely tied to government subsidies, and the industry is not cyclical.

According to this study by SBI (Specialists in Business Information), the US solar market had sales of $3.8bn last year and is expected to reach $12bn by 2012.

“Recent incentives from Capitol Hill provide users of solar energy with tax credits and rebates on solar systems,” said Tatjana Meerman of SBI. “Bush’s Solar America Initiative in 2006 also provided solar energy manufacturers with funding to accelerate R&D and creating new technologies.”

Developer Ausra Inc., which is partially funded by Khosla Ventures, said that solar thermal power could meet over 90% of US electric grid auto fleet energy needs.

Just the past two weeks alone saw so many US news on solar investments. Here are some of them:

  • Global Solar Energy of Tuscon, Arizona, started its phase one CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide) photovoltaic plant with 40 megawatts/year capacity, said to be the largest of its kind in the world. The company will also build a 750 KW CIGS solar field, and will commission a 35 MW plant in Berlin this fall.
  • British Columbia’s Day4 Energy expanded its 2009 solar electric modules contracts by 40%, and 88% for 2010.
  • Ocean City, NJ, awarded WorldWater & Solar Technologies a $4m solar system contract, which is expected to produce 550,000 KW hours of energy in its first year.
  • GT Solar of New Hampshire bags a $49m polysilicon reactor supply contract from Trina Solar (Lianyungang) Co. Ltd.

And more solar news from last week’s news roundup…

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