So­lar energy shares fall on oil prices, stock fall, but in­vestors still up­beat


So­lar energy share­hold­ers ex­pressed con­cern about the pos­si­ble im­pact of the down­turn in oil prices and the tum­ble that Tai­wan stocks took yesterday on their in­dus­try, de­spite a broadly pos­i­tive out­look among in­vestors.

Shares have al­ready plunged for Green Energy Tech­nol­ogy Inc. ( ), Neo So­lar Power Corp. ( ), So­lartech ( ), Gin­tech ( ), E-ton ( ), and Motech ( ), hit­ting their lim­its early. Ex­perts be­lieve the fall was caused by the wa­ver­ing oil prices. Only Giga So­lar Ma­te­ri­als Corp. ( ), Si­noAmer­i­can Sil­i­con Prod­ucts Inc. (

) came out of the trad­ing ses­sion in some­what bet­ter shape, af­ter suf­fer­ing a less abrupt fall.

An­a­lysts said that as the mar­ket is ex­pect­ing oil prices to fall to US$30 per bar­rel due to over­sup­ply world­wide, de­vel­op­ments in the al­ter­na­tive energy in­dus­try will slow. They be­lieve that low oil prices could have a neg­a­tive im­pact on so­lar energy’s sub­sti­tu­tion ben­e­fits, and likely re­vise so­lar energy shares world­wide.

Cur­rently, oil prices have fallen un­der the US$40 mark, which is a record low for the past six and a half years. Prices have seen eight con­sec­u­tive tum­bles, ac­cu­mu­lat­ing a price drop range over 3 per­cent, mak­ing it the long­est fall in 29 years.

Oth­ers re­main op­ti­mistic — so­lar energy fac­to­ries will be able to ben­e­fit from grow­ing de­mand, and will likely see a rise of 8 per­cent due to the rise in prod­uct prices in May. Such fac­tors will help in­ject new mo­ti­va­tion into Tai­wan’s so­lar energy in­dus­tries’ third-quar­ter per­for­mance, and “pos­si­bly turn losses into prof­its,” in­vestors stated, as the third quar­ter is usu­ally the peak sea­son for the in­dus­try.

Bol­stered by pos­i­tive de­mands and grad­u­ally ris­ing prod­uct prices, So­lartech ( ) will likely see rev­enue of ap­prox­i­mately NT$1 bil­lion in Au­gust, set­ting a new record high for the last four years should the com­pany achieve its goals.

Mar­kets world­wide have not wa­vered in de­vel­op­ing al­ter­na­tive en­er­gies as the so­lar energy mar­ket’s de­mands have not di­min­ished, le­gal in­vestors stated, even in the en­vi­ron­ment of un­sta­ble in­ter­na­tional oil prices.

Sino-Amer­i­can Sil­i­con Chair­man Lu Ming-guang ( ) also holds a pos­i­tive out­look on the so­lar energy in­dus­try, stat­ing both In­dia and U.S. pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton pro­posed or are cur­rently push­ing for sim­i­lar energy pol­icy plat­forms.

In­dia’s so­lar energy in­stal­la­tion ca­pac­ity was es­ti­mated at ap­prox­i­mately 3.5 GW this year, le­gal in­vestors said. How­ever as In­dia is cur­rently pro­mot­ing its “Clean In­dia” pol­icy, which aims to clean the coun­try’s roads, streets and in­fra­struc­ture, in­vestors ex­pect that its in­stal­la­tion ca­pac­ity will see room for up­ward ad­just­ment.

U.S. pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Hil­lary Clin­ton also pre­vi­ously an­nounced her re­new­able energy plat­form, hop­ing to in­stall 500 mil­lion so­lar pan­els dur­ing her first four-year term as pres­i­dent, and pro­vide re­new­able energy for all Amer­i­can house­holds within 10 years.

Based on Clin­ton’s poli­cies, the U.S. will pos­si­bly see an in­stal­la­tion ca­pac­ity of over 30 GW per year in the next four years. There is no rea­son to be “too pes­simistic” about the fu­ture for so­lar energy as of now, in­vestors stated.

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