In recent years, solar panel companies experienced numerous ups and downs as energy prices fluctuated and government policies shifted. Many Americans want to protect the environment but hesitate to invest in renewable power. Nonetheless, financial expert Jeff Yastine feels confident about solar energy investments. The former “Nightly Business Report” correspondent’s well-researched predictions have helped traders profit from eco-friendly stocks.
Around five months ago, Yastine urged readers to invest in an exchange-traded fund known as Guggenheim Solar. Its value quickly increased by about one-tenth. He also made positive comments regarding First Solar Inc. This company’s share price skyrocketed 40 percent during recent months. The renowned investment guru believes that solar stock values will continue to rise in the days to come.
Jeff Yastine has highlighted the increasing popularity of photovoltaic panels. He noted that solar power plants generated more electricity than ever during 2017; total energy production surged 46 percent. Yastine estimated that homeowners, utilities and other businesses used sunlight to create about 2 percent of the nation’s electricity.
Although this doesn’t seem like a tremendous amount of power, it represents a remarkable increase. Photovoltaic panels didn’t even generate 0.5 percent of America’s electrical energy in 2015. Three years earlier, they produced just 0.1 percent. This means that only five years elapsed while solar’s production capacity soared 2,000 percent! No other power generation method has experienced such rapid growth in recent times.
Why This Happened
Yastine believes that a few different factors contributed to the rise of solar. Manufacturers currently benefit from better production technology than they possessed in the past. They’ve also begun to assemble equipment at a faster pace. These trends caused panel prices to drop almost 40 percent in 2017. The federal government has also introduced new policies that help the industry and its customers.
Regulators want to eliminate energy storage obstacles in an effort to promote renewable power. They recently called upon utilities to begin planning for a future that involves greater usage of high-capacity rechargeable batteries. The government expects these companies to develop plans within 12 months. Storage systems make it possible to set aside electricity and consume it at times when panels or turbines can’t generate sufficient power.
Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service decided that homeowners will benefit from tax credits if they install energy storage devices and connect the equipment to photovoltaic panels. This policy could boost sales of products like Tesla’s Powerwall. It will also encourage individuals to generate all of their electricity and stop relying on utilities for backup power.
Battery Costs Plummet
Massive rechargeable batteries have become far more affordable as companies like Tesla and Daimler strive to manufacture them in greater numbers. Factories in North America, Europe and Asia produce large quantities of these products. Although such facilities require rather costly equipment, various firms have sought to satisfy the growing demand for batteries by constructing additional plants in Australia and Thailand.
Jeff Yastine believes that many Americans will purchase photovoltaic systems as they learn about new federal policies, more economical panels and less expensive batteries. He encouraged Total Wealth Insider readers to buy shares in a successful energy storage company in addition to panel manufacturers. The newsletter editor noted that no one has created an exchange-traded fund for people who want to invest in power storage.
In October 2017, Yastine argued that solar industry stocks were worth much more than their existing prices. He pointed to a report from the International Energy Agency. It revealed that people throughout the world had installed 50 percent more photovoltaic panels in 2016 than they did a year earlier. The IEA expects solar energy to grow more quickly than wind and hydroelectric in the near future.
Jeff Yastine went on to say that rapid growth had failed to boost the industry’s share prices. Some stocks lost the majority of their value during the last decade. He explained that falling equipment prices had reduced per-unit profits. American manufacturers also face stiff competition from factories in Asia. Many foreign rivals benefit from much lower labor costs and favorable government policies.
Nevertheless, Yastine warned that Wall Street investors had overemphasized negative aspects and unfairly devalued the stocks of panel manufacturers around the globe. Both American and Chinese companies still produce respectable earnings despite low share prices. The experienced journalist and investor explained that this disparity revealed the great potential for these stocks to gain value.
Further Positive Signs
Jeff Yastine isn’t the only finance expert who anticipates a rosy future for the renewable power industry. In May 2017, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett spoke of his strong interest in solar investments. He expressed a willingness to spend as much as $3 billion on an appealing project. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson also stepped up his investments in eco-friendly energy during 2017. Yastine has interviewed both men in the past.
Energy Storage Ideas
In December, Banyan Hill Publishing posted Jeff Yastine’s article on storage equipment, renewable energy and Tesla. The University of Florida graduate stressed the importance of collecting solar and wind power in rechargeable batteries. Although he praised the styling of Tesla cars, Yastine called for the company to stop making vehicles and prioritize energy storage systems.
The investment expert described massive power outages that occurred in Australia during 2016 and 2017. Major cities suffered lengthy blackouts, forcing residents to endure high temperatures without using fans or air conditioners. This happened because unfavorable weather conditions prevented solar and wind plants from producing enough watts. These two energy sources supply about two-fifths of Australia’s electricity.
Fortunately, storage systems offered a viable solution. It only took Tesla about three months to manufacture, transport and install high-capacity batteries that hold nearly 130 megawatts. Australian utilities have integrated the equipment into their electrical grid. This positive example may inspire South Africa to embrace a similar solution before 2018 comes to an end.
Jeff Yastine bolstered his argument by citing a Bloomberg report on power storage. It predicts that the total capacity of installed batteries will increase by 6,000 percent during the next 12 years. The authors also expect equipment prices to fall significantly. This will make energy storage affordable for many more building owners and utilities.
To sum it up, several recent events, reports and statistics suggest that the solar and energy storage industries will achieve considerable progress in the years ahead. These complementary businesses reliably contribute to each other’s success. Meanwhile, Jeff Yastine plans to keep recommending the most promising stocks and informing readers about related developments in his weekly newsletter columns.