Blog Archive

Monday, July 27, 2009

Joseph Romm: Solar and wind power making big strides

From Joseph Romm's e-mail newsletter, July 27, 2009:

SunPower Suggests Solar Emerging From Doldrums

SunPower surprised some Wall Street observers Thursday afternoon by raising its full-year 2009 revenue estimates to a range of $1.35 billion to $1.7 billion, indicating that the largest U.S. maker of silicon-based solar panels has confidence that the solar business may be reviving.

The slight upward revision in guidance–SunPower had previously given a low estimate of $1.3 billion–follows better than expected results for the second quarter. SunPower revenue totaled $298 million for the quarter, a decrease of 22% over the same period in 2008. Net income per share declined 30% to 26 cents as gross margin fell to 19% from 24% a year ago on declining average sales prices for its solar panels. Excluding one-time items, the San Jose, Calif.-based company earned 24 cents a share, handily beating the consensus analyst forecast of 13 cents a share, as compiled by Thomson Reuters.

As demand for clean energy grows….

Last year 24 states opened, expanded or announced turbine manufacturing plants, according to the American Wind Energy Association. By value, about half of turbine parts are now manufactured in the United States, said Mr. Dunlop of the wind association….

The vast majority of turbine parts travel by truck, but in Texas and elsewhere, some wind companies are looking to move more turbine parts by train to save money. General Electric, a big turbine maker, says rail transport can be up to 50% cheaper over long distances, and the rail company Union Pacific saw its wind-related shipments more than double last year.

So as we ship less coal by train, we can ship more turbine blades. How is that for a win-win?

No comments: