SOLAR GOES GLOBAL
Solar Energy is Cheap and Will Only Get Cheaper
Thanks to China driving down manufacturing costs, solar panel costs have fallen by 80 percent over the last decade. Not only have costs fallen on the solar panels themselves, but installation costs are also dropping. As more investors see the potential, more money is flowing into the solar energy sector, which will inevitably lead to even more innovations. Solar panels have already become much more efficient and as investors embrace solar energy and governments encourage its adoption in their countries, a mega-boom in renewables in inevitable.
In the U.S., $39 billion worth of federal subsidies have created incentives for solar adoption across the country. In 2014, solar power generation in the U.S. grew 30 percent YOY. (Only natural gas beat solar in new generating capacity in the U.S. last year.) Experts are forecasting another 31% annual growth rate for 2015.
Companies like SolarCity have benefited from these subsidies by lowering barriers to residential solar energy and offering attractive leasing options to interested homeowners.
Until recently, the high costs of solar energy adoption have made it a luxury of wealthy nations. However, as emerging nations seek to raise environmental standards, they are relying less on uranium and fossil fuels and are turning to solar. China, for example, is encouraging the adoption of solar energy to help combat its heavy dependence upon coal-fired energy. India, which is also extremely dependent on coal, has been attracted by the sustainability and affordability of solar energy.
According to an interesting new forecast relased by Bloomberg New Energy Finance:
Even oil major Exxon Mobil sees the writing on the wall for fossil fuels:
This is not to say that fossil fuels, like oil, gas, and coal, will no longer be needed. It simply means that their dominance in global energy production will decline as solar energy prices plunge in the coming years.
The easiest way for the average investor to participate in the growth of companies involved in the solar energy industry is through the Guggenheim Solar ETF (Ticker: TAN), which tracks 27 companies.
Of course, the best way to cash in on the future of solar energy is to invest in the companies with the best upside potential. (Many of these companies could have massive upside potential in the coming years.)
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Real-Time Market Update
(Courtesy of Finviz.com)
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