This is your SolarWakeup for August 10th, 2017

It Was Marketing, Not the Market. Over the past decade, you can pick the moments when SolarWorld and Suniva went down a path that led to the less lucrative outcome. You can also pinpoint the moments when both companies were given above market income due to Buy American policies. At the end of the day, cheap Chinese product did not impact either company’s bottom line. I don’t hear LG and SunPower making that argument. At the same time, a big loss could be the fact that SolarCity decided to build a factory instead of going to the market. There are a lot of reasons why these companies failed, but they failed at the same time that multiple Chinese manufacturers also failed so the complaint fails the logic test.

If You’re Faking, At Least Fake Well. It’s no secret that people get paid to consult towards a specific result all the time. I’ve consulted to an IOU, so I get it. But when the 201 petitioners approached Mayer Brown to do an economic analysis that shows the positive results of their 201 request, it went into a new stratosphere. The request was to write 8 pages, single spaced on creating jobs that should be higher than 88,000 using data from companies that said the 201 petition is bad. 2 blank pages and lots of graphs gave us an analysis that is laughable at best and must be disappointing to academics and experts throughout the Country. Manufacturing barely creates any jobs, these are mostly robots both in the US and China.

New Capital Needs Old Capital. There has been more ‘patient capital’ coming into solar which is good for everyone. However, the process to get to this money remains the same. You need to put early stage development money to work. Find takeout capital that is tax efficient to buy the deal and then your project could find its way to long term, low cost money. I.e. you need to take all of the risk out of the project before this money gets excited, at scale.


Have a great day!