First Solar was down $9.96 to $137.40. Barron's said that a main selling point of panels sold by First Solar and Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) was that they used little silicon, and hence were cheaper than traditional panels. Energy Conversion was down almost 13%, or $2.03, to $13.74.
Bill Alpert wrote in Barron's Monday that: "A key selling point of thin-film panels is their reduced use of costly materials like silicon: a 97% reduction, in most thin-film technologies. Now that silicon is cheaper, First Solar is hustling around to investor conferences explaining how it aims to fly under silicon's descending cloud ceiling."
Solar stocks got a boost last week following a report in DigiTimes that the Chinese government would provide more support for its solar industry.Most of those companies were giving back gains today. JA Solar (JASO) shares were lower by 14.2%, or 56 cents to $3.37. Solar Fun Power (SOLF) was down 10.5%, or 49 cents to $4.18. Suntech Power (STP) was down 8.8%, or $1.02, to $10.63. LDK Solar (LDK) was down 8.9%, or 60 cents to $6.55. Green Plains Renewable Energy (GPRE - Get Report), based in Omaha, Neb., was a bright spot as its shares were higher by 1% to $3.