Wind Versus Solar: Is One a Better Wager?
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- On a day when most of the major solar stocks were taking a typical one-day-does-not-reflect-the-next momentum beating -- even yesterday's high-flying Hoku Scientific (HOKU) gave back more than 6% of the 20% it had gained yesterday -- the biggest news in the alternative energy space was the win by General Electric (GE) of a huge wind farm contract.
GE's wind turbine business won a $1.4 billion contract to supply turbines for an 845-megawatt wind farm in Oregon, to be developed by Caithness Energy to provide power for Southern California Edison.
The biggest solar news today was at the other end of the excitement spectrum: a much-anticipated initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange by Chinese player Trony Solar was canceled.
Which leads to the question, is wind the better place to be than solar in 2010?The solar industry as a whole has had a healthy run-up in recent weeks, with pricing stabilization and improving projections for 2010 gross margin leading to renewed confidence in what had been a severely hampered industry. Still, the German feed-in tariff subsidy reductions are still an unknown -- and still most likely coming by year-end, according to analysts -- and that could cause some big pain to be felt by shareholders in solar companies that have big businesses in Germany , which means many of the big solar names, as Germany has the largest solar market. So should investors be paying attention to the diverging fortunes of wind and solar in the market today?
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