NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Solar companies suffered through a tough 2009, but finished the year strong -- and many solar players seem poised for better performance in 2010. But while wind as an alternative technology may receive less of solar's momentum-trading frenzy, some major wind-turbine deals were announced toward the end of 2009.
The biggest recent news came courtesy of General Electric (GE). Although GE might be under strain as a financial company, its wind-turbine affiliate had a watershed win last Thursday, pocketing a $1.4 billion contract to supply turbines for a wind farm in Oregon. That's a big deal even for a big company like GE.
Likewise, A-Power Energy Generation Systems (APWR) also recently netted a definitive agreement for a large wind-farm contract in Texas -- though it still needs many of the approvals that GE already lined up in Oregon. Still, A-Power shares have attracted the market's attention ever since the deal was reached.
Solar, on the other hand, has demonstrated its usual astronomical one-day pops and day-later plummets of late, some centered at the smaller end of the market, and in more specialized niches. Akeena Solar recently shot up 56% in one day after announcing it would be the first solar panel maker to have a do-it-yourself kit available at Lowe's (LOW).Then there's LDK Solar (LDK), which tanked on Thursday and Friday of last week after its poor balance sheet and need to pay off debt let to a secondary equity offering that the market responded to by dumping LDK shares. Then there's the biofuel arena, which is anyone's guess -- though the U.S. Department of Energy did just launch a huge funding program for the development of biofuels, in a move the government considers the most important step it has taken to developing a commercial biofuels market.
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