This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Solar Stock Bonanza? California Aims for 33% Renewable Energy

Stocks in this article: FSLR WFR SPWRA

(California renewable energy mandate story updated for Congressional vote on Chinese import tariff)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- California regulators voted last week to up the state's renewable energy target to 33% by 2020, a potential boon for solar stocks that have been buying up the right to sell big green energy projects to utilities.

First Solar (FSLR), SunPower (SPWRA) and MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR) have all bought big pipelines of U.S. projects, which utilities may need to buy as renewable standards are increased. Asian solar energy leader Sharp became the first non-U.S. player to buy a big North American project pipeline this week when it acquired Recurrent Energy.

The vote by California's Air Resources Board is a positive for all alternative energy plays in California on the surface, but it's far from a safe play to make.

Extending the renewable energy standard in California to 33%, in theory at least, provides these big solar pipelines with a captive customer base. The current California renewable standard of 20% is coming closer to being reached by some utilities. Christine Hersey, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said that with the 20% target being reached in some cases, what companies would be lining up to buy these solar projects unless the renewable energy mandate is upped again?

Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison, for example, will each reach 18% renewable energy by the end of this year, according to Wedbush analysis.

Yet the big vote in favor of more green energy from the California Air Resources Board is just one vote of confidence in a very complicated web of California politics that is going to play out in the upcoming elections. Meg Whitman, the former eBay chief who is running for Governor of California, has stated publicly that she will suspend, at least for a year, the law which allows the renewable energy standard of 33% to be enacted.

There is a much-debated ballot initiative in this year's elections echoing Whitman's stance and asking voters to overturn the renewable energy mandate.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs