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The Solar CEO of the Year in 2011 Is...

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Can there possibly be a worthy candidate for CEO of the Year among the solar companies?

The sector crashed and burned in 2011, led by the colossal implosion of First Solar (FSLR - Get Report), whose shares plunged 75% to qualify as the S&P 500's biggest loser.

If ignominy is the goal, former First Solar CEO Rob Gillette could act as the stand-in for the sector's woes. There's also the House Energy Committee Investigative Subcommittee that has spent more tax dollars in 2011 pursuing every Solyndra scandal angle than Congress as a whole has spent in the past five years on creating comprehensive energy policy .

For a contrarian take, Axiom Capital analyst Gordon Johnson or hedge fund manager Jim Chanos fit the bill. Both famously and ceaselessly said First Solar was headed for a spectacular fall when it was at $180.

The truth, though, is that even amid the disaster otherwise known as solar stock investing in 2011, there are two very worthy candidates -- for two very different reasons -- for Solar CEO of the Year in 2011, ReneSola's (SOL - Get Report) Xianshou Li and Tom Werner, the head of SunPower (SPWR - Get Report), and the pair will share the honor this year.

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FSLR $62.92 -0.81%
SOL $1.78 0.56%
SPWR $33.66 -0.91%
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