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Don't look now, but energy prices are back on the rise, with a big run in crude oil off of the three-month low of $33.55 a barrel. Crude is now starting to take out the psychologically important level of $60 a barrel.

When oil prices start to make a move higher, it seems almost like clockwork that the solar stocks begin to take off. This, of course, makes a ton of sense because when energy prices rise, companies turn toward alternative energy sources as a way to save money and cut down on costs. Experienced market-players know that when energy prices are on an uptrend, investors will look to play solar stocks and take advantage of the new business that is almost certain to flow their way.

Popular solar stocks that traders like to play when crude oil is running include

First Solar

(FSLR) - Get First Solar, Inc. Report




Trina Solar



China Sunergy


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. These names are known to make huge swings and provide investors with plenty of liquidly for trading.

A higher price for oil isn't the only reason that investors are flocking to the solar complex. The fundamental picture is also starting to see some major improvements. On Monday, California-based utility

Pacific Gas & Electric

(PCG) - Get PG&E Corporation Report

signed a new solar contract with

BrightSource Energy

for a total of 1,310 megawatts of solar thermal power. This contract marked the largest solar deal in U.S. history.

Another reason to love the sector is President Obama's huge support for the alternative energy space. Recently, Obama announced plans for another subsidy program in the proposed clean-energy bill. This program would give solar companies around the globe a boost. The bill is currently bogged down in the House Energy and Commerce Committee as Republican put up a fight to win some amendments. The bill is expected to be voted on in the House before the Memorial Day weekend, so make sure to watch how it plays out.

With this in mind, let's take a look at a few solar stocks that could be setting up to make a significant move.

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