BERLIN ( TheStreet) -- Piper Jaffray produced a research note on Monday morning quoting German press reports that the feed-in tariff (FIT) cuts for ground-based solar, including farmland solar projects, might be delayed until Oct. 1.

The Piper Jaffray note did not specify the German media sources. However, indications that there could be a delay in the implementation of FIT cuts for ground-based solar specifically do dovetail with a report from FBR Capital Markets released last week .

Any delay in the ground-based solar cuts would be a positive for First Solar ( FSLR), which has a larges exposure to this market niche.

The German media sources that Piper Jaffray is quoting went further than FBR Capital Markets in suggesting a delay in the FIT cuts for ground-based solar projects. FBR's report said sources in Germany expected continued debate over the start date for the elimination of any support for farmland-based solar projects, but that the tariff elimination itself was not negotiable.

Piper Jaffray, on the other hand, said in its flash note on Monday morning that the German press is reporting that it is not just the farmland-based solar, but all ground-based solar, that might get an extension until Oct. 1. Commercial land-based solar is expected to see tariffs reduced by 15%, while solar projects on contaminated land expect cuts of 11%.

What's more, Piper Jaffray also wrote that there is "renewed discussion on whether there will be any subsidy for farmland projects."

FBR Capital Markets indicate in its German update that it expected no substantial changes in the tariff reduction levels.

The back-and-forth in the political battle over solar in Germany has led investors -- and the press -- down some dead ends in the past few months. Therefore, it might be advisable to not read too much into the political maneuvering at this point. Some analysts have been saying for weeks that the speculation over the final form of the solar legislation has already run amok and the best advice for investors is to wait until the changes are law.

Both the FBR and Piper Jaffray research notes to clients indicate that, if nothing more, the remaining sticking points in the German solar debate are centered on ground-based solar.

If the focus on ground-based solar and potential last-minute changes are a boon to First Solar, investors still need to consider whether it fundamentally changes their view of where First Solar stock is trading today -- not just in light of Germany's planned FIT reductions, but the overall conditions for solar in 2010.

-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.


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