So, what exactly is involved in calculating solar panels cost in Temecula? When thinking about solar power very few people know the way the cost of solar panel systems is actually measured. Or even, for that matter, do we automatically grasp the connection relating to the cost of solar power and the value of solar power. We all know that gasoline prices are in dollars per gallon. We likewise are all aware of approximately how far we’ll be able to drive after spending 40 bucks for a tank of gas. In contrast to a tank of gas, the value of which can be consumed pretty much instantly, solar panels deliver their value across a period of time.
Temecula 3 Undervalued Solar Leaders
SolarCity Stock Should Continue to Rise As Solar Becomes More Affordable
Energy is one of the world's largest sectors in the market; therefore energy stocks comprise a large amount of the portfolios of institutional and individual investors. Oil, of course, is the largest in the energy sector at roughly 36%, followed by natural gas at 24%. Interestingly one of the most talked about sources of energy, solar energy, still only comprises one quarter of one percent of today's energy supply. However those numbers should shift upward over the next decade as witnessed by last year's 86% growth in the solar industry. In the U.S, solar energy consumption grew by nearly 34% reaching 0.212 quadrillion Btu. Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that solar will gain 24%, second largest share of new power capacity behind wind power, added in terms of GW by 2030.
Though the "green" movement does play a role to some extent, what may actually be driving the shift toward solar energy in residential and commercial buildings may be simple economics. People want to use cleaner energy to run their houses or businesses, but most are not willing to spend the extra money, or simply do not have the financial means to pay the extra costs to convert to solar. In 2005, solar panels typically cost $3.50 per watt of power, however, by 2012 prices had tumbled to 75 cents a watt, and some experts predict the prices will continue to fall, making it more cost effective for the consumer to have installed on their home or business.
But buying and installing solar panels is still costly, and could take upwards of twenty, for solar to pay for it. That's why the biggest shift in solar has come from companies leasing the panels to the customer and selling them the electricity at a reduced price compared to what the utility companies charge. It appears to be a win - win situation; as the industry has appeared to overcome a major obstacle eliminating the large upfront costs, and the solar company that leased and installed the panels makes money selling back the energy to the customer. For that reason, I believe the money to be made by the investors might be better placed in companies that buy the panels and install them, then have the customers lease them, thus making it affordable to the consumer.
That is what SolarCity (SCTY), a San Mateo CA company does. SolarCity designs, installs and sells or leases solar energy systems to residential and commercial customers, then sells the electricity generated by the solar energy systems back to customer at 10% to 20% less than the utility companies. And its business model appears to have attracted plenty of investors, as witnessed by the stocks run-up of over 250% since its December 2012 public offering.
In June, SolarCity announced the launch of a Zero-Down solar financing program for the home building industry, giving builders the opportunity to offer solar in new residential communities without the builder or the new homeowner incurring any upfront costs. In the first five months of 2013, the total kilowatts [KW] of SolarCity's installations for new home builder construction grew by more than 300% compared to the same period the previous year. Through its Homebuilder Partner Program, SolarCity has formed partnerships with over 30 national and regional home builders in 125 communities across the U.S.
According to Walter Cuculic, SolarCity's national manager of Builder Programs:
Home builders today are investing heavily in adopting green construction practices and solar is a linchpin in the success of a modern, energy efficient home. SolarCity's full-service offering and our new Zero-Down financing option helps home builders meet their aggressive construction timelines and stay within their budgets, and solar will save money for the homebuyer on their energy bills for years to come.
The company's initiative, where it plans to build more than $1 billion in solar projects to provide power to up to 120,000 military homes in the United States, continues to show success. On July 23rd SolarCity announced plans to add 12.8 megawatts of new solar generation capacity for up to 7,500 military homes at Lend Lease-managed Island Palm Communities throughout the island of Oahu. SolarStrong projects are already underway at nine other military bases throughout the U.S.
SolarCity was chosen by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) to install solar panels in 60 stores in California. SolarCity will own and maintain the solar power systems, and has added more than 500 new full-time employees since it initiated its first Wal-Mart solar project, and expects to hire hundreds more employees before year's end. Wal-Mart's solar power initiative will total more than 130 stores by the close of 2013.
Mack Wyckoff, senior manager of renewable energy at Wal-Mart, commented on the solar project:
Our solar efforts in California have proven to be a great way for Wal-Mart to build our renewable energy program. We are confident that we will continue to grow our solar energy program in the U.S. and around the world because of the initial success we have had in California.
While the business model and growth all sound positive, and SolarCity, which has a $3.12 billion market capitalization, has seen its customer base rise 106% year-over-year to over 57,400 and though the company increased its long-term contracted cash flow to $1.22 billion, it has yet to turn a profit. The reason is that though leasing the solar panels has shown to be the most successful method to attract clients, the long term leasing model requires upfront costs for the panels and the instillation, thus the company does not see any profits until the customer base expands enough to produce offsetting lease income. However, with panel prices continuing to drop, the company's upfront costs will drop as well. According to Kevin Landis, manager of the Firsthand Alternative Energy fund, in reference to SolarCity's business model:
When the price of panels goes down, their business gets better. The sweet spot is buying the panels and owning the output.
SolarCity stock closed on Wed. July 31 at $41.35 per share. For the first quarter of 2013, core operating lease revenue rose 85% to $15.1 million compared to $8.1 million in the first quarter of 2012. Total revenue grew 21% year-over-year to $30.0 million. Gross Profit rose 25% to $12.7 million, up from $10.1 million in the first quarter of 2012. Total operating expenses, however, rose $34.5 million in the first quarter compared to $24.7 million in the first quarter of 2012, due in part to the continued investments in development capabilities. For the second quarter 2013, SolarCity expects operating lease revenue to come in be between $16 million - $18 million, with solar energy systems sale revenue between $5 million - $10 million, and an operating expenses to be between $38 million - $42 million.
SolarCity does have its competitors like the larger SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), a high quality solar panel producer based in San Jose, CA, that designs, manufactures and delivers solar panels and systems to residential, business, government and utility customers. SunPower has also built its leasing business to be the largest U.S. both residential and commercial, and globally the company has installed over 100,000 residential systems. Shares of SunPower have had an amazing run year to date, up 391%. After hours on July 31st, the company reported net income for the second quarter of $19.6 million or $0.15 per share, compared to a net loss of $84.2 million or $$0.71 per share for the same quarter last year. SunPower forecasts for the third quarter adjusted revenue of $550 million to $600 million and adjusted earnings of $0.15 to $0.35 per share. For fiscal 2013 the company expects adjusted revenue of $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion and raised its adjusted earnings from $0.60 to $0.80 per share to $1.00 to $1.30 per share. On August 1st, shares of SunPower dropped 10% on high volume to $25.20 in mid-day trading.
Solar power in residential and commercial is clearly on the rise with plenty of room to grow. Interestingly, what might accelerate the growth is that instructional investors have not gobbled up solar company shares; roughly 20% of SunPower shares are held by institutional investors, and only 17% of SolarCity is owned by institutional investors.
While I think both SolarCity and SunPower have the potential to continue to see their stocks rise significantly in the next few years, what I like about SolarCity is that it does not manufacture the solar panels, so it does not have to compete with the Chinese manufacturers. SolarCity focuses primarily on the design, installation, the finance and the management of the system. Though with the high run up on both companies, I would like to see the stocks dip on some profit taking for a better entry price.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
How to Build a Solar Energy System
It is now the high time to do our own share in protecting Earth and her wonderful creatures.
Our planet is indeed gasping for breath right now, our harmful pollution is indeed choking her slowly and continues to strip off her ozone layer. I think it is about time to give our response to this alarming state of the only planet we live in, by doing our own share of protecting her with doing simple things that will surely stir big difference. For if not, we might be harming ourselves in the years ahead as well, for nature has its own destructive ways of getting back at us humans, the signs of earth's displeasure with inappropriate and harmful activities of humans are now seen and felt all across the globe like the global warming, climate change, acid rain, drought, flash floods and other forms of natural catastrophes.
Antarctic glaciers and ice sheets are melting at a fast rate, the populations of bees worldwide are dwindling down, numerous species of flora and fauna all across the world are becoming extinct as years go by, the ecosystem is continuously harmed, polar bears are getting hungry and the list goes on.
Here are some practical and small ways that could help our planet get a sigh of relief. Collective small efforts by those who are genuinely concerned with earth's welfare will inevitably help her by great leap and bounds.
1. Don’t allow your children to free those colorful balloons in mid-air. Teach your children not to release balloons. For balloons that escaped the grasps of your children that will hover the sky and eventually fell into oceans and seas will be mistaken as (irresistible meal) jellyfish by sea turtles. Sea turtles take a lot of years to mature and unfortunately some of them got killed by eating balloon or plastic bags. Sea turtles are part of the delicate cycle and if their population is affected other species of marine creatures are also under threat.
2. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Make it a habit to reduce the things we need or we consume. Purchase only things that we only need and eat only what you can. Let us do our share not to be part of the problem or should I say part of the garbage problem. Reuse all the things that can still be repaired/fixed or those things that are still okay.
Recycle things to conserve our resources, collect old newspapers, books, magazines, used papers, bottles (plastic and glass), and any other things that you could sell in junkyards. There is money in garbage and at the same time we’re doing our part in recycling process.
3. Be kind to trees. As much as possible use forests products and timber very well with optimum efficiency. You may use the back of coupons, use pencils until it become as small as possible, and don’t play with matches. Try to get involved in tree planting in your local conservation program. This could be fun as trees can give us added oxygen, shades for people and a refuge to different insects and birds.
4. Broken scientific apparatus like thermometer, barometers, manometers, sphygmanometers, and float valves and other things that have mercury on it should be disposed properly. Avoid throwing this in rivers for mercury is toxic and poisonous not only to the fishes and invertebrates but to the humans as well.
5. Minimize the use of refrigerators, foam blowers, solvents, aerosol spray propellants, fire extinguishers, and chemical reagents for these contains chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that are responsible to the climate change and depletion of our precious ozone layer. Do not burn plastic please this habit is also harmful to our ozone layer.
6. Do not buy exotic and endangered animals. These animals are intended to be in the wild not as mere decorations to your home, pets or playthings.
7. Educate our children, friends and even our local community about the harmful effects of dynamite fishing, illegal logging, animal poaching, over reliance to wood products and hos of other environmental issues.
8. Do not even bother to try eating exotic and endangered animals for they are not intended to be part of human’s diet. Let the other predatory animal do the stalking and eating hehehe you’re not fit to be a lion. One of the most badly hit by human's penchant for delicious foods are the sharks (shark fin soup), sturgeon (sturgeon roes - caviar- are valued for their great taste and one of the most prized eats in the world), snakes, sea turtles and many other animals.
9. Do not patronize things (coats, purse, belt, etc.) that are made up of an endangered animal or animal part (like skin, fur, bones, tusks, antlers, etc.).
10. Be responsible with your garbage, dispose them properly. Also try to use segregation scheme with your trashes, separate those decomposable from those that are not. You may utilize a compost pit to serve as haven for all of your organic trashes and eventually use this as your fertilizer for your backyard garden or trees.
11. Do the traditional way of helping to conserve our environment by virtue of avoiding smoke-belching.
12. Conserve electrical energy and water by employing tips such as regular cleaning of our bulb and fluorescent light in our home, use only appliances when needed, avoiding dripping of water from our faucets, and reporting any case of broken water pipelines to local government.
13. Support any environmental conservation in your community, you may give some donations if this will not bother you to support their cause. You may also join them in their information dissemination drive and campaign as well. You may also do things that can benefit our environment. If you're living in nearby beaches try putting old tires in the sea, this will serve as sanctuary for fishes to lay their eggs and for a place to hide from predators. You may have some vegetation (vegetables, trees or ornamental plants) in your own backyard, for extra oxygen in your area.
14. Support and visit eco-tours near you, these may promote awareness about the importance of ecology to your children, relative and friends.
15. When visiting any tourism site/protected parks please be responsible with your trashes as much as possible adhere to the rules and regulations of the park even if no one is looking at you.
16. Learn how to appreciate nature and her gifts to mankind and support any environmental campaigns that will help nurture and protect the only planet we live in.
This is my fifth entry to the hubchallenge...