Editor's Note: This content was originally published on
by James Ha.
The solar market is difficult to read because it relies on quickly
changing technology while being heavily tangled in politics and
other sectors of the economy, such as the volatile price of fossil
fuels. In addition, the wide range of solar technologies from
quantum dots to nano-crystals make it difficult to track clear
Despite its popularity, solar energy has come under fire from
critics who cite expensive kilowatt per hour (kWh) costs compared
to other energy sources.
The EIA states
that in 2017, solar energy will be 55.3% more expensive than coal,
63.2% more expensive than nuclear, and 73.9% more expensive than
Solar companies continue to make grand claims of groundbreaking
advancement, which would allow solar energy to be economically
viable for an average consumer in near future. However, there is
skepticism in the marketplace because leading solar advocates seem
to dodge any binding quotes.
This Monday, German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems,
(EPA:SOI), CEA-Leti, and the Helmholtz Center Berlin announced the
development of a 44.7% efficiency solar cell. While some claim that
the new record will allow for cheaper solar energy, others state
that III-IV based multijunction cells used for this record are
expensive to produce and do not hold much commercial value.
While there has been no promise of cost efficient energy
application from this new record, Soitec's Chairman and CEO,
AndrÃ©-Jacques Auberton-HervÃ©, conveys that the quickening rate of
development in the solar technology may allow solar energy to
outcompete other energy sources earlier than expected.
"This world record increasing our efficiency level by more than one
point in less than four months demonstrates the extreme potential
of our four-junction solar cell design, which relies on Soitec
bonding techniques and expertise," he announced in a
this Monday. "It confirms the acceleration of the roadmap toward
higher efficiencies which represents a key contributor to
competitiveness of our own CPV systems. We are very proud of this
achievement, a demonstration of a very successful collaboration."
US solar consumption has jumped by 55% since 1995 and appears in a
multitude of commercial merchandises ranging from phone chargers to
parking meters. In addition, big name companies have started to use
solar as an energy source in their stores.
According to the Solar Energy Industries
) lead the way with 144 and 134 stores using the energy source
respectively. Other leaders include
Is solar energy the new hope for humanity or is it the second
coming of corn ethanol, propelled by green energy zealots and angst
about the rising price of fossil fuels?
Most experts agree that solar power will soon become a reliable and
economically sensible energy source across the private and public
Assuming that those analysts are right, a multitude of companies
will enter and fade from the industry as the solar market takes
that 40 solar companies went out of business in 2012 with several
others declaring bankruptcy. Despite these failures, investors have
huge expectations for solar, with these companies trading at huge
Guggenheim Solar ETF
(NYSEARCA:TAN), which tracks the performance of 25 solar companies,
is up more than 97% this year.
Below, find some more great ETF and market content from
Should Bill Gates Just Go Ahead and Hang It Up?
The Apple Stories You Missed Wednesday
Dividend ETFs for a No-Tapering World
Benzinga Pro covers this and all market news in real time. Get
your free trial