Suntech Solar Stocks Power On

With recent reports out of Europe detailing opposition to “expensive” solar feed-in tariff schemes leading to falling demand for solar energy systems, even in nations once considered bastions of the solar faith like Germany, and smear campaigns perpetrated against the solar industry here in Australia and overseas; one could be forgiven for thinking the sun could be setting on the global solar economy.
 
Happily, the reports of solar energy’s demise are premature. Chinese solar panel manufacturing corporation, Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE:STP), has sent global share markets into a frenzy after they announced total net revenues of almost a billion dollars in the fourth quarter of 2010, a 62 percent increase on 2009’s figures.
 
In 2010, the company landed deals to supply Suntech solar panels for large-scale solar energy facilities with Siemens Energy, Sempra Generation and acquired wafer manufacturer Rietech Solar. 
  
The company’s total net revenues totalled almost three billion dollars, representing 71.4% growth year-over-year. Total PV shipments were 1,572 megawatts (MW), representing 124.5% growth.
  
Last year Suntech became the first solar manufacturer to supply Europe with over 1000MW of solar energy. Earlier this month the company received the Murphy&Spitz Global Leader Award for 2011 for achieving excellence in environmental and sustainability standards in the photovoltaics industry. 
 
“2010 was another landmark year for Suntech and the solar industry,” said Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech Chairman and CEO. “We surpassed our shipment and revenue targets by setting new solar industry records for both quarterly and annual solar panel shipments.”
 
Dr Shi said Suntech’s prudent investment in the Global Solar Fund – a US$50 billion Global Green initiative which invites investment from governments and corporations to help drive down the cost of solar power – paid off with a 250 million dollar fourth quarter equity bonus.
 
“Our investment in the Global Solar Fund continues to generate value. GSF investee companies successfully completed 95MW of projects during the fourth quarter resulting in an increase in the fair value of GSF’s investments. The eventual sale of these projects should be a source of cash for Suntech going forward.”