SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

September 21, 2011 08:16 ET

Solar's "Clean Energy" Reputation Comes Under Fire

The Bedford Report Provides Equity Research on JinkoSolar and Suntech Power Holdings

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Sep 21, 2011) - The number of headwinds facing the solar sector has grown considerably this month. The bankruptcy of several high-profile US solar companies has weighed heavily on solar stocks of late, while in China, environmental concerns are causing a dent in solar's clean energy reputation. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Solar Industry and provides investment research on JinkoSolar Holding Company (NYSE: JKS) and Suntech Power Holdings Co. (NYSE: STP). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

Earlier this week, Solar Energy's "environmentally friendly" reputation took a hit in the aftermath of an environmental crisis at a JinkoSolar facility in Haining, in Zhejiang Province. More than 500 villagers near Haining in eastern Zhejiang province overturned eight vehicles and damaged four police cars in protests at JinkoSolar's factory last weekend, according to footage from a local television report posted on the website of the city's government. Protesters gathered for a third day on Sept. 17 to demand an explanation for the death of fish last month, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Solar stocks were already reeling after the Obama-supported solar panel maker Solyndra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month, saying it could not compete with overseas rivals with cheaper products.

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There remains some optimism that the long term growth prospects remain strong in the solar industry. Based on a study looking at five major solar markets -- Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Britain -- the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) said that power generated from solar modules in Europe could be competitive in relation to conventional forms of energy by the end of the decade. "Under the right policy and market conditions, PV competitiveness with grid electricity can be achieved in some markets as early as 2013, and then spread across the continent in the different market segments by 2020," EPIA said.

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