The Solar Tide is Coming In to U.S. Shores

King Canute testing his power of devine right


It seems that the opponents to widespread use of solar are fighting a battle of devine power versus the tide of solar growth and are losing. The banking industry hurt by scandal and bad judgement have turned to “go with the flow” and are backing solar energy as a good investment for their clients. With this model in mind, why can’t all of us who are not major investors reap from the same model? That is the premise that the Tennessee Solar Energy Association is using for a concept paper to be submitted today to the Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initiative. Our idea is to offer the same concept of a secure investment to the all the ratepayers of electricity in this country so that they can reap the same investment potential as the major financial investors. We will release excepts from the concept paper in a future blog.

From PVtech news release: The US Senate’s recent vote to not extend the Department of Treasury’s solar energy tax incentive has resulted in a creative alternative by underwriters from financial institutions like Bank of America to Credit Suisse and Citigroup. This option would convert “sunlight into cash to pay bond investors,” reports Bloomberg. The SEIA predicts solar installations could increase by 75%, exceeding the 3,200MW goal for 2012.
Credit Suisse is seeking to develop solar-backed securities, which will offer “a predictable source of liquidity as the industry continues to grow,” said Russell Burns, managing director of asset finance, at Credit Suisse Securities USA.

Tanguy Serra, president of Vivint’s solar unit, believes securitization, which Citigroup is in the process of developing, is less risky than other bonds. “Your home’s electricity is an absolute necessity that comes ahead of everything else. Even if you’re giving up your car, you’re still paying your power bill,” Serra said in an email to Bloomberg. “Investing in solar securities is one of the least risky investments you can make.”

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