Yingli Solar Retains Top Spot

GTM Research has released some figures for last years’ solar panel market. Thanks to this Tweet by Kees van der Leun for the link. They show Yingli on the top spot for both production at 2.622 GW, beating second rank Trina by 0.062 GW, and for shipments at 3.234 GW, beating Trina by 0.649 GW.

I have Yingli Solar in my list of global warming stocks. From that list, which I wrote in August last year:

If you invest in companies building solar panels, don’t expect to see your money back. This is one investment area where the desire to do something about global warming should be the main motivation, and the desire to make money should not be a motive at all.

Of course in a couple of decades solar energy will beat all other forms of energy by large margins. Growth rates are exponential. Prices are coming down faster than anybody is able to keep up with.

But there are still much more solar panel companies than can expect to survive the coming decade’s cut-throat competition. It’s basically impossible to know which maker will be still around a decade from now.

If one wants to take such a risk, there are a couple of considerations for mitigating it.

For one, don’t buy any stock of a company not based in China. Clearly Chinese makers are taking over the World market.

Second, buy the leader in market share. That would be Yingli Green right now.

Don’t expect any dividends. Don’t expect any investment grade ratings. Don’t expect anything but high risk and high return, as in high return in the contribution to the fight against global warming.

I have bought a some Yingli stock this year, following my own recommendation. Again, on the very simple theory that the leader has a slightly better chance to survive the next ten years than other producers. And again, not expecting to make money, or even to get my money back, but primarily motivated by a desire to help do something about global warming.

I am down by 27 percent right now, but I couldn’t care less about short term price fluctuations. I don’t plan on selling this stock for the next ten years, so the only thing I’m interested in is how much of a chance there is that there is anything left to sell ten years out.

I still have no idea if that will be the case. But Yingli staying in the top spot for another year is welcome news.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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