May 3, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Last month The Indian Solar Manufacturers Association called for anti-dumping duties to be levied on imported solar equipment from China. And just like in the United States, there is some honest and reasonable disagreement as to whether the benefits of such sanctions in the end outweigh the costs.
For instance, in India’s rural, off-grid and largely poor regions, inexpensive Chinese solar panels tend to take precedence over any feelings of national pride. However, if anyone in India is still sitting on the fence with respect to this issue then perhaps they might not be so sympathetic to the Chinese after what took place earlier this week:
The platoon of Chinese soldiers slipped across the boundary into India in the middle of the night, according to Indian officials. They were ferried across the bitterly cold moonscape in Chinese army vehicles, then got out to traverse a dry creek bed with a helicopter hovering overhead for protection. They finally reached their destination and pitched a tent in the barren Depsang Valley in the Ladakh region, a symbolic claim of sovereignty deep inside Indian-held territory.
May 2, 2013 § 2 Comments
Yesterday while watching the news I saw this story about how you can now read reviews online about various prisons from people who have served time in them.
And a few minutes ago I came across this story about a web site that lets you read reviews of prostitutes from people who have served time in them.
However, if your tastes are little more mundane and you just want to read reviews of solar installers in your area there is a web site just for you:
At SolarReviews, customers enter their zip code to find companies in the general area, and reviews of each one. The site includes a blog and summaries and diagrams explaining different types of solar systems and how they work. The site currently lists more than 3,000 solar installers, hosts more than 10,000 consumer reviews, and is on track to log more than 600,000 unique visitors annually.
May 1, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Forbes came out with this interesting tidbit with regards to SolarCity’s valuation a day after I mentioned that SolarCity’s market cap had exceeded the market cap for America’s biggest oil and gas royalty trust:
In the latest look at stocks ordered by largest market capitalization, Russell 3000 component SolarCity was identified as having a larger market cap than Advanced Micro Devices.
However, the craziest thing about this situation is that given the massive short interest in SolarCity, one could make the argument that buying calls, even at this absurd valuation, is less risky right now than buying puts.
April 30, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I just stumbled across this article about the Napa Valley home that actor and comedic genius Robin Williams is trying to sell:
Hollywood comedian Robin Williams is interested in selling his massive Napa Valley estate, Villa Sorriso. The villa is on 635 acres and includes a 20,000-square-foot main house; solar farm; and 18 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc grapes. The home was originally listed in August with a price of $35 million, though it was recently reduced to $29.9 million.
April 29, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I am still a little bitter over the fact that I recently went long some SolarCity puts only to have that trade blow up in my face so please take what I am saying with a big grain of salt.
Having said that, is it just me or does anyone else think it’s strange that SolarCity’s market cap has now exceeded the market cap of BP’s Prudhoe Bay Royalty Trust by about $140 million as I type these words?
Hmmmm……on one hand you have a company that can’t turn a profit and whose business model is entirely reliant on a subsidy that will soon be phased out of existence. While on the other hand you have a trust that pays a double digit dividend and has a claim on 80 million or so barrels of proven reserves in an oil field that is located safely on U.S. soil.
Yeah, that makes sense.
Disclosure: Despite the inherent logic behind Stein’s Law I am still too chicken to go long BPT and use the divvy to help finance a short position in SCTY.
April 26, 2013 § Leave a Comment
From a story in the Daily Mail yesterday:
Sitting in your conservatory is supposed to be a relaxing way of spending a sunny afternoon. But for the Phipps family the sunshine means they are forced to retreat behind blackout curtains after their neighbour installed solar panels. They say there is so much glare that their home is lit up “like a tanning salon”. Robert Phipps says the position and angle of his neighbour’s roof means excessive amounts of light are reflected over his garden and into his property. He claims his three-bed detached home is now filled with blinding light. He also fears the dazzle could permanently damage eyes and despite erecting a large fence, the garden is effectively out of bounds when the sun is shining. “It’s not much better inside. We just have to close the curtains and blinds and switch the lights on.”
Ok, here is what I’m thinking. Why doesn’t Mr. Phipps call up MTV and ask them if they would like to rent out his house for a princely sum and resurrect the Jersey Shore franchise by doing a U.K. edition.
Think about it, all you would need to make sure the house is GTL compliant is a functioning washer and dryer, as well as, a home gym.
April 25, 2013 § 2 Comments
I was listening to Rush earlier today and there was a commercial for some company selling silver. Normally when you hear one of these commercials they tell you to buy silver for a variety of reasons such as Helicopter Ben’s print like there’s no tomorrow monetary policy, the Obama administration’s view that debt equals growth and simple laws of supply and demand.
When it comes to the supply and demand side of the equation they usually cite a growing demand from investors and “industrial” end users as a reason to buy. However, today they got specific when it came to “industrial” end users and mentioned an increase in solar installations as a reason to buy silver since every panel contains a small amount of the shiny stuff.
Now perhaps I am reading too much into this but I think this is a positive thing. Due to the fact that Rush has a massive audience and this commercial plants a seed in the head of everyone who listens to him that solar power and the potential it represents might not be as marginal as some fossil fuel funded critics would like them to believe.