Go Out into the Sun and Get TAN
Solar power has been the holy grail hope for cheaper, cleaner and plentiful energy for decades. Until recently, it was a high priced myth that solar was viable. Today, a new story is on the horizon. Solar is about to be a big deal, finally.
Under President Clinton, America's large companies were challenged to improve alternative energy options. One of America's premier companies, IBM, took the challenge seriously, and a few years ago made a major break through in solar efficiency. Other companies and labs have further improved upon solar efficiency, which in simple terms is the amount of light that can be turned into energy by a solar cell.
As a result of innovation the past decade, solar efficiency is already good enough to match natural gas power production during peak hours of production in the southwestern United States. Most companies anticipate being able to match natural gas electricity production across the board throughout the United States and into southern Canada this decade. Optimistic outlooks are by 2015.
The current sell off in solar due to government debt issues cutting subsidies and industry consolidation appears to be a good spot to start accumulating solar investments.
There are several core types of solar cell which might have significant market penetration. Selecting the individual companies which might capitalize will be difficult. I am using TAN to gain broad market exposure, and plan to use options to invest in several companies with bright outlooks (WFR, AMAT) or huge potential upsides (still reseraching).
According to Ted Turner: "The big new fortunes of the future are going to be made by those who develop alternatives to burning fossil fuels."
I believe him. I am on pace to make solar investments a 12% holding in the next year or two for longer term accounts.