NewEnergyNews: SOLAR NO BUBBLE

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    Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    SOLAR NO BUBBLE

    Analysis: Solar or Bubble?
    Leah Krauss, October 23, 2006 (United Press International)

    - This year's solar energy boom might have capital market theorists and skeptics seeing bubbles, but many prominent investors are saying the solar market really isn't too good to be true…
    - The difference between solar, which seems too good to be true, and the dot-com boom, which was a bona fide bubble, lies in the fundamentals, New Energy Fund Managing Partner Mark Townsend Cox said…Solar…is a tangible product that is hardly new and is proven to work.
    - Photovoltaics have been around since the earliest days of the space program, and the technology may even be over-engineered for terrestrial use, solar experts say.
    - The key in understanding the market's stability and potential for growth, according to Cox, is to look at the economy from a "holistic" perspective.

    - When investors consider the cost of nuclear energy's damage to the environment, or the number of cancer patients that pollution creates, or the high incidence of respiratory disease, fossil fuel-driven energy starts to look more and more costly, Cox said.
    - "The costs are more than the community can bear," he stressed.
    But like all investors, Cox is aware of the importance of the bottom line, and he says solar delivers on that front…companies whose focus is something other than solar are entering the solar market…"Companies like (oil giants) BP and Shell may be doing it to improve their image, but companies like General Electric and Dupont have nothing to (prove) -- they just see the potential to make money," he said…
    - One highly placed expert in the solar industry told UPI that he fears "bad actors" will enter the market…That would give the entire industry a bad name, and could scare investors away…
    - "The industry needs certification," Rhone Resch, the president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, told UPI.
    - He called this certification and product rating process "critical" for the industry, whether the program be national or international, voluntary or mandatory…

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