What happened 

Shares of Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ) jumped 12.5% in the first half of 2019, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, as the solar industry rebounded overall. 

So what 

According to the Solar Market Insight Report 2019 Q2 from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, the U.S. installed 2.7 gigawatts (GW) of solar in the first quarter, up 10% from a year ago, and analysts expect 25% growth in 2019 to 13 GW overall. Canadian Solar isn't a U.S.-only company, but our country is a good proxy for the health of the industry and is consistently in the top two or three installers worldwide (behind China). 

Solar farm at sunset.

Image source: Getty Images.

The U.S. and China drive global solar panel demand, so when conditions are weak, that trickles down to lower panel prices and margins for manufacturers like Canadian Solar. The hope, and the speculation by investors, is that a strong U.S. market will help drive improved profitability in the second half of the year. 

Now what 

The solar industry goes through its share of ups and downs, but right now it's reaching a point where demand is being driven by strong solar power-plant economics around the world. In the U.S., the current administration has hardly put in favorable solar policies, yet the industry is growing and competing effectively in the market. The same thing is happening in China, South Africa, Mexico, and other countries all over the world. That's reason enough to be bullish on solar energy, and it's helping drive solar stocks higher this year. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.