Well, it's been a pretty rough week for the broader market, and solar stocks like Yingli Green Energy
There was indeed a smattering of positive press. One item is that Japan has supposedly begun to reconsider its stance on subsidies. The phase-out of state support for solar has knocked Sharp off its production pedestal. The electronics outfit is now running behind Germany's Q-Cells in terms of solar cell output, though still comfortably in the top three, along with Suntech Power
There was also a bullish projection issued by market watcher iSuppli, which called for 12 gigawatts of photovoltaic cell production by 2010. Beyond that we have the ramp-up of Energy Conversion Devices'
In my eyes, though, the top story is the Bureau of Land Management's decision to place a moratorium on applications for new solar power plant installations on public land in six western states. Even though this decision came weeks ago, it's just now hitting my desk. I regret not catching this sooner.
I'm not the only one to get blind-sided here. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressed his dismay in a press release last week, and he is certainly feeling the heat: The BLM controls around two-thirds of Nevada's land. Other sunny states affected include California and New Mexico.
Now, I don't want to diminish the importance of land reclamation, water use, or the well-being of the Mojave ground squirrel. OK, scratch that last one. But I have to say that this seems like a uniquely bad time to throw the brakes on our nascent domestic solar industry.