Trump’s far-fetched solar wall idea sparks surge in US solar stocks

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Trump’s planned “solar wall” might take a century to generate enough power to pay for itself, but the fact that Trump said the word “solar” is lighting a fire under solar stocks.

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Source: NBC

President Donald Trump’s bizarre vision of a “solar wall” to keep illegal refugees on the other side of the Mexican border and help pay for the construction of the 3,200km barrier, has lit a fire under stocks in the US, despite widespread scepticism it might ever happen.

Reneweconomy noted the talk about the “solar wall” a few weeks ago, but Trump was talking about it again this week and reports in the US say documents have been issued for expressions of interest for up to 5GW of solar that could be built along it.

Trump says that solar power could be exported to grids in the US and/or Mexico and the revenue used to pay for the project

As whacky as it sounds, shares of solar manufacturers rose sharply, with SunPower jumping 13 per cent, Canadian Solar up 7.7 per cent, JinkoSolar up 4.4 per cent and First Solar up 3.2 per cent.

While Trump was declaring an unlikely attachment to large scale solar power, he was also dissing wind energy, telling a crowd in Iowa that the lights might go out in a state that sources 33 per cent of its power from wind energy. The sector employs 10,000 people, five times more than the mining industry in that state.

“We’re thinking of something that’s unique, we’re talking about the southern border. Lots of sun, lots of heat,” Trump said, according to a Bloomberg report.

“We’re thinking about building the wall as a solar wall, so it creates energy, and pays for itself. And this way Mexico will have to pay much less money, and that’s good. Is that good?”

Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov warns investors that Trump’s wall talk is not a good reason to chase the rally in solar shares: “Setting aside the broader question of whether the wall will even be politically realistic, the notion that it will be covered in solar hardware is entirely far-fetched.”

Bloomberg also noted that analysts were skeptical, saying it could take more than a century for solar panels to generate enough power to cover the cost of the wall.

But Jeff Osborne, an analyst for Cowen & Co. in New York, said the mere fact that Trump mentioned solar in positive terms is probably giving panel makers a boost.

“Just the the fact that he used the word solar in a sentence and that perhaps he is not entirely anti-renewables helps,” Osborne said in an interview with Bloomberg.

Trump world.


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  1. bill 3 years ago

    Whenever a stock, sector, or market makes a noticeable move, the financial media searches for some piece of information that it can report was the cause. In reality, the vast majority of such reports are just creative writing and the actual reasons are way too esoteric to explain. In other words, the stock market drives the “news”, more so than the “news” drives the stock market. To me, the idea that trump’s comments moved the solar sector is silly, but of course, there is no way to prove or disprove such a statement.

    • Jacob 3 years ago

      I think it’s more likely that hundreds of ‘algo-bots’ are programmed to search Trump’s tweets for references to companies and industries – solar was simply the word of the day.

  2. John Barker 3 years ago

    The point that seems to be missed in all this silly outburst is that solar PVs on a vertical wall would be very inefficient- they need to be mounted at close-to horizontal for maximum efficiency. As the wall is on average at about 25degrees N, it is doubtful that the efficiency would be more than 50%. Sad!

    • Goldie444 3 years ago

      Don’t tell Trump that. Let him built this ‘solar’ wall. This may even put a couple of more coal mines out of work. And he could even employee many Mexicans to wash panels of their side of the border.

  3. phred01 3 years ago

    Bad humbros will knock off the solar panels

  4. George Darroch 3 years ago

    This is a trolling wall, not a solar wall.

    This is designed to get press coverage by having half the population say how stupid it is, and the other half endorsing it. It doesn’t have to be serious, and that’s the point.

    Classic Trump.

  5. seao2 3 years ago

    Will some one quickly know up a photoshop version of what a wall made of solar PV modules will look like and post it on social media. If we have to have the damned wall, might as well be a solar one. Bring it into existence on the back of the orange imbeciles words and an artist’s impression. That’s all that’s needed.

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