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SunPower Corporation (SPWR), American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC): Can These Companies Solve the Renewable Energy Problem?

Denmark shows that it is possible to generate 40% of a nation’s power from renewable energy sources. A study of the Danish grid found that the biggest variation in power comes from storms causing wind turbines to shut down. By integrating America’s regional grids, a storm front could cause a reduction in renewable output in one part of the nation, but other grids with clear blue skies would help balance total power production.  Trading power does not solve the intermittent issue. It helps move excess power but does not solve it. To make America’s grid more flexible, American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:AMSC) is helping to construct the Tres Amigas facility. It will trade large amounts of power between Texas, the Southwest Power Pool and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council.

Superconductors are very difficult to build, and American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:AMSC) has a strong history fabricating high-temperature superconductors. The company is also involved with wind turbine manufacturing, but it has a small customer base and a recent fight with the Chinese wind giant Sinovel has crippled the company.  For the foreseeable future American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:AMSC) will have to resort to share dilution to stay afloat.


The renewable market is growing by leaps and bounds. SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) is a strong investment in the growing solar market with highly efficient panels. American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:AMSC)’s technology plays a critical role in making the grid better suited to transport energy, but for now the company unprofitable and best to watch from the sidelines. SolarCity is a solar installer with looming political instabilities, as entrenched utilities start to fight back against renewable subsidies. Given the ambiguity surrounding renewable tariffs in the U.S. SolarCity might not be the company for the long term.

The article Can These Companies Solve the Renewable Energy Problem? originally appeared on and is written by Joshua Bondy.

Joshua Bondy has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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