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One of the world's largest solar power companies, Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ - Analyst Report) has launched the Canadian Solar Residential Financing Program for residential solar installers and developers. The program will allow residential customers to install solar panels on rooftops, thereby helping to bring more solar projects into operation in the U.S.

The program is being executed in collaboration with Boston, Mass. based privately held Admirals Bank. Subject to credit approval, customers can borrow up to $40,000 for a residential solar installation. Per the program, no fees will be charged for installation nor will there be any restriction on system designing. This program will help residential solar installers to reduce project complexity and streamline procurement and financing activities.
The “Step Down” feature of the program will allow customers to monetize the solar tax credits, rebates and other incentives associated with ownership of their system.  The customers can then pay that amount into the principal balance and then re-amortize the loan, thereby reducing their remaining monthly mortgage payments.

Solar is becoming a viable residential option and investment in solar products and programs reduces peak demand while adding to the infrastructure. The growth in the photovoltaic industry appears to be supported by increased solar panel installations. The country is installing one solar photovoltaic system every four minutes, and given the current market growth projections, it could be installing one system every minute and twenty seconds by 2016.

The launch of this program is a vital step taken by Canadian Solar in the light of the current economic scenario. This would bring more solar projects into operation in the country while lowering customer bills. For now, it is getting expensive for U.S. solar companies to enter into the Chinese market. China's Ministry of Commerce is now set to impose anti-subsidy duties of an additional 6.5% on polysilicon imports from the U.S.

In July this year, China imposed anti-dumping duties of 53.3% to 57% on U.S. polysilicon and claimed that the imports were being sold below market value. Hence, the U.S. polysilicon suppliers will now face at least 60.2% tariffs, depending on the company.

Given the industry-wide high inventory level, tepid module demand in Europe and rising competition in the market, the company presently has a short-term Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Among the stocks worth considering in the solar space are JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (JASO - Analyst Report), ReneSola Ltd. (SOL - Analyst Report) and SunPower Corp. (SPWR - Analyst Report). While ReneSola and SunPower carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), JA Solar Holdings carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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