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Modi Promotes Solar Alliance at BRICS: 3 Stocks in Focus

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In a bid to strengthen the solar energy agenda, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged leaders of the participating nations to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) at the ongoing 9th BRICS summit in China,

Notably, following the summit, the first ever bilateral meeting between Modi and the Chinese President Xi Jingping took place. Both parties described the meet as a forward-looking and constructive one. Considering the ‘fruitful’ discussions the two leaders had during their one hour meet, many anticipates the solar industry to benefit as a whole, with anticipation of stronger solar energy related ties to develop between the two Asian giants.

A Brief Note on the ISA

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a green-energy initiative launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015 by the President of France and the Prime Minister of India. The venture was formed to bring together sun-rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, to exploit their solar potential.

Financially, the body aims to invest $1 trillion in solar energy by 2030, through joint efforts from the participating nations.

The 121-nation body is expected to become a formally ratified organization this December. With nine countries having signed the ISA Framework Agreement, six more are expected to join by December, which will make the alliance legal and operational.

Solar Industry in China & India

With renewable energy playing a key role in the world’s ongoing energy transformation process, wind and solar power have emerged as the most viable renewable sources of generating power. For tropical countries like China and India, tapping sunlight and generating power is thus a prudent move. While other three nations of BRICS — Brazil, Russia and South Africa — are undertaking initiatives to expand their solar power resource, China and India are definitely the forerunners in expanding their base in the solar industry.

To this end, China has established itself as the world’s largest market for solar panels. In 2016, China installed 34.2 GW of new solar power, up 126% from last year’s installations, bringing the cumulative solar capacity to 77.42 GW, according to the National Energy Administration (NEA). Under China's 13th Five Year Plan (FYP), the country has set a target of attaining 150GW to 200GW of solar PV capacity by 2020.

On the other hand, India is striving to enhance its solar energy capacity to 100 GW by 2022, which will include 60 GW from grid-connected solar projects and 40 GW from rooftop solar. It is expected that around 1.1 GW of rooftop solar capacity will be added in 2017, up 75% from 2016.

This has kindled the interest of global solar players in the Indian market. U.S.-based First Solar, Inc. (FSLR - Free Report) and SunEdison Inc. have ample businesses in India and together with local firms, are investing considerably in the country. Chinese stocks like ReneSola Ltd. (SOL - Free Report) are also financing solar projects in India. With respect to China, U.S. stocks that have notable business operations in the Chinese province are already expanding their base.

Solar Stocks Poised for Growth Post BRICS Summit

With the U.S. President Trump walking out of the Paris Agreement this June and his repeated efforts to repeal the Clean Power Energy Act, investors’ focus has already shifted toward Chinese solar stocks.

If the bilateral talk between Modi and Jingping post the BRICS summit results in any solar joint venture between the two nations, U.S. stocks that have significant operational base in China and India along with the Chinese stocks trading in the United States will witness notable growth. In fact, buoyed by such anticipation, a few solar stocks have already started to scale up the charts. Herein, we have zeroed in three such solar stocks:

JA Solar Holdings, Inc. : Based in China, JA Solar manufactures high-performance solar cells. The company serves customers in China, Europe and the United States. It plans to make an investment in solar module facility with a capacity of 500 megawatts in India, which will be operational by the end of this year. The company has delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 716.67% in the past four quarters.

Following Modi’s announcements in the BRICS summit, JA Solar’s share price gained 6.7% on Sep 6 trading session. The company currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

SunPower Corporation (SPWR - Free Report) : San Jose, CA-based SunPower designs, develops, manufactures, markets and sells high-performance solar electric power technology products, systems and services worldwide for residential, commercial and utility-scale power plant customers. In March 2016, the company entered into an agreement with Dongfang Electric Corporation and Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor Co., Ltd. to form a jointly owned cell manufacturing facility for manufacturing P-series modules in China. The company has delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 716.67% in the past four quarters.

Following Modi’s announcements in BRICS summit, SunPower’s share price has gained 2.2% on Sep 6 trading session. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

JinkoSolar Holding Company Limited (JKS - Free Report) : China-based JinkoSolar manufactures solar cells and solar modules that are distributed to a diversified international utility, commercial and residential customer base worldwide. In the recently released second-quarter results, JinkoSolar’s total revenues surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate billion by 13.2%.

Following Modi’s announcements in BRICS summit, JinkoSolar’s share price has inched up 0.7% on Sep 6 trading session. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Bottom Line

Per the media, ISA has planned to set up a $300 billion Global Solar Fund over 10 years with contributions from the World Bank, Official Development Assistance (ODA) and Green Climate Fund to leverage investment in solar energy from the corporate sector. We believe that with the positive turnout of events at the BRICS summit the entire solar industry is poised for growth.

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