If you’re considering investing in solar, you’re likely making a very smart decision. As the world continues to focus on the damning effects of global warming, shifts in how we develop and consume energy are starting to take place in a big way, and solar is at the forefront of this trend. So, where should you invest? Today, we’re going to take a look at two options with high growth potential, Ascent Solar (ASTI) and Sunedison (SUNEQ), in order to figure out which option is the wiser choice. Both of these stocks have fallen on hard times as of late, bringing the prices to dramatic lows, and considered by many to be oversold, likely presenting an incredible opportunity ahead. So, which is the wiser choice? Well, let’s dig in.
A Bit Of Background On ASTI
Ascent Solar is a company that was formed back in 2005. The idea behind the company is for it to commercialize its proprietary, leading-edge Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenium photovaltaic technology on flexible, plastic substrate, also known as CIGS.
The unique process by which ASTI manufactures their solar panels brings incredibly high efficiency, durability, and weight savings. As a result, many believe that the company has the potential to be a transformative force in the solar industry as a whole.
Ascent Solar is a company that is focused on the end consumer. Their panels can be used on homes, RVs, boats, businesses, and more, with the ability to make their products user friendly for all who enjoy them.
A Bit Of Background On SUNEQ
On the Sunedison side of the coin, we see a much different business model. Rather than focusing on selling their products to the end user, Sunedison is focused on creating solar power plants. Ultimately, these are massive solar farms that generate enough electricity to power entire towns.
Once the solar farms are in production, Sunedison creates contracts with various utility companies to purchase the electricity their farms generate at a wholesale rate. That electricity is then purchased by the utility companies and routed to the end user.
The Wow Factor
The wow factor is important in any form of technology, and both of these companies definitely have it. When it comes to ASTI, the wow factor is two fold. Ultimately, the company’s flexible solar panels have the potential to become the industry leading option in any portable situation. These panels can be fixed on top of tents, drones, and much more, with the ability to flex to fit just about any surface. On top of that, this flexibility doesn’t take away from the practicality of the panels. In fact, while the panels are flexible, their output is one of the most powerful in the business.
On the Sunedison side, the wow factor happens to be the shear size of their projects. When I say that the company creates solar farms, I mean it. Imagine driving by acres of solar panels, all of which follow the sun to create the maximum amount of energy possible in any given day. As mentioned above, these farms have the potential to power entire towns with nothing more than the sun!
So, Which Is The Wiser Choice?
Considering that both ASTI and SUNEQ are oversold, they both are likely to present one heck of a long-term opportunity. However, in my personal opinion, ASTI is the wiser choice. There are a few reasons for this:
- Consumer Focus – First and foremost, I like the consumer focus the company takes. Ultimately, their goal is to sell their products to the end user, rather than sell the solar energy to utility companies. Considering the difficulty that we’re seeing among some utilities with regard to the shift to solar, SUNEQ may face some struggles moving forward, while ASTI has the ability to tackle the consumer market – a market that’s already frothing at the mouth for these types of products.
- Cost Of Doing Business – Ultimately, a big issue for SUNEQ is cost. After all, to build these massive solar farms, Sunedison needs to shell out massive amounts of money, and it’s money they really don’t have to spend. As a result, their business model revolves around a necessity for high-dollar debts, which create an added risk. While ASTI does have some debt of its own, it’s business is not a revolving door of debt, and to me, this is appealing.
- Technology – At the end of the day, it’s hard to argue against the idea that ASTI has some of the best technology in the solar industry. In fact, the company’s technology is indeed the most awarded in the industry!
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