Real Goods Solar has filed the paperwork it needs to get itself on the Nasdaq, and is aiming to generate up to $57.5 million. So far so good – but does anyone else think that its favoured ticker symbol – RSOL – is a little unfortunate?
Childish jokes aside, the company offers the procurement, installation, grid connection, monitoring, maintenance and referrals for third-party financing of solar energy systems and a gross margin of some 30 percent. Nice.
If you fancy reading Real Goods’ prospectus, there’s some interesting thoughts on the pros and cons of solar. Here’s some highlights:
We expect that a number of factors will contribute to growth in the solar energy industry. A variety of initiatives have been enacted by the federal government and various states, municipalities and utilities that encourage or require the installation of grid-tied solar energy systems.
For example, the California Solar Initiative, or CSI, adopted in 2007 provides for the expenditure of up to $3.4 billion in incentives for solar energy system installations by 2017. It is common for financial incentives to be required under such initiatives, including rebates, tax credits, net metering, time-of-use credits, performance-based incentives, renewable energy credits and property tax exemptions. These incentives make the purchase of solar energy systems more affordable and open additional solar markets in the United States.We believe that growth in the solar energy industry also faces challenges. The decision to install a solar energy system represents a significant investment for many customers.
In addition, financing sources for solar energy systems are currently limited. The solar energy industry is significantly driven by federal, state and local regulations and incentives, and changes in these regulations and incentives could adversely affect the demand for solar energy systems and the growth of the industry. Also, the manufacture of solar PV modules depends on the availability of silicon, an essential raw material. Currently, there is a global shortage of silicon, which has resulted in some price increases and limited availability of solar PV modules.