California Set to Vote on Mandatory Solar Power Law

Solar stocks are rising across the board today on the news that California is holding a vote to enforce mandatory solar panels on new homes. 

It has been a few months since US president Donald Trump pushed import tariffs on solar panels into the US back in January. At the time, it was thought that the tariffs could make the US less reliant on other countries for its solar power components. However, stocks in the US solar industry plummeted on the news. 

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But now, it looks like the idea may actually be paying off. Last week, the Orange County Register reported that the California Energy Commission is to hold a vote on May 9th – this Wednesday – on new state energy standards which would require nearly all homes built after 2020 to have solar panels. 

If the new standards are approved, solar power will take a huge leap forward into becoming a more mainstream source of power in the US. It’s already well on its way: the US solar industry employs more than its coal industry does, and according to the Solar Foundation’s 2016 jobs consensus, 1 in every 50 new jobs in the US was in solar. 

All of this is great news for US solar panel installers and manufacturers, which, after suffering an industry shake-up from Trump’s January tariffs, are now in a position to meet a potentially huge surge in demand in the US’ most populous state. And they don’t have to worry about cheap solar panels coming from other countries. 

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Three firms, in particular, are performing well on the news:

  • Real Goods Solar (NASDAQ:RGSE) leads the US solar pack today; Share prices have increased 10.87% to $1.02, bringing the firm’s market cap to $10.35 million USD.
  • California’s own SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ:SPWR) isn’t far behind, up 5.43% to $8.54 USD per share.
  • Industry giant First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) is up 2.31% to $67.91, bringing the firm’s market cap to $7.05 billion.

Whether all of this was Trump’s plan all along could be debated. After all, it’s no secret that he isn’t exactly fond of renewable energy, preferring instead to boost the coal industry. But whatever his intentions, the results speak for themselves; US solar is getting a big boost from California’s proposed legislation.

Featured image: Business Insider