9/29/08

Solar Update

Pretty much everyone in Congress is for renewing the alternative energy credits set to expire this year. On several occasions, Congress failed to pass a bill because of an argument over how to pay for the credits, as I mentioned in August.

Congress is still stuck on the same issue. Last week, the Senate finally voted to renew the provisions, granting an eight year extension for solar energy. Solar stocks rallied, as expected. Then the House of Representatives voted and passed their own version (four of them, actually). The House bills also provide an eight year extension. Solar stocks sank, because the House passed provisions that Bush threatened to veto.

With apparently no negotiations taking place to eliminate the provisions the White House does not like, there's a danger that the energy credits will expire. Lawmakers will soon retire for the year.

CQToday has a chart (it's a PDF) summarizing the differences between the Senate and House bills.

Speculators may want to consider strangles on ETFs KWT, FAN, PBW, PZD, or TAN, or single stocks like ESLR, FSLR, or STP.

Disclosure: I am long ESLR stock. I am also long ESLR puts and short ESLR calls.