I own more SPIR (at higher prices) than I want to talk about, so I'm aware of the negatives. They are:
1. Very little institutional following. 2. High dependence on government initiatives to get serious
about renewable energy. (GOP congress not friendly. See msg 83 by solarfanatic.) 3. A management team that does not appear completely committed to shareholders. 4. Eratic sales and earnings. Very little recent growth here.
But, if you believe in value and have the patience, like I hope I do, the long term rewards (3+ years) could be very nice. (I'm in it for the long run because of the value and because I like
I like the renewable energy story.) Hope I'm not disappointed.
Spire equipment is not at all cost effective for a small business. Their semi-automatic PV assembly line costs around $500k. The major PV market is developing nations. Add another 250K for shipping and import duties and you endup around 700-750K Production capacity for this assembly line is around 100KW - 200KW/year. at this rate the cost of a PV module will be around $4-$7.5 /W. keep in mind this is just the equipment cost. Currently most available PV modules cost around $5/watt finished. So I don't find any logic why any small business in developing contries would want to buy the equipment from Spire. Or is spire neglecting international market. Well time will tell. Only if they can sell their manufacturing equipments at resonable rates.
of course I have made a very wrong assumption of covering the investment in one year. But think about it this way- 750K machine cost 250K setup including land and builtup cost. 10% interest rate $2.5/watt production cost
$5 - current market price/watt $5-$2.5 for recovering initial cost and profits.
So you have a investment of 1M @10% and recovery of initial investment @2.5/watt
Assume 1st year output around 75KW recovery for 1st year :- 187500 interest assuming simple :- 100000 Initial investment recovered :- 87500
Assuming average 15KW/year increase in output over next 5 years It takes around 5 1/2 to 6 years to recover the initial investment. Normally the recovery period is 3-5 years. Also we are assuming simple interest and that the labou cost and raw material cost remains same and that there is no inventory cost. Inventory cost ofcourse is biggest cost in manufacturing industry. What i am getting at is assuming favorable conditions it takes 6 years to recover which is not acceptable in todays world.