Bloomberg News

REC Rises as Japan Seeks to Expand Solar Investment: Oslo Mover

June 18, 2012

Renewable Energy Corp. ASA (REC), the Norwegian maker of solar-energy components, climbed to a two- week high in Oslo as Japan boosts incentives for producers of solar power to reduce its reliance on atomic energy.

REC, based in Sandvika, gained as much as 7.9 percent to 2.698 kroner, the highest since June 1, and traded 5.6 percent higher as of 1:20 p.m. in the Norwegian capital, making it the biggest winner today in the OBX benchmark index of stocks. The stock gained for a fourth day, the longest run of advances since the week ending Dec. 23, according to Bloomberg data.

Japan plans to cut its dependence on atomic energy that provided about 30 percent of its power before the Fukushima nuclear meltdown in 2011. Industry Minister Yukio Edano today set a premium price for solar electricity that’s about triple what industrial users now pay for conventional power.

That may spur at least $9.6 billion in new installations with 3.2 gigawatts of capacity, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecast, boosting demand for the cells and wafers produced by companies including REC, Solarworld AG (SWV) and Q- Cells SE.

European solar-component makers are under pressure from Chinese rivals that expanded capacity just as consumption slowed, causing wafer and cell prices to plummet. Demand has also shrunk as Germany, France and Italy reduce subsidies to cap booming solar installations.

REC has lost 99 percent of its value since trading at an intraday high of 224.017 kroner on Nov. 9, 2007. The company is closing down its remaining wafer production in Norway as cost cuts at the Heroeya plant were unable to keep pace with falling wafer prices. Wafers, or thin slices of polysilicon, are used to make photovoltaic cells, the basic component in most solar panels.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Treloar in Oslo at streloar1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Wienberg at cwienberg@bloomberg.net


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