First Solar and other renewable-energy stocks took a beating Monday as the tax bill passed by the U.S. Senate early Saturday contained provisions that could harm wind and solar energy investment and deployment.
The BEAT provision aims to make it harder for businesses to avoid taxes. But it could also sweep up tax credits such as the renewable-energy Production Tax Credit for wind power, and the Investment Tax Credit for solar projects. That would make the credits more difficult to monetize.
“If these provisions are retained, they will result in broad instability and uncertainty for businesses and investors across many sectors, including the clean energy sector,” said the joint statement signed by six organizations, including the American Council on Renewable Energy, or ACORE.
First Solar, which posted third-quarter results on Oct. 27 that crushed estimates, plunged 5% to 57.27. Among other solar industry stocks, Daqo New Energy (DQ) crashed by 17.4% to close at 47.04. Daqo is ranked No. 1 out of 19 companies in IBD’s Energy/Solar industry group.
Canadian Solar (CSIQ) plummeted 10.3% to close at 16.12. Jinko Solar (JKS) tumbled 7.5% to finish at 22.58.
“The BEAT program, as currently drafted, would have a devastating impact on renewable-energy investment and deployment,” said another letter signed by four renewable-energy groups, including the Solar Energy Industries Association.
“If this bill passes as drafted, major financial institutions would no longer participate in tax equity financing, which is the principal mechanism for monetizing credits,” wrote ACORE Chief Executive Gregory Wetstone in a prepared statement. “Almost overnight, you would see a devastating reduction in wind and solar energy investment and development.”
Many solar industry stocks have stumbled this year amid a 2-1/2-year washout.