It’s been a tough year for solar energy sector and related exchange traded funds (ETFs), and many analysts don’t look favorably upon the sector for the short-term. But some are stepping out in support of the sector’s growth in 2010 and beyond.

Wall Street analysts have been excoriating the solar energy sector for much of the year and they expect the poor times to continue into 2010, with as much as half the world’s solar companies predicted to incur losses, writes David Fessler for Investment U. But are they right?

The analysts make a specious argument, believing that there is a “huge” oversupply of polysilicon – the material used make the panel assemblies – and that companies producing the new thin-film designs will be overshadowed by the cheaper and more oversupplied poly-based panels.

  • The reality is that the solar energy sector, especially thin-film panels, is rapidly growing, Fessler says. In fact, China’s largest manufacturer of thin-filmed based solar modules, Trony Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: TRO), is expected to go public in a few weeks.
  • Ron Kenedi, vice president of the Solar Energy Solutions Group at Sharp Electronics (Nasdaq: SHCAY), sees expansions in the residential sector, utility-scaled projects and mainstream solar energy.
  • Zhengong Shi, Chairman and CEO of Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE: STP), is even planning on building a new manufacturing plant in the United States.
  • Jerry Wolfe, CEO of privately held groSolar, observes that a cultural change and acceptance of solar energy is taking place. (Solar lighting up green energy sector).

For more information on the solar energy sector, visit our solar category.

  • Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy (TAN): up 14% year-to-date

  • Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (KWT): up 6.9% year-to-date

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.