Is Suntech A Giant Fraud

Is Suntech A Giant Fraud Image
* Yesterday, an Italian court filed criminal charges against an investment fund controlled by Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE:STP). The charges claim Suntech illegally built solar farms to take advantage of state subsidies. If the charges stick, about 100 million in subsidy-backed solar farms could be dismantled. This comes on the heels of the world's largest solar panel maker getting hit with a class action lawsuit that claims the company didn't reveal that a Global Solar Fund executive (and shareholder) used 700 million in fake German bonds to help guarantee some of the fund's financing. And just when you think it couldn't get worse, Suntech is now desperate to land some financing to cover a convertible bond due in early 2013. Suntech has certainly had better days.

* In more positive solar news, it looks like India's making new moves in the solar space again. According to Tarun Kapoor, the joint secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in India, India may soon auction about 30 percent of the solar projects it has planned to be online by 2017. This would double the nation's solar capacity. In total, India is aiming for 20 full gigawatts of solar by 2022. Following India's blackout last month, solar got a fresh coat of shine. Considering the country currently relies on coal to generate more than half of its electricity, and coal shortages have India on high alert, this isn't surprising.

Credit: [Jeff Siegel]
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