If you love Solar energy and want to invest in some way without putting panels on your home or business, the Solar ETF TAN is an option.  

Before jumping into it I must confess that I  don’t know the rules about writing and publishing names of stocks and other companies but have included a disclamier below.  Irregardless as a personal investor and Solar Consultant I believe I can write about purchases I’ve made.  That said I bought some shares of the SOLAR ETF TAN a couple weeks ago.  Information on TAN –

For those who don’t know an ETF or Exchange Traded Fund is mutual fund that is traded on a stock exchange.  I like ETF’s because they reduce risk by diversifying investments across many stocks, commodities, or bonds, and trade close to its net asset value over the course of the trading day.  There are two major SOLAR ETF’s being TAN and KWT who invest in dozens of solar companies globally.  The long and short of it is that if solar companies do well, so do the solar ETF’s.  That’s why I like it.  TAN is trading at around $24 – $25 and up about 49% year to date.  It also lost about 40% last year so something to watch.  

While I did buy at a high price respectively, I’m an industry advocate and invested modestly in order to monitor TAN closely.    Here is another opinion from seekingalpha on solar investing.

This author does discourage ETF’s for the reason that they invest in Chinese panel companies.  He is concerned because there are Chinese panel manufacturers facing global pressure regarding policy issues for flooding US and EU markets with cheaper lower quality panels.  For this reason if you are looking to install panels the easy way to avoid low quality Chinese panels is to ask what American Made panel and component options are available from your installer.    The Chinese will continue to produce panels because their government will not let them fail.   The US are EU pushing for quality and pricing control from Chinese manufacturers and I see that as an opportunity.  Time will tell and I will report on TAN and the market fluctuations as they develop.


*In full disclosure this article contains the opinions of Matt Regan.   I’m a Solar Consultant, I hold a Business Marketing and Management Degree from URI but I am not a licensed or qualified Personal Financial Expert/ Trader/ or Investor.  Stocks are typically higher risk investments that can gain or loose value so invest at your own risk.

Welcome to Trending Solar

Hello, welcome to Trending Solar and thank you for visiting!  We follow Trends in the solar industry and provide inside opinions and expert advice.  My name is Matt Regan and I manage this site as well as  In addition to solar web design and marketing I also partner directly with JD Solar Solutions, LLC.  JD Solar is a full service solar development company licensed across New Jersey and Connecticut.  I would personally love to see solar power our futures and work with local home and business owners who benefit financially.  The goal of this company is to help customers save money by providing an inside perspective on opportunities.  The great news is that the technology is some of the best on the planet and I’m always happy to talk about solar.   

If you are in the NJ or Connecticut area and would like a free evaluation please click here to visit contact page.


Questions to ask solar installers before buying

If you are looking into investing in solar power for your home or business, there are various questions to ask installers before buying. Today’s market has choices and options.  Just like televisions, and cars; solar components are designed and manufactured for high, mid, and low quality markets. Some customers like the latest and greatest panels with a sleek shingle matched color and others are powering strip malls and want the most efficient rates.

Regardless of your budget or preferences gaining a clear understanding of what your getting is critical.  Here is a PDF that can be printed and used for evaluating solar companies.

questions to ask solar installers

By asking good questions you will learn alot about the Sales Rep and Company you are evaluating. This will show the installer you have done your homework and want the best deal to make it happen. Of course you can choose to ask or not ask anything.

The first several questions might help you become familiar with the installer. The next set of  questions are geared towards the technology. For reference the inverter or micro inverters convert dc energy to ac energy that can be used in your home. The biggest variable on inverters is the design life, warranty provided and who is responsible for servicing.  Servicing and replacing string inverters can be a huge expense in 10-12 years so ask about that.

Obviously a huge question is the total price and size (in kW) of the system. Most companies will show you a payback chart  so you’ll also want to note when the system pays itself back. When you see this payback chart ask what utility rate increase is that they are projecting on the estimate. There is no way anyone can know for sure how much utility rates will increase or what REC prices will be. For reference though in New Jersey utility rates have increased about 5-6 % on average each year over the past 11 years, I have proof.

If you would like to see anything added or have any questions please comment or contact us!



First Solar Investment

My first Solar investment is now an old calculator that has been working off solar power for years.  It’s nice to not have to buy and replace batteries. Simple investments like solar lighting can add a nice touch to walkways, patios or any outdoor space at any budget .  I was happy to see solar lighting in the supermarket this week on sale for $1.99 each!  Granted that $1.99 light probably wasn’t the highest quality panel but its great to see the technology being utilized in unique ways.  My family has had a solar powered patio umbrella that has lights built in and has lasted about 5 years now.  Everyday solar items do seem to last surprising long don’t they?!?  The real stuff is so much better.