Beware of Misleading Solar Data

There is something odd going on inside the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). It seems that the department offers a solar calculator that miscalculates. The DOE calls it "PVWatts," but it does not calculate energy production worth a hoot. Any misinformation that PVWatts generates could hurt manufacturers and developers such as SunPower (SPWR), First Solar (FSLR) and SolarCity (SCTY).

PVWatts was developed by the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) Electricity, Resources and Building Systems Integration Center. According to the lab's website, "PVWatts calculator determines the energy production of grid-connected photovoltaic energy systems throughout the world. It allows homeowners, installers, manufacturers and researchers to easily develop estimates of the performance of hypothetical PV installations."...610 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

Read the full story and get access to the Real Money Pro trading floor.

There’s no substitute for a trading floor to get great ideas, so Jim Cramer created a better one at Real Money and blogs there exclusively. We then added legendary hedge fund manager, Doug Kass, with his exclusive Daily Diary and best investing ideas. Staffed with more than 4 dozen investing pros, money managers, journalists and analysts, Real Money Pro gives you a flood of opinions, analysis and actionable trading advice found nowhere else, and allows you to interact directly with each expert.

Already a Subscriber? Please login.

Except as otherwise indicated, quotes are delayed. Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes for all exchanges. Market Data provided by Interactive Data. Company fundamental data provided by Morningstar. Earnings and ratings provided by Zacks. Mutual fund data provided by Valueline. ETF data provided by Lipper. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions.

TheStreet Ratings updates stock ratings daily. However, if no rating change occurs, the data on this page does not update. The data does update after 90 days if no rating change occurs within that time period.

IDC calculates the Market Cap for the basic symbol to include common shares only. Year-to-date mutual fund returns are calculated on a monthly basis by Value Line and posted mid-month.