A Day in the Sun: Solar's Revival Sends Stocks on a Tear

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Even as the U.S. churns out more fossil fuels, evidence abounds that alternative energy in general—and solar in particular—is staging a comeback of sorts. And the halo effect has spread to solar stocks.

Observers credit an increase in solar capacity, falling photovoltaic (PV) costs and the extension of tax credits for renewable energy for the sector's revival. Rather than mounting a competitive threat to oil and gas, solar energy is instead carving a niche in creating electricity, experts say.

Solar power has "the ability to create very local opportunities ... where you don't have to be interconnected to a whole bunch of infrastructure like crude," said Richard Hastings, a macro strategist at Global Hunter Securities. "Wind and solar have found their way into the major fuel story for electric power generation."

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