of solar projects owned and operated by SPI as of April 2021



of solar panels delivered to date



of inverters sold to date

The Path to Drawdown: Solar PVs

Solving climate change and staying below 1.5ºC of global warming demands a wholesale shift away from fossil fuels and toward using 100% emissions-free sources.

The most powerful source of this clean energy is the sun. Photovoltaic or PV solar panels (the kind you see on rooftops) have emerged as the predominant way of capturing the sun's energy and turning it into electricity. This industry has been growing quickly: as of 2020, solar panels are the cheapest source of electricity in most places on earth.

Solar produces ~2% of global electricity today. According to Project Drawdown, to be on a path to remain under 1.5ºC of warming, utility scale solar will need to be generating a combined ~26% of global electricity by 2050.

To get there, the PV solar industry needs to keep massively scaling over the few next decades:

  • 720 TWh of solar electricity was generated in 2019
  • 28,200 TWh is needed by 2050
  • That’s a CAGR of 12.56% from 2019 - 2050

Analysis from the IEA also predicts that, to reach a 100% clean electricity grid by 2050, annual solar panel manufacturing capacity will need to scale from 737 GW in 2020 to 4,956 GW in 2030 (p.198).


SPI Energy Co., Ltd. (stock ticker: SPI) provides PV solutions for business, residential, government, and utility customers. They also develop, own, and operate solar projects and sell the electricity they generate to power companies. Their subsidiary designs and develops electric vehicles and EV charging solutions. Headquartered in Kowloon, Hong Kong, they operate in several countries across the world.

SPI's Role in Drawdown

SPI has three core divisions, all of which offer Drawdown solutions. Their SolarJuice residential solar provides renewable energy system solutions for residential and small commercial markets.

The commercial solar division provides a full range of engineering, procurement and construction services to project developers, and owns and operates their own solar projects that sell electricity to the grid in the US, UK, and Europe. As part of this division, they have an aggregate of 53.49MW (p. 51) of solar PV projects and 5.45 MWh of energy storage projects.

Advancing the Drawdown solution of EVs and EV infrastructure is SPI’s third division - Edisonfuture / Phoenix Motor EV. This division offers medium-duty commercial EVs and is developing EV charger solutions, electric pickup trucks, electric scooters, and other EV products.

SPI: What We Like

We’ll update this section once SPI makes sustainability information available.

SPI: What We Want to See Improve

Sustainability Metrics

Although we applaud SPI’s core business, we don’t know much about the carbon footprint of their operations or supply chain. SPI hasn’t made any sustainability information available, and we want to see that change. An annually published sustainability report should include metrics for their direct and indirect GHG emissions and the amount of energy consumed by source.

Set Emission Reduction Targets

Once we know SPI’s carbon footprint, the next step is to see their targets for reducing this footprint. We’d like to see them set targets for cutting emissions ultimately to zero by the middle of this century.

Divest from Non-Renewable Subsidiaries

Some of SPI’s subsidiaries (p. 56) engage in business that’s immaterial to their core revenue or to Drawdown solutions. These include crypto mining hosting, hemp and CBD extraction and processing, and the processing of alfalfa and related agriculture products. While these sectors are promising in their own right, they don’t contribute to the fight against climate change. Given that the COVID-19 pandemic forced SPI to scale these businesses down, we want to see them divest from these operations and focus on providing solar PV and EV infrastructure.

Other Solar PVs Stocks in the Climate Index

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