Natcore Technology Inc (CVE:NXT) Catapults Higher on Groundbreaking Solar Breakthrough

It’s been a long time coming, but some exciting developments have propelled Natcore Technology Inc (CVE:NXT) (OTCMKTS:NTCXF) (FRA:8NT) shares over 500% in the last two trading sessions. Unlike many hyped press releases which are little more than colloquial PR filler, Natcore’s news was different. We look deeper into these developments which has the Canadian small-cap investor world abuzz.

Natcore Technology disseminated their news pre-market on March 15. The company announced it had developed a streamlined process for ultra-high-efficiency, silverless solar cells. Gone is the old method of using laser processing to create all-back-contact cell structures. In is a new carrier selective contact process combining cheap foil metallization which can be manufactured with high-speed roll-processing methods. The end result: theoretically much cheaper and more energy efficient solar panels.

From an economical point-of-view, it’s the ability to eliminate component silver completely which is gaining attention. Not simply with the relative high cost of the commodity itself (currently selling at $16.26/oz), but the technical manufacturing expenses that go along with it. As the company states in the press release: “Natcore’s Foil Cell replaces silver, and its high material costs and complicated production processes, with aluminum foils… At approximately 1/300th the cost of silver“.

From an energy efficiency point-of-view, we quote the company in their own words. After all, they are the experts in the field. From the press release:

The silicon heterojunction (SHJ) structure of Natcore’s Foil Cell is the same basic structure used to achieve world-record silicon cell efficiencies of over 26% by major manufacturers in experimental solar cells. But Natcore’s innovative use of pre-fabricated foils to produce this structure will allow, for the first time, the low-cost mass manufacturing of these ultra-high efficiency, all-back-contact solar cells.

Natcore’s novel solar cell assembly processes appear to be—in theory—potentially ground breaking developments in the solar world. Solar power accounts for around 8 percent of overall silver consumption worldwide, and eliminating much of that requirement would certain help streamline input costs. The company’s new process not only does that, it does it without sacrificing efficiency. In fact, the process actually improves on it.

Another notable development is that Natcore’s breakthrough is significant enough that it may open expanded partnerships opportunities with larger industry players. Further downstream, this could open up lucrative licensing channels and expanded access to capital. As Natcore Technology Chairman Brien Lundin elucidates: “Because Natcore’s Foil Cell will represent a generational leap in performance, we are confident that major industry players will join us in advancing our technology to market.” 

From all accounts, the news was a home run. And the stock has the performance and volume to prove it. Natcore Technology is currently up another $0.06c today to $0.26/share, and 10,443,244 shares have traded hands.

A Slight Word of Caution

Midas Letter readers depends on us for our independent, unbiased analysis. We always let the facts lead us to a rational conclusion. As such, we feel the responsibility to issue a word of caution, lest giddy investors decide to jump into Natcore head-first after this mammoth run-up.

While the news release is resoundingly positive (as we’ve stated throughout), Natcore’s breakthrough is still an early-stage technology. None of these processes have ever been tried in large-scale manufacturing environments. Indeed, Natcore is currently focused towards producing a working prototype, as well as obtaining a production cost and efficiency model through independent authorities. In other words, this amazing breakthrough is still in the first inning.

Also note, Natcore signaled it will conduct a financing on terms yet to be determined. Taking advantage at these elevated prices, of course, makes sense at this stage. The company requires extra working capital for operational purposes and to expedite their new prototype program. The downside: such financings frequently put a intermediate break on current investor frothiness as the market digests further dilution. All juniors must pay this price to advance their business interests.

Nevertheless, we applaud Natcore Technology on these genuinely exciting developments, and look forward to tracking the company’s progress as events warrant.

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