Surviving in the solar industry today certainly isn’t as easy as a day in the sun. Stock prices have been volatile as Congress has failed to renew renewable-energy tax credits and as investors anticipate a possible recession.

Suntech Power (NYSE: STP) posted lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday that sent shares down 12.3 percent that day, and 8.3 percent more by Monday’s close.

And Solar Power, a bulletin-board-traded company, Wednesday lowered its full-year revenue guidance for 2007 by 20 percent to $18 million, citing a delay in one of its projects.  

But the landscape isn’t all bleak.

On Monday evening, LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK) posted a fourth-quarter net income of $49.2 million, or 44 cents per share, beating analyst expectations of 41 cents per share. LDK shares rose 4.5 percent to $32.46 per share in after-hours trading.

And Akeena Solar (NSDQ: AKNS) on Tuesday raised its forecast for the full year of 2007, announcing that it expects to double revenue in 2008, after more than doubling its revenue to $32.2 million in 2007.

While some companies are performing better than others, all solar companies are preparing themselves for change. News has been bubbling to the surface as the solar industry heads for a shakeout and companies position themselves to ride it out.

Like preparing for liquefaction in an earthquake, the streams of news could help determine where the most damage will occur -- and where the big structures will remain standing.

We’ve picked out some of the largest trends shaking the industry, based on recent events (click on each of the headlines below):

  1. Larger is Better
  2. The Buying -- and Partnering -- Spree Begins
  3. Shrinking Costs, and Not Just From the Cell
  4. Companies Keep an Eye on Silicon
  5. Solar Firms Refocus
  6. In With the New
  7. Semiconductors to Solar
  8. Execs Cross the Chasm
  9. Policy Experimentation (and Confusion)