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Trump Tariffs Help Wall Street See Bright Side of Rooftop Solar

Aug. 14, 2018, 12:40 PMUpdated: Aug. 14, 2018, 7:30 PM

Residential-solar companies have been on a tear this year, thanks in part to renewable-energy critic Donald Trump.

Shares of panel makers and the rooftop developers that buy their equipment largely traded in a pack in recent years as clean power emerged as a new part of the energy industry. But the president’s much-feared solar tariffs in January prompted a clarifying realization by investors: not all solar companies are alike.

Sunrun Inc., the top residential installer, has more than doubled in value this year and rival Vivint Solar Inc. is up more than 30 percent, while panel makers ...