LATEST ARTICLES

Buyer’s Guide To Community Solar in New York

by Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA After a painfully long wait, community solar (also called shared solar) is finally coming to New York state. After years of regulatory uncertainty, the state Public Services Commission (PSC) has put enough of the enabling regulations in place for a number of developers to move forward. What is Community Solar? A community solar installation is a large scale (typically 1 to 3 MW, or the size of about 150 to 800 residential solar installations) in which subscribers can sign up to lease or purchase a share of the production from the solar farm as a credit on...

Second Largest Quarter For Green Bonds Ever

Third quarter reflects strong growth and new market entrants Overview The green bond market has kept its strong pace in Quarter 3 2017, reaching a total of USD27.7bn from July to September. On September 28th, the total amount of green bonds issued in 2017 ytd (USD83.2bn) overtook last year’s total issuance of USD81.6bn. We covered the big moment in our Blog Post here. Lots of new issuers The top sources of issuance were: Mexico - USD4bn China - USD3.9bn France - USD3.3bn U.S. - USD2.8bn India - USD1.9bn Mexico was a surprising addition to the number one spot, after issuing no green bonds in Q1 or Q2 this year. Big...

Renewable Fuel Producers Score A Win

Despite Trump’s vow to roll back all measures endorsed by Obama, his Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt is backing off plans to scuttle the U.S. biofuel policy.  The Trump administration had planned to change regulatory standards to reduce the amount of renewable fuel that must be blended with conventional fossil fuel for gasoline and diesel supplies.  In the third week in October 2017, Pruitt sent a letter to Congressional leadership indicating the renewable fuel volume mandates for 2018 would remain unchanged. Most analysts saw the about face as a win for ethanol and renewable diesel producers such as Green Plains (GPRE:  Nasdaq), FutureFuel...

Ten Clean Energy Stocks For 2017: Fall Forward

Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA Yieldco Buyouts A Canadian Yieldco Invasion sent clean energy stocks running up in October and November.  My Ten Clean Energy Stocks model portfolio benefited from the purchase of 25% of Yieldco Atlantica Yield (NASD:ABY) by Canadian utility and renewable power generation conglomerate Algonquin Power and Utilities (TSX:AQN or OTC AQUNF), which was one of my Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2009. Rumors had circulated that the Atlantica stake would be purchased by Brookfield (NYSE:BAM) and its Yieldco Brookfield Renewable (NYSE:BEP).  If there were discussions, Brookfield must have decided that it had enough on its plate with the recently...

DowDuPont To Exit Cellulosic Biofuels

by Jim Lane In Delaware, DowDuPont (DWDP) announced that it intends to sell its cellulosic biofuels business and its first commercial project, a 30 million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa. The Nevada project is still going through start-up. In an official statement, the company said: As part of DowDuPont’s intent to create a leading Specialty Products Company, we are making a strategic shift in how we participate in the cellulosic biofuels market. While we still believe in the future of cellulosic biofuels we have concluded it is in our long-term interest to find a strategic buyer for our...

Solar Trade Case Analysis and Implications

by Paula Mints In terms of the current trade petition and the USITC decision, government interference will not correct an imbalance that is embedded in the industry (globally) particularly when it is put in place by a body that does not understand the nuances of the problem. Despite evidence to the contrary, attorneys and consultants for Suniva/SolarWorld seem to have convinced the USITC that cell manufacturing in the US can be resuscitated and that tariffs and quotas the mechanism that will stimulate manufacturing. In reality, this situation is stimulating uncertainty and doing harm. Table 1: Tariff Recommendations   ...

How Energy Deregulation Affects States and Stocks

by Elaine Thompson Bloomberg New Energy Finance, in an executive summary of its New Energy Outlook 2017 report, predicts renewable energy sources will represent almost three-quarters of the $10.2 trillion the world will invest in new power-generating technology. Analysts outline several reasons for this increase in spending, such as the decreasing costs of wind and solar and consumers’ increasing interest in solar panels. Competition between power sources also continues to grow, with products like utility-scale batteries upsetting coal and natural gas’s roles in the marketplace. But more importantly, state-driven renewable portfolio standards pave the way for additional ventures in renewable energy technologies, particularly...

Renewable Fuels’ Dunkirk

by Jim Lane It’s been a very busy week in Washington DC, the high point being a letter to seven senators sent late Thursday by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who took significant (and as of a few days ago, unexpected) steps toward strengthening the foundation for ethanol and renewable fuels. The truth? It’s a Trump Administration back-down. EPA overreached on de-clawing the Renewable Fuel Standard on behalf on some grumpy oilpatch donors (known as GODs), and the Trump Administration managed to revive a Grand Alliance around renewable fuels — one that now includes almost 40 members of the United States Senate,...

Gevo and Los Alamos To Collaborate on High Energy Denisity Biofuels

by Jim Lane News has emerged from Gevo (GEVO) in Colorado and New Mexico’s Los Alamos National Lab that the two will collaborate to improve the energy density of Gevo hydrocarbon products to meet product specifications for tactical fuels for specialized military applications such as RJ-4, RJ-6 and JP-10, which are currently purchased by the US Department of Defense (DoD). High energy-density fuels are currently used in air and sea-launched cruise missiles used by the US military forces. If this project is successful in scaling the fuels cost-effectively, there may be an even broader application in the general aviation sector, enabling higher energy density jet...

Brookfield’s Yieldco Buying Spree

by Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA Last week, a Bloomberg reported on a rumor that Brookfield Asset Management (BAM) was in talks to buy Abengoa's (ABGOY) stake in its former YieldCo Atlantica Yield (ABY).  Atlantica had been looking for a new sponsor for well over a year since parent Abengoa filed for bankruptcy. Purchasing Yieldcos (companies that own clean energy infrastructure and use the cash flows to pay large dividends to shareholders) is not new to Brookfield.  Not only has BAM long sponsored Brookfield Renewable Partners, LP (BEP), a limited partnership that has essentially been a Yieldco since before the term was...

Water Out Of Thin Air

It is an irony that surrounded by the flood waters of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, a drink of fresh, clean water may be hard to come by.  Of course, the all three levels of government make plans for stockpiling and deploying emergency bottled water well ahead of natural disasters.  Yet in the hours and days following the worst of both the recent storms, the media was filled with stories of people who lacked water. What if water could be made manufactured?  If such a technology existed, what a boon it might be to thirsty storm victims. Ambient Water Corporation (AWGI:  OTC/PK) has...

OriginClear: Metals out of the Muck

After the worst of the wind and rain had died down from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and people began making their way back home, it became apparent that citizens of Texas and Florida would have more worries.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency disclosed that at least thirteen toxic waste sites in Texas were flooded and damaged by Hurricane Harvey and another forty-one Superfund sites were negatively affected.  Legacy contamination includes lead, arsenic, polychlorinated biphenyls, benzene and other carcinogenic compounds from historic industrial processes.  After Hurricane Irma over six million gallons of wastewater reportedly flowed out to the coast and...

Ethanol Blends: High Octane, Low Carbon, High Controversy

by Jim Lane, Biofuels Digest For every ethanol blend everywhere these days, there seems to be a war on. A war in India over 22% blends. A war in Brazil over exactly what baseline blend ratio (somewhere int he 20s) is ideal. A war on in Europe to roll back first-gen ethanol to around 2% blending. A war in New South Wales, Australia over whether there should be any ethanol mandating at all. A war in the US as conservatives aim to haul belnding down to 9.7% while ethanol producers have clearly aimed at a 15% baseline blend. And so on and...

Ten Clean Energy Stocks For 2017: Sunny August Skies

by Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA After a strong performance all year, the stock market stumbled in August, along with clean energy stocks in general, although the sector continues to outperform the broad market.  My Ten Clean Energy Stocks model portfolio again came out on top, buoyed by two winners (Seaspan Preferred (SSW-PRG) and MiX Telematics (MIXT).  Both were catalyzed by strong earnings reports at the start of August, which I summarized last month. For the month of August, the model portfolio was up 0.9%, for a 26.3% total gain for the year to the end of August.  It's clean energy benchmark...

Tesla’s Buffalo Solar Tiles: As Hot As They Seem?

by Paula Mints In August, Tesla (TSLA) announced that production of its roof tiles at its not-yet-a giga-factory in Buffalo New York would be delayed until late in 2017. Wait ... it is late in 2017. Tesla indicated that production on the tiles was continuing at its 25-MWp pilot scale facility in Fremont, California. The Fremont facility was the former home of the dearly departed Silevo. On August 31 Tesla announced that it was now manufacturing solar cells at its facility in Buffalo and indicated it would have 2-GWp of cell capacity eventually. During Tesla’s earnings call Mr. Musk showed pictures...

Green Bonds Mid-Year Summary 2017

by the Climate Bonds Team Climate Bonds looks at the last six months numbers, the trends and our tips for the rest of 2017 Green Bonds Mid-Year Summary 2017  Headline figures for the Half Year (H1)  2017 issuance to H1: USD55.8bn Records broken: Quarter 2 (Q2) is the largest quarter of issuance on record at almost USD30bn 82 green bond deals issued in the quarter from 74 issuers Over 50% of issuers were first time issuers Green Bond transactions accounted for 3% of global bond market transactions in Q2 2017 Top 5 largest issuers of H1: Republic of France (USD7.6bn), EIB (USD2.8bn), ...