LATEST ARTICLES

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Are Aspiration’s Deposits Really Fossil Fuel Free?

Fossil Fuel Free Claims If you are reading this, you've probably also seen advertisements for Aspriation's “Fee-free and fossil fuel free” banking services. Like the advertisements the company's product page encourages visitors to “Earn high interest on what you save with an account that is fee-free and fossil fuel free.“ As a professional green money manager, I know that “fossil fuel free” is in the eye of the beholder. For many mutual funds, “fossil fuel free” simply means avoiding the 200 largest fossil fuel companies, but investing in the 201st largest fossil fuel company, even if its primary business is mining...
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Sunpower Optimistic, But Needs Cash

This recent post explored the unusual mating call of a solar panel manufacturer, SunPower Corporation (SPWR:  Nasdaq).  The Company is looking for a partner to bankroll the upgrade of a manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, Oregon acquired in October 2018, in a tie up with one of its rivals, SolarWorld America.  SunPower now has one less competitor and more room to flex its production muscles.  However, capital is still important. The Company suffered a net loss of $811.1 million or $5.76 per share on $1.73 billion in total sales.  Profit margins were negative straight down. Investors could accept the loss without too much worry if the pace of...
http://www.altenergystocks.com/archives/2019/03/sunpowers-mating-call/

Crowded Playground of Solar Panel Makers

The last post discussed the proposition of solar panel manufacturer SunPower Corporation (SPWR:  Nasdaq).  The company is looking for a partner to help build out and operate SunPower’s production facility in Hillsboro, Oregon.  SunPower plans to manufacturer its innovative P-Series panels in Hillsboro to fulfill U.S. orders. The Hillsboro plant was acquired in early 2018, from SolarWorld AG after the Trump administration slapped 30% tariffs on solar panels imported to the U.S.  Domestic production, even at higher local costs, could make sense when compared to such prohibitive import tariffs. SunPower is widely regarded as the go-to source for the highest quality solar cells available with efficiency ratings as...
p-series

Sunpower’s Mating Call

SunPower Corporation (SPWR:  Nasdaq) has sent out an unusual mating call.  Like a bird with a newly built nest, the company is seeking a partner to help build out and operate SunPower’s production facility in Hillsboro, Oregon.  The plant was acquired in late 2018, from SolarWorld Americas after the Trump administration slapped tariffs on solar panels imported to the U.S.  Domestic production, even at higher local costs, could make sense when compared to such prohibitive import tariffs. Uncomfortable Three-some Some investors might see the tie-up as an uncomfortable three-some. Indeed, the solar panel tariffs came about when SolarWorld Americas and its compatriot Suniva filed an application...
PV industry growth 1977-2017

The Solar Industry’s Prolonged Adolescence And What Maturity Will Look Like

by Paula Mints Every day the solar industry’s maturity is announced in company meetings, at conferences, in articles, and on Twitter, among other means, and through various media. The industry’s presumed maturity is held as a badge of its success by most and used as a PR message by many. The assumption of the industry’s maturity, primarily based on its size, low module prices, and low tender bidding, things that taken either individually or as a whole does not indicate ma-turity. Teenagers, after all, exhibit growth spurts even as their brains continue to develop through their early twenties. Teenagers also declare their...
Kakinada India Aemetis

Aemetis: Indian Breakthrough, California Expansion

Aemetis, Inc. (AMTX:  NasdaqCM) just announced sales of biodiesel to gas stations in India.  The sales follow on the heels of a significant ruling in November 2018, by the Bombay High Court to remove restrictions on biodiesel that had barred direct to consumer sales by biofuel manufacturers.  The breakthrough into the India market is significant for the company, which has been operating a 50-million gallon integrated chemicals and fuels facility in Kakinada, India for several years.  Demand for renewable fuels has been strongest among fast growing economies like India, where decision makers fear dependence upon imported fossil fuels.  India produces only about 1% of global...

Valeo February Update (Ten Clean Energy Stocks)

I'm trying something different and doing quick updates on individual stocks in my 10 Clean Energy Stocks model portfolio as I have time to write.  The portfolio as a whole has been accelerating with the instant torque of an electric vehicle this year (details here.)  I thought I'd start with the company that's newest to my readers, Valeo SA (FR.PA, VLEEF) 12/31/18 Price: €25.21/$28.20.  Annual Dividend: €1.25. Expected 2019 dividend: €1.25.  03/4/19 price: €29.13/$33.00.  YTD gain: 15.5% Euro/ 12.8% USD. I added this stock to the portfolio because it has great technology and and improving market share, but weak industry growth and overoptimistic management projections in 2018...

10 Clean Energy Stocks For 2019 – First Two Months Results

It's hard to find anything to complain about in the first two month's performance of my 10 Clean Energy Stocks for 2019 model portfolio.  Unfortunately, I'm about to go on vacation and don't have time to do an update on all the earnings reports that have come out over the last two weeks.  I will try to get to them individually as I have time. Strategically, I'd like to say I'm getting very nervous about this market rally, and think that readers should be taking profits opportunistically and increasing your cash positions.

Skin In The Game

Specialty retailers are also joining the packaging revolution.  REN Clean Skincare is a good example of a retailer that is making environmentally-friendly packaging part of its offering.  The company kicked off the campaign with a splashing Earth Day celebration featuring its new partner, the Surfrider Foundation.  The campaign was aimed at making REN customers aware of the need to conserve water and keep beaches clean and plastic-free. The company is selling some of its skincare products in bottles made from plastic reclaimed from the ocean.  The bottle is part of REN’s Clean to Planet initiative to become a 100% zero waste company by 2021.  The bottle...
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Hasbro: Super Heroes Go ‘Green’

Captain Marvel will arrive in a plant-based box if toy manufacturer Hasbro, Inc. (HAS: NYSE)carries out its plans.  A year ago the toy maker pledged to use plant-based PET (polythylene terephthalate) or BioPET for at least 30% of the blister packs and plastic windows used to ship and display everyone’s favorite super heroes. This is not the first of Hasbro’s attempts at more responsible packaging.  By 2015, the company was using recycled and sustainably sourced paper for 90% of its packaging and in-box content.  Additionally, by 2016, Hasbro had already begun using recycled PET, eliminating the use of additional fossil fuels and removing plastic...

Kroger: Not All That’s Green is Environmentally Friendly

The Kroger Company (KR:  NYSE) has been around since the late 1800s.  It has developed into a major retailer of a broad range of food products in its supermarkets that also feature specialty sections such as pet centers, electronics, apparel, toys, and pharmacies.  Kroger stock is selling at a bargain multiple of 6.6 times trailing earnings.  The 2.0% current dividend yield is icing on Kroger’s cake. Kroger is distinguished among other grocery retailers with its pledge to achieve zero waste.  The company is aiming to recycle or reuse at least 90% of its waste.  Sustainable product packaging is a central part of its zero waste plan.  For example,...
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Nestlé: Going Green Swiss Style

As a Peace Corps volunteer on islands in Micronesia it was a delightful to adopt the islanders’ use of banana leaves for everything from baking a sweet potato to serving a picnic lunch to storing leftovers.   The giant banana trees in the garden were so convenient.  Moreover, the banana leaf could not be beat for environmental friendliness.  Once used, the leaves were tossed aside to become mulch for the garden. Of course, back in the U.S.A. it is not practical to rely on banana leaves to wrap a Big Mac at MacDonald’s or ship electronics from Amazon.com. Nonetheless, there must be something better than...
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Roadway Revolution: Meet the Smart Highways of the Future

by Giles Kirkland Even though many states seem to enter the “construction season” every spring, there’s still a significant backlog of vital repairs and improvements needed for state roads, interstates and bridges – around $420 billion worth as of 2017. Not only are our roads falling apart, there are greater numbers of people in more vehicles on them. But what if, instead of simply following same repaving or rebuilding formula that never seems to catch up, municipalities get “smarter” with their fixes? Smart cars use the newest technologies to save energy, improve safety, and assist in navigation. Missing from many of the...

A Small New York Town Plans a Profitable, 100% Renewable Energy Future

A community choice program and a lack of natural gas are enabling Marbletown to achieve 100 percent renewable energy and tackle 100 percent renewable energy —while saving money. by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA With advances in technology, the pathways to 100 percent renewable energy are becoming clear. As a result, the central challenge has become less about how to get there, and more about how to pay for it. The town of Marbletown, in New York's Hudson River Valley, is finding that problem is solving itself. Marbletown is a town of 5,500 people covering 55 square miles on the edges of the Catskills...

Democratizing the Grid

by Daryl Roberts In a previous article I investigated the question of whether private sector capital was being stimulated sufficiently enough to build out renewable infrastructure on pace to reach climate goals.  I found that on the upper end, giant institutional funds were only mobilizing a tiny fraction of their total Assets Under Management, due to regulatory constraints and uncompetitive yields.  On the lower end, smaller scale funding seemed to be growing, with facilitation from intermediaries, fintech aggregation services, and increased access at lower levels to complicated derisking strategies. But I now find reporting that capital is over-mobilized, that solar may...
UQM Fuel Cell comperssor

Shareholders Cry Foul as UQM Agrees to Buyout

UQM Technologies (UQM:  NYSE) has agreed to be acquired by Danfoss Power Solutions for $1.71 per share in cash, providing a deal value near $100 million.  UQM leadership expects timely review by government authorities and has recommended approval of the deal by shareholders.  A date has not been set for the required shareholder vote.  Assuming all goes according to schedule, a deal closing is possible sometime in the second quarter 2019. Electric propulsion and generation technologies are at the core of UQM’s solutions for manufacturing, transportation and power industries.  The substitution of electric motors for combustion engines has been driving demand for the UQM’s products.  Market opportunities have abounded...