LATEST ARTICLES

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone is having a happy Thanksgiving, and, more importantly, staying safe by keeping your gatherings small and staying close to home.  Next year, it looks like we will have multiple, highly effective vaccines. Just like in the market, this holiday season, the waiting is the hardest part. Tom Konrad, Editor

PEM Fuel Cells – Hoping to Challenge Internal Combustion

The first article in this series introduced the two prominent types of hydrogen fuel cells - alkaline fuel cells (ALKFCs) and proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Fuel cells are devices that convert stored hydrogen into usable energy, and constitute an essential part of the hydrogen economy. Subsequent articles shall focus on various characteristics of these two cells.  The graph above shows the power costs ($/kW) of PEMFCs and ALKFCs as the technology has advanced over time. In other words, they show the initial capital cost for every 1 kW of fuel cell  capacity (note that this axis is in the...

Alkaline Fuel Cells – In Need of Revival

The previous article in this series on hydrogen fuel-cells focused on proton-exchange membranes fuel cells (PEMFCs). These cells have been the interest of the industry in recent years, and make up the majority of the market. However, it is also worth discussing alkaline fuel cells (ALKFCs), an older variety of cells that remain prominent today. (For details on how these cells work, refer to the first article in this series). The graph shows the power costs ($/kW) of PEMFCs and ALKFCs as the technology has advanced over time. In other words, it plots the initial capital cost for every 1...

Introduction to Fuel Cell Technologies

Fuel cell technology is vital to building the hydrogen economy. Fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen into water, while generating a current and some heat energy. Thus, they are used to retrieve stored energy from hydrogen as electricity in large-scale stationary applications, and convert hydrogen fuel to power in automobiles.  This article introduces a series on fuel cell technologies which will explore the various technologies, the efforts and challenges to improving them, and their prospects for wide-spread adoption. There are a range of fuel cell technologies. The two most prominent are alkaline fuel cells (ALKFC) and proton exchange membrane fuel cells...

Step By Step Fossil Fuel Divesting With Mutual Funds

by Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA A large and growing number of individual investors are showing an interest in divesting from fossil fuels.  Where in the past I have been asked to give a talk on divestment once every year or two, I’ve spoken on the subject three times so far in 2020.  (Here is a recording of a presentation I did for my college alumni association.) The response to these talks has been overwhelmingly positive, but I’m left with the impression that a lot of the less financially sophisticated attendees are still not sure where to start.  For most of these...
new portfolio

10 Clean Energy Stocks for 2020: Updated Model Portfolio

by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA After a couple down market days, all the limit orders I listed on Monday have executed. Here is the current portfolio: Position Shares Position Shares CVA 135 CIG 587 CVA Mar21 $7.50 Put -2 RDEIF 100 VLEEF 57 VEOEF 75 GPP 276 EBAY Jan ‘21 $8 Put -1 NFYEF 98 Cash $4415 MIXT 274   Coming Up: Third quarter earnings season is starting… I plan to write short notes on earnings as they come out for my Patreon supporters, which will be compiled into longer articles on AltEnergyStocks.com a few days later. Also, I’m doing a talk on how to divest from fossil fuels with the founder of divestor.org this coming Monday at 8:30 pm ET for the Climate and Health subgroup of Citizens Climate Lobby ...
10 clean energy stocks vs benchmarks

10 Clean Energy Stocks for 2020: Spooked in October, but Trading Anyway

by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Two of the cash covered puts in the 10 Clean Energy Stocks for 2020 model portfolio have now expired, and I am left with a difficult decision as to what to replace them with. As I discussed last month, I feel the market is overvalued given the economic impact of the pandemic and little prospect of fiscal stimulus before January.  Yes, the market is not the whole economy, and large tech firms and high income workers and the wealthy are doing great while people on the bottom half of the income ladder are being crushed.  With...
Bernard Tan

Royalties: a Financial Innovation for Renewable Energy

The following interview with RE Royalties (RE.V, RROYF) CEO Bernard Tan was conducted in September by AltEnergyStocks.com Editor Tom Konrad.  Links and ticker symbols were not included in his original responses, but added by AltEnergyStocks.com as a resource for readers. Q: What exactly is a renewable energy royalty? A renewable energy royalty is a stream of cash flows generated by a renewable energy project. When the project generates electricity and sells its electricity, we receive a percentage of the revenues from the electricity sales, otherwise known as a gross revenue royalty. We receive that gross revenue royalty, on average, for about...

The Big Win You Missed

by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA My friend Jan Schalkwijk, CFA of JPS Global Investments just asked me if I had any thoughts on Kontrol Energy (KNR.CN, KNRLF), a Canadian smart building firm I had never heard of. (I just added it to AltEnergyStocks.com's Energy Efficiency and Smart Grid stock lists.) The stock had just shot up after the client sold and went on a kayaking trip.  It had disclosed a sensor for detecting COVID-19 from the air. While I didn't have anything to say about the company, I did have some thoughts on dealing with the emotions around missing out.  Since it's...
First Solar PV Plant - fixed tilt

First Solar Jettisons Its O&M Business

by Paula Mints In August, CdTe manufacturer First Solar (FSLR) sold its North America O&M business to NovaSource Power. According to First Solar CEO Mark Widmar, the decision was due to contracting O&M margins and customer demands for more services. The company is also exploring jettisoning its EPC business. First Solar plans to focus on its module manufacturing business. Comment: Apparently, First Solar finally realized that O&M is low margin and that the EPC business may also not have much margin cushion. Now the company can concentrate on another low margin sector of the solar manufacturing chain, manufacturing. First Solar has occasionally...
Run VSLR, RUN!

Unprofitable Sunrun Buys Unprofitable Vivint Solar

by Paula Mints In July, Unprofitable residential solar lease company Sunrun (RUN) announced that it would acquire its unprofitable competitor, Vivint Solar (VSLR). Each share of Vivint stock will be exchanged for .55 shares of Sunrun’s common stock. Sunrun indicated that there were great synergies between the two companies. Comment: Remember when Tesla (TSLA) adopted Solar City, a company founded by Elon Musk’s cousin? Sorry – remember when Tesla acquired money-losing Solar City and claimed strong growth and profits would follow? Great synergies. A wonderful future. Rainbows, kittens, and a profitable solar future for all. The residential solar lease and residential PPA offers...
10 for 20 Aug vs benchmarks

10 Clean Energy Stocks for 2020: The Waiting

by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Despite high valuations, a rampaging pandemic, and the end of the $600 weekly supplemental unemployment payments from the CARES Act, the stock market continued upward in August. Like most ordinary people in this economy, my Ten Clean Energy Stocks model portfolio is still not feeling the recovery the way the big tech companies and the ultra wealthy are, although my real-money Green Global Equity Income Portfolio (GGEIP)  is now hitting new highs for the year.   The difference between the model portfolio’s performance and GGEIP is mostly a result of trading: It had a large cash position at...

Leading Indian Renewable Energy Stocks

By Ishaan Goel   India is amongst the largest renewable energy markets in the world, ranking third in solar, fourth in wind and fifth in hydro power capacity. Due to its rapidly growing economy, India’s energy needs are constantly on the rise. Moreover, countering air pollution has become one of the government’s top priorities. To achieve this, it has set out the world’s largest expansion plan for renewable energy - a 5x increase of installed capacity to 450 GW by 2030.  The Indian renewable energy market can broadly be divided into two categories - private firms and state-owned enterprises (known as public-sector...

Buyer’s Guide to New York Community Solar

By Ishaan Goel WHY COMMUNITY SOLAR? A home solar system is a great investment, with financial returns far in excess of any financial investment that has comparable risk. It’s also a tangible step a homeowner can take to help the environment.   Unfortunately, most New Yorkers (and Americans in general) can’t install home solar.  They may be renters, or have roofs that are too old or shaded.  Or they may not be able to afford the up-front cost, or not have enough income to take advantage of the tax credits. That is why New York’s electricity regulator, the Public Service Commission, created community solar:...

Community Solar Providers In NYSEG Territory

See the Buyer's Guide to New York Community Solar for details on how New York community solar works and lists for other utility territories. This list last updated on 9/9/2020. VENDOR NAME PRICING STRUCTURE ADDITIONAL DETAILS SPECIAL OFFERS Abundant Solar Power 10% discount subscription model Contract to be signed Astral Power 10% discount subscription model (Broker for solar farms) No cancellation fee. Bill needed in customer’s name $100 check and $100 donation to Feedmore WNY BlueWave Solar 10% discount subscription model (Broker for solar farms) Links to own development as well as any external ones. Available services in your area found through ZIP code search. Citizens Energy 20% discount subscription model (Nonprofit) free cancellation; no fees; no credit...

Community Solar Providers In National Grid Territory

See the Buyer's Guide to New York Community Solar for details on how New York community solar works and lists for other utility territories. VENDOR NAME PRICING STRUCTURE ADDITIONAL DETAILS SPECIAL OFFERS Abundant Solar Power 10% discount subscription model Contract to be signed Amp Energy Mostly 10% subscription model 12-month contract with auto-renew option, termination fees waived with proper notice Astral Power 10% discount subscription model (Broker for solar farms) No cancellation fee. Bill needed in customer’s name $100 check and $100 donation to Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY Ampion 10% discount subscription model Free cancellation at any time, excess credit is banked BlueWave Solar 10% discount subscription model (Broker for solar farms) Links to own development as...