Monthly Archives: January 2007

Poll Question – What alternative energy sector do you think shows the most investment...

This poll opened on January 31st, 2007 and closed on February 1st, 2007. Total voters for this poll: 158 Solar 27% (43 votes) Ethanol 21% (33 votes) Fuel Cells/Hydrogen 17% (27 votes) Wind 11% (18 votes) Coal-to-Liquids 8% (13 votes) Geothermal 4% (6 votes) Other 11% (17 votes)

Don’t Forget About Wind Power!

Without a doubt, ethanol and solar are the 2 alt energy categories that have attracted the most investor attention in North America in the past few years, and that is because they are the 2 categories that feature the most US-listed stocks. However, despite its comparatively lower profile as an asset class, investors should not forget about wind power! On January 18th, Emerging Energy Research published a short study on the growth of wind power in China. For 2006, China installed 1,040 MW of new wind capacity, making it the 5th country in the world in terms...

The Week in Cleantech: Jan. 22 to Jan. 26

The Week in Cleantech is a weekly roundup of our favorite clean tech and alt energy blog posts and stories from across the web. If you know of a good piece that you think should be included here, don't hesitate to let us know! This week, we particularly liked... On Monday, David Roberts at Gristmill gave us Vinod Khosla's forecast for 2007 (thanks to Tyler at Clean Break for this one). On Monday, Jack Uldrich at The Motley Fool noted how the solar industry is getting its lobbying act together and going to Washington. Stocks...

A Night At The Movies

Unsuprisingly, CNBC featured several segments yesterday on alt energy and Bush's State of the Union Address. I picked out 3 that I particularly liked. 1) Rich Asplund, Melvin Securities Equity Analyst; and Garvin Jabusch, Sierra Club Stock Fund Portfolio Manager, discuss the US ethanol industry and make a couple of alt energy stock picks. Neither analyst is particularly bullish on corn-based ethanol but both are on solar. More specifically, they both like Suntech Power . The other pick is Itron because of its exposure to smart metering technology. 2) A discussion on what tighter fuel...

What has Changed in the Alternative Energy Investment Landscape?

Is the time right to invest in alternative energy? We’ve seen a lot of this before in the 1970s and 1980s. Solar and biomass hot, big regulatory pushes, and then companies and investors lost a lot of money when things changed. We’re still a bit skeptical. We’re also all about not getting pulled in to each and every overpriced hype (read, the ethanol race) – but fundamentals are fundamentals. And they’re hard to ignore and pretty darn impressive. We think the real question today is not “are alternatives a good investment?��?, but “which ones have legs and make a...

State of the Union Address: Alt Energy Sectors and Stocks to Watch

So it came and went, the much anticipated State of the Union Address. While the pundits will inevitably focus the bulk of their attention and commentary on the Iraq question, there were undoubtedly some very interesting nuggets of alt energy info in that speech. Above all things, one crucial variable has changed from a year ago: Congress is now controlled by the Democrats and already the slew of alt energy and climate change proposals brought forth by various senators leads one to believe that, as far as the federal government is concerned, 07' should see more than just...

Alt Energy Investing Video

Thanks to Bill Paul (see below) for the heads up on an interesting video on alt energy geared toward an investor audience. The video is available on Consuelo Mack's Wealthtrack website. Click on "Wealthtrack Video on Demand" on the right-hand side and select the clip dated 01/12/07. It should be under "Current Programs" for a little while longer and will then be moved to "Archive Programs". The video consists of a 25-minute discussion between the anchor and the following 3 guests: Bill Paul, former WSJ reporter and author of the newly-released book "Future Energy: How the New...

Breaking News – President Bush Calls for Cut in Gasoline Use and Pushes Renewable...

President Bush, in Tuesday's State of the Union address, will propose a plan to cut U.S. gasoline consumption by 20 percent while bolstering inventory in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Republican sources say. The president's 10-year plan to cut gasoline use includes tightening fuel economy standards on automakers and producing 35 billion gallons of renewable fuel such as ethanol by 2017, according to sources briefed on the speech. One official said the moves would be equivalent to taking 26 million vehicles off U.S. roads. Full CNN story. While this is great to see, it is a...

The Week in Cleantech: Jan. 15 to Jan. 19

The Week in Cleantech is a weekly roundup of our favorite clean tech and alt energy blog posts and stories from across the web. If you know of a good piece that you think should be included here, don't hesitate to let us know! This week, we particularly liked... On Wednesday, Himanshu Pandya at Financial Nirvana made some predictions about which alt energy stocks could see some upside from the upcoming State of the Union Address. On Wednesday, Jim Jubak at TheStreet.com told us how to turn a profit from global warming stocks. On Wednesday,...

Ethanol, NAFTA, Tortillas and Walmart?

Author Neal Dikeman is a founding partner at Jane Capital Partners LLC, a boutique merchant bank advising strategic investors and startups in cleantech. He is the founding contributor of Cleantech Blog, and a Contributing Editor to AltEnergyStocks.com. Quick, what do Ethanol, NAFTA, Mexican Tortillas and Walmart have in common? Don't know? Well here's the story. I am fascinated by the discussion about ethanol feedstocks issues. There has been a lot of talk about corn production for ethanol either crowding out beef or food production, or driving up the price of food, or failing to supply the demand...

Hedging Your Climate Risks

Whether you agree it's because of human activity or not (and, for the record, I do), there's no doubt that the weather has been a little wacky over the past few years, driving a range of events that have had very real repercussions on businesses and the economy. Hurricane Katrina is one obvious example, but there have also been other, more subtle cases. Many ski resort operators in North America, for instance, were beginning to believe that winter would never arrive on the eastern side of the continent. In the west, we're now being told that cold weather...

The Future of Alternative Fuels: Coal-to-Liquids

Last week I wrote a post about the future of ethanol. In it, I promised a sister piece on the future of coal-to-liquids (CTL). This comes a bit later than initially promised…I apologize to those who had been holding their breaths. I already wrote a post discussing the future of CTL not very long ago. I’m thus not going to repeat myself here, but rather supplement that post with some new info. CTL In The News As stated at the outset of the ethanol article, what drove me to write a series of posts on alternative...

A Climate of Injustice

For this post, a tad bit of shameless promotion for a friend. My former grad school roommate and good friend Brad Parks, who works at the Millennium Challenge Corporation in DC, co-authored a book on the asymmetry that exists between emerging countries' share of global greenhouse gas emissions and the price those countries will have to pay, not only monetarily but also in terms of health and quality of life, as the effects of climate change materialize. Brad put a tremendous amount of work into this and the few chapters that I had a chance to read...

Energy Conversion Devices (NASDAQ:ENER): Jefferies Vs. Cramer

Two different opinions on Energy Conversion Devices came out last Thursday (Jan. 11). Analyst Jeffrey W. Bencik at Jefferies & Co said that ENER was one his top 2 picks in the solar industry for '07, opining that despite continued volatility this should be a rewarding year for ENER investors. He believes that attention will "shift from company specific performance to a top down focus on the evolution of solar incentive schemes." Jim Cramer, on Thursday's Mad Money, said he could not, "in good conscience, recommend that stock with oil at $51, going to $49. So,...

Investing in Climate Change

This post was supposed to be about coal-to-liquids (CTL), but I came across interesting info yesterday after opening a former colleague’s mail that I thought would make for a more interesting post. The CTL piece will thus have to wait a bit. What was in the package was a hard copy of the January/February 2007 edition of CNBC European Business. This edition is dedicated to climate change, but, more importantly, to how some firms are positioning themselves to benefit from the markets that will be created as a result of regulatory and other actions to tackle greenhouse gas...

The Future of Alternative Fuels: Ethanol

Besides a slew of clean car announcements connected to the North American International Auto Show, the alt energy topic that has made media and blog headlines most often over the past week has been alternative fuels. We are thus going to run a 2-part series on alternative fuels this week as follows: ethanol today and coal-to-liquids tomorrow. ETHANOL: INVESTOR FRIEND OR FOE? I’m going to start this post with a statement of opinion: I don’t really like corn-based ethanol (as an investment), I never have, and, as a result, I haven’t followed this space as closely as...