Monthly Archives: April 2007

Preparing for Catastrophe: Is your global warming portfolio ready for rising sea levels?

A Worse-Case Scenario I believe that a large part of global warming denial is fear: fear that if we acknowledge that global warming is happening, we will be morally obligated to do something about it, and that the problem is too large for us to do anything effective.  I also believe that denying the problem is certain to render us all ineffective in dealing with it. But getting over our global warming denial is not the only obstacle in our way to dealing with it.  Global warming is already happening, and  future temperature rises are already inevitable given the...

The Week in Cleantech: Apr. 23 to Apr. 27 – An Ethanol Conspiracy Theory?

The Week in Cleantech is a weekly roundup of our favorite cleantech 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 Tuesday, Tyler Hamilton at Clean Break informed us that solar growth was expected to shine strong. The numbers are very impressive indeed, but it could be argued that a lot of that future growth is already priced in many of the more high-profile solar plays. On...

Portfolio For A GHG-Regulated World

Investment opportunities connected to climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation are a popular topic of discussion on this blog. Most of the time, however, the companies we discuss are relatively small, often unknown to most investors and overall pretty speculative. Yesterday, I came across an interesting article on Seeking Alpha entitled "Investing In a Greenhouse Gas-Regulated World" - the title says it all. The article looks at the question of investing in a GHG-constrained world from a conventional portfolio management perspective, and therefore argues for a low weighting in pure-play cleantech or carbon finance stocks, and...

Links & Blogrolls

Altenergystocks.com frequently receives requests to provide links to other websites and/or to join services where several blogs are featured together in one platform (see an example here). As our regular readers have probably noted, our blog rolls (Tom's and mine) are not especially extensive. We thought at this point that it might make sense to let our readers know how we go about selecting sites for inclusion in our blog rolls and what our policy is with regards to giving out links to other sites. Blog Roll Our approach to adding links to our blog rolls...

New York, New York!

While New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg was busy unveiling a package of measures aimed at making NYC green (including reducing CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030), the state's Governor, Eliot Spitzer, was making his reservations about corn ethanol known, as reported in the Globe & Mail. This adds yet one more (powerful) voice to the chorus of those skeptical about the viability of the corn ethanol industry. The article also notes that Dr. Dan Kammen, an influential Berkeley academic and advisor on climate change to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, is also among those who doubt that corn...

Alternative Energy Mutual Funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

UPDATE 3/4/2011: An up-to date article on selecting green mutual funds and ETFs can be found here. Mutual funds are often touted as an inexpensive way to achieve diversification.  With declining brokerage commissions, this is often no longer true.  If you are interested in investing in alternative energy, is a mutual fund or ETF right for you? Here are the currently available mutual funds and ETFs of which I'm aware with alternative energy type themes: Fund Name Emphasis Mgmt Style Load? Turnover Ticker Expense Ratio Guinness Atkinson...

The Week in Cleantech: Apr. 16 to Apr. 20 – Happy Earth Day Everyone!

The Week in Cleantech is a weekly roundup of our favorite cleantech 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... Writing in the May edition of Scientific American, economist Jeffrey Sachs showed us the road to clean energy. On Tuesday, Himanshu Pandya at Financial Nirvana told us about a shorting opportunity in First Solar. More on overpriced solar stocks below! On Wednesday, Shruti Basavaraj and Katrina...

Greenhouse Gas Management Stocks: Key To A Real Climate Change Portfolio?

There has been a lot written lately about how to turn climate change into an investment opportunity, including on this site. Not all of it is, however, especially useful or relevant. In the worst cases, commentators have ascribed the 'climate change investment opportunity' label to just about any industry out there, indiscriminate of whether or not there really is a strong and direct connection. If you are seriously interested in playing the climate story, you should stay focused on near and medium term opportunities with real and tangible links to what is currently going on with the climate...

The Peak Coal Portfolio

Last week, we alerted you to a report from Germany's Energy Watch Group called “Coal: Resources and Future Production,��? which predicts peak coal by 2025.  Readers of AltEnergyStocks are doubtless familiar with peak oil, the inevitable fact that as we consume a finite resource (oil reserves) at some point the rate of that consumption must peak, and taper off.  Serious arguments about peak oil center around "when" oil production (and consumption) will peak, not "if."   The same it true for other finite natural resources, such as natural gas, uranium, and even coal.  The difference with coal is the received...

Current Structure of the US Ethanol Industry “Problematic”, Says the IMF

The International Monetary Fund released its Spring 2007 World Economic Forecast today. Fuel Vs. Food There is a short sub-section in Appendix 1.1 ("Recent Developments in Commodity Markets") that I thought might be worth sharing with you. If you download the PDF version of the report and scroll down to page 44, you will find the said sub-section under the heading "Food and Biofuels". In it, the IMF notes that food prices (as measured by its own food price index) rose by 10% in 2006, driven partly by a poor wheat crop in certain countries but...

Trading Alert: CPTC.OB

In my article about electrical transmission, I mentioned that I liked Composite Technology Corp. (CPTC.OB). I became increasingly bullish on this stock as a result of my changing understanding while I was researching the article. The article then initiated an email conversation with a long-time investor, where I learned more about the company's business. As a result, I just purchased more of the stock (at $1.33, using a limit order), quadrupling my initial position (acquired in February at $.91. My current average cost basis is $1.23.) Several of my clients also own...

Transmission Stocks: Bringing Wind Power to Where it’s Needed

Last week, Charles told us to expect wind power industry suppliers to benefit from shortages in wind turbine components. Owens Corning (NYSE:OC) which I mentioned in my Blue Chip Alternative Energy Portfolio fits nicely into this category with their composites for turbine blades, as do the power converter stocks I mentioned two weeks ago. As essential to wind power as any of these is improved power transmission. The National Wind Coordinating Collaborative states, Electrical transmission facilities connecting windy areas and load centers are sometimes non-existent or minimal. Even in cases where a good wind resource has...

The Week in Cleantech: Apr. 2 to Apr. 6

The Week in Cleantech is a weekly roundup of our favorite cleantech 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, the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change issued its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). Here's an overview by the Green Car Congress. On Tuesday, Himanshu Pandya at Financial Nirvana informed us that certain Chinese solar companies believe that the silicon shortage is easing up. He shorted MEMC...

Watch For Shortages In the Wind Sector

The polysilicon shortage in the solar industry is, by now, a well-known fact, and most investors are aware of the scale and probable duration of that shortage, as well as of what companies are positioned to benefit from a tight polysilicon market. A similar situation is currently unfolding in the wind industry. We have discussed the very bright prospects for the wind sector here before. In the US, the American Wind Energy Association forecasts that installed capacity could grow from 11,603 MW today to around 100,000 MW by 2020. In Canada, Emerging Energy Research predicts that installed wind...

When The Supreme Court Weighs In, Investors Better Pay Attention

Things got a little tougher for the Bush White House yesterday, when the Supreme Court effectively slapped it on the wrist for its position on climate change by ordering the EPA to justify its lack of action on the climate file with substantive arguments (i.e. the Court buys the IPCC's story rather than Bush's). Things Just Keep On Piling This ruling adds to a long list of recent events that render it increasingly difficult for climate nay-sayers to hold the fort. The most significant such events are: (a) one of the top Republican politicians...

Away Last Week

I was away on holidays last week with self-imposed lack of access to email - thanks to Tom for holding the Alt Energy fort alone! Several of you sent me emails to which I haven't gotten around to responding yet. I apologize for that. I will get on that tonight and you can expect a response in the next few days at the latest. Best, Charles