Monthly Archives: May 2007

GE’s Ecomagination: A Panacea?

Last Thursday, General Electric's (NYSE: GE) CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, reported on the progress to date of the company's Ecomagination project. Ecomagination seeks to position GE as a global environmental technology heavyweight, and Immelt is confident that this initiative will contribute substantially to the eventual emergence of GE's share price from the funk it's been over the past seven years. The Globe & Mail ran an interesting piece on Ecomagination the following day. Rob Day at Cleantech Investing also briefly touched on on the topic on Monday. The jury is still out - will Ecomagination be GE's...

Dead Wrong On Climate Exchange

In a May 8 post I opined that, although I believed that recent developments on the climate change file in the US would bode well for Climate Exchange plc (CXCHF.PK), I thought that the stock was overpriced and had had too great a run for its own good over the past 3 months. I therefore predicted that the next move the stock would make would be to the downside. Climate Exchange was trading at around $28 then, and today it is trading in the neighborhood of $36. I continue to believe that this stock is going way too...

Q1 2007 Renewable Energy & Biofuels Country Attractiveness Indices

Q1 2007 Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices Ernst & Young recently released its Q1 2007 Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices, a series of indices that rank countries on their attractiveness with regards to alternative energy growth and development. These indices provide good yardsticks for investors who want to know which markets offer the best near and long term alt energy growth prospects. The report presents three main indices, whose names are fairly self-explanatory: (1) The All Renewables Index (2) The Long-term Wind Index (>2 years) (3) The Near-term...

Ethanol Stocks: Risks, Challenges, & Opportunities

The Great Ethanol Debate: Shoddy Economics all 'Round. Like many environmentalists, I'm not a big fan of the ethanol industry, especially corn ethanol.  From a net energy standpoint, even advocates agree that you only get a little more energy out than the energy you put in (Energy Return on Energy Invested or EROEI of 0.9 to 1.5, depending on whom you ask... some say it's much lower.)  At this point, most environmentalists simply decide that ethanol isn't sustainable enough for them, and go back to talking about photovoltaics (EROEI around 8, PDF) and wind (EREOI 30-70, PDF).  The last...

The Week in Cleantech: May 14 to May 18 – Is Energy Efficiency Heating...

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, Rob Day at Cleantech Investing debunked the "cleantech bubble" myth for us. An interesting and fresh look at the issue of whether or not cleantech is getting too hot for its own good. On Wednesday, Adena DeMonte at Red Herring discussed an interesting energy storage...

Cashing In On Global Warming

Just as I was attending a debate this morning that touched, partly, on the desirability of implementing an emissions trading system to control greenhouse gas emissions, I received an email from Market Watch informing me that they were running a special report on climate change and cleantech investing. The report features a very interesting collection of articles indeed. If you have about 1/2 hour to spare, I would recommend going through all of them. The following topics are covered: a) Global warning and the insurance industry b) Al Gore and David Blood's investment venture c)...

3 Alternative Energy Stocks You Need to Know

In the face of a declining overall energy market today, three of our favorite alternative energy stocks posted strong gains on high volume. The Oil Services HOLDRs ETF (OIH) was down 2% and the PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (PBW) was down 1.7%. Indeed, the vast majority of the energy stocks that we track were in the red. But bucking the trend were two energy stocks that we have profiled in the recent past and a third company that we will begin covering today. First on the list is our favorite wind energy play, Welwind Energy International...

How to Beat the Market: Less Money and More Judgement

Last week, I looked at how a small investor could gain an advantage in the market by understanding the other players.  The most important other players are institutional investors such as hedge funds, pension funds, mutual funds, and investment banks who have considerably more resources and valuation skills than the individual investor, and so trying to take them on directly to beat them at their own is likely to be an expensive exercise in futility. Two Exploitable Weaknesses On the other hand, I argued that institutional investors have certain handicaps and biases which do allow small investors to enter...

The Week in Cleantech: May 7 to May 11 – Citi To Throw Big...

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, Mike Millikin at Green Car Congress detailed Citi's recently-unveiled climate change initiative for us. Yet more institutional money formally chasing climate and cleantech investments. On Wednesday, Mark Gunther gave us the run-down of Merrill Lynch’s green metrics. The issue of how blue-chip firms are positioning...

NYMEX To Get Involved In Emissions Trading

A senior NYMEX official told reporters Wednesday that the exchange was considering getting into the business of carbon emissions trading. Given the actual, but especially the potential, size of this market, it makes sense that established bourses would take a good hard look at it. This will probably not be seen as very good news by the folks at Climate Exchange plc . Of course, until NYMEX actually unveils anything substantial, this will remain nothing but chatter.

Some Emissions Trading News

A lot has happened in the world of carbon finance and emissions trading since we last wrote about this topic, so I felt this might be good time to provide a quick update. (A) The World Bank Carbon Finance Unit recently released its State and Trends of the Carbon Market 2007 (PDF document), a periodic assessment of the scale and characteristics of the global market for carbon dioxide emissions. The Bank found a large increase in the volumes traded (131%) and dollar value (177%) of the global carbon market in 2006 over 2005. Unsurprisingly, the EU ETS...

Beating the Market, Part I

Because I'm currently studying for the second (of three) CFA® exam, I'm going to take a break from my usual article analyzing some aspect of alternative energy.  This week and next, I'll take a step back and try to answer an existential question: How can I possibly hope to beat the market, when "the market" consists of professional money managers with resources far exceeding my own?  Every active investor should ask themselves this question: the answer will either make you a better investor, or save you a lot of time and money if you are humble enough to realize...

The Week in Cleantech: Apr. 30 to May 4 – Are We In A...

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, I received an email from the good folks at Lux Research informing me that they had just released a study looking into the 2006 cleantech VC investment numbers (PDF document). Before I had a chance to go over the press release, The New York Times had...

Cleantech Venture Capital – Still Rising

As part of our ongoing series on stories on investment in the cleantech sector, we had a chance to discuss the sector with one of the venture capitalists at Emerald Technology Ventures. Scott MacDonald is an Investment Director with Emerald Technology Ventures, a global leader in cleantech venture capital. Founded in 2000 under the name SAM Private Equity, Emerald is a pioneer in this rapidly emerging sector and is focused on innovative technologies in energy, materials and water. With offices in Zurich, Switzerland and Montreal, Canada, Emerald manages three venture capital funds and two venture capital portfolio mandates...

Poll Question: When can we expect federal climate change legislation in the US?

This poll opened on May 2, 2007 and closed on May 4, 2007 Free Poll - Take Our Poll