Monthly Archives: November 2007

10,000+ Miles per Acre on Cellulosic Biogas

Biopact reports that Salzburg AG has opened its first biomethane gas station, allowing owners of Compressed Natural Gas vehicles to use their blend of 20%.  This is the first retail station I have heard of selling a cellulosic-derived fuel to retail customers (are there others?) Prospective Cellulosic Ethanol investors should take note... while cellulosic feedstocks are likely to supply much of our liquid fuels in the future (although not as much as we currently use), cellulosic ethanol is unlikely to have the field (so to speak) to itself.  Ethanol's low energy density and difficulty of transport will...

Give the Gift of a Future This Christmas: Five Sustainable Companies For Your Kids...

A Carbon Conundrum for Christmas Do we have to choose between happy kids this Christmas, and a happy future for those kids?  Practically everything we buy has a negative environmental impact.  If green consumption is an oxymoron, so is green giving.  Are we left with only greener giving?  It often seems that the only way to be truly green is to be like the Grinch (before his heart-enlargement) and not give anyone anything.  And skip the tree while you're at it. It's a hard decision, and while there are many Green Shopping Advisories telling us that we can buy...

The Week in Cleantech (Nov. 18 to Nov. 24) – Ethanol: Making Losers Of...

On Monday, Joe Carroll and Mario Parker at Bloomberg News argued that the current ethanol bust was making losers of Bush, Gates and D.E. Shaw. We are proud to say that at AltEnergyStocks.com, we have always been corn ethanol bears, even when many of these stocks were trending up. But beyond bragging about our foresight, which, by the way, was shared by several people, the current fiasco is a cautionary tale of the dangers of government trying to create a winner industry when that industry makes no sense on most levels. Things may change, but to date all that...

A Coal Stock…Almost

This morning, I read an article in this week's Economist that summarized well what I've been hearing over the past few weeks: coal is back in fashion with power utilities. As pointed out in the article, on a BTU basis, coal remains the cheapest fuel for thermal generation, an the prospect of high carbon prices is not deterring even European power generators from investing in coal-fired assets. A few months ago, Tom discussed his peak coal portfolio. The long-term perspective is of course critical to keep in mind, and that piece helps putting recent news around...

Our Blue Chip Alternative Energy Stock List

The market has fallen sharply, and Solar stocks have fallen even more following rumors that Congress will pass the Energy Bill without the Production Tax Credit or Investment Tax Credit.   Given this volatility and Renewable Energy's reputation for profitless startups, now might seem like an excellent time for a risk adverse investor to abandon the sector altogether.   Not so.  Even if all tax credits and other incentives for Renewable Energy were to be removed, the underlying drivers of Alternative Energy remain firmly in place: Rising energy prices and decreasing reserves, the need to reduce our Greenhouse gas emissions to avoid...

The Week in Cleantech (Nov. 11 to Nov. 17) – Is The Era Of...

The December edition of Bloomberg Markets Magazine is devoted partly to the rise of carbon capitalism. An interesting series of articles on the budding carbon economy. While there are currently few ways for North American investors to play this, I continue to believe that this is an area the environmental investor must keep an eye on. On Monday, Jim Kingsdale at Seeking Alpha discussed ethanol and biodiesel: two very different biofuels. This is an interesting piece with a bullish outlook for two biodiesel stocks. Biodiesel often lingers in the shadow of ethanol in North America, yet it is...

Hunting for Energy Efficiency Companies at the Energy Star Summit

Most studies show that the greatest potential for reducing our carbon emissions comes from energy efficiency technologies.  And, unlike many renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency is almost always less expensive than developing new energy sources, so energy efficiency businesses can be profitable now, and still have a large potential upside which will come with regulatory efforts to reduce our carbon emissions and rising energy prices. Unfortunately, the reason this free lunch exists is because selling and implementing energy efficiency technologies isn't easy.  It's also much more difficult to find companies that profit from energy efficiency than those that produce...

Trading Alert: Electro Energy Inc. (EEEI)

Since I first profiled Electro Energy Inc. (EEEI) on September 16, the stock first fell substantially to as low as 30 cents, and just recently has shot back up to the price it was when I wrote the article, a very cheap 50 cents.  bipolar rebound I have bought the stock for myself and clients repeatedly in the intervening dip, and I made another purchase at $.50 today because of two news items which dramatically improve the prospects for the company. On October 29, they announced that they raised $750,000...

Waste Vegetable Oil: A Slick Way to Biofuel Your Portfolio

In August, I argued that Biodiesel stocks could be in trouble from more efficient ways to turn the oils and fats they use as feedstock into fuel, and concluded the article by saying that the likely winners are suppliers of oils and fats, not the processors.  James Kingsdale, of Energy Investment Strategies has been thinking along the same lines.  Last week he wrote an excellent overview of the major biofuels industries, including some stock picks.   One of those stock picks was the diamond in the rough I wish I had known about when I wrote Biodiesel's Nightmare: Renewable Diesel...

Efficiency and Renewable Energy Summit – February 21, 2008 – February 22, 2008

The following is a Special Information Supplement from our Featured Company sponsor The Efficiency and Renewable Energy Summit The Efficiency and Renewable Energy Summit is a Two-Day Strategic Event that will focus on the Best and Most Effective Trends in Efficiency and Renewable Energy for the energy and utilities industries. As the nation works towards meeting the growing energy demands while maintaining security, energy independence and environmental protection, many industry participants are turning towards cleaner sources of energy. Some are looking at better ways of utilizing existing supplies of power producing material like coal and natural gas...

Ride High on Peak Oil with these Four Rail Transit Stocks

Last month, I wrote that investors concerned about peak oil should invest in suppliers of alternatives to driving.  One of the sectors I highlighted was public transit: busses and rail, although I did not provide any stock picks at the time. Here, I will focus just on rail transit.  It's a bit tricky to invest in rail transit systems as they are operated by cities, not by private companies, so I took a step up the value chain and started looking for companies which supply transit operators.  I focused not on rail line operators, but suppliers, since these companies...

The Week in Cleantech (Nov. 4 to Nov. 10) – Cellulosic Is Here!

On Monday, Richard Stuebi at Cleantech Blog highlighted the extent to which NBC is in the dark about energy efficiency. I couldn't agree more with Stuebi here - this idea is so painfully bad that it's a bit of a mystery why anyone in their right minds would agree to it. In the space of a few minutes, GE likely managed to undermine over two years of flashy press events and other publicity stunts aimed at convincing investors and the populace that "green is green." If Alt Energy Stocks awarded a prize for misplay of the week, this would...

Automakers: EV in Mirror May be Closer than it Appears

There are at least 22 Electric car startups (not counting aspiring makers of electric bikes, electric motorcycles, and stranger contraptions) today, each competing to break in as a new manufacturer. I expect that some of them will succeed, and that the traditional car manufacturer who are currently pursuing the PHEV will be relctant to forsake their highly refined ICE technology. Existing carmakers could thus fail to head off outside competition, leaving a niche open for EV-only manufacturers. I'm not trying to say that the internal combustion engine is dead, long live the electric motor (although I wish I were), but I do expect that a growing proportion of the vehicle fleet will be all electric, even as Plug-In Hybrids are gaining ground.

Alt Energy Stocks Analyst Tom Konrad On PBS’s WealthTrack

Alt Energy Stocks Analyst Tom Konrad will join a televised roundtable discussion with EnergyTechStocks' Managing Editor Bill Paul and Ardour Global Indexes' Joseph LaCorte this Friday. The discussion will center around the topic of investing in alternative energy. The program, entitled WealthTrack with Consuelo Mack, will air on PBS between November 9th and 12th, after which it will be available for online viewing here.  You can find a listing of stations carrying the show with airtimes at the end of this article. Bill Paul may be familiar to our readers because of the series of articles he wrote following...

Deutsche Bank On Investing In Climate Change

I recently got around to reading Deutsche Asset Management's (DeAM) note on investing in climate change (PDF document). There is very little original work in this paper. Most of the tables and figures are derived from existing studies by the likes of McKinsey, the IPCC and New Energy Finance, to name a few. The paper synthesizes publicly-available information on cleantech and climate change trends into a broad investment thesis. DeAM sees investment opportunities as falling in two main categories: Adaptation (e.g. water management, disaster control, infrastructure) and Mitigation (renewable energy, clean power gen, energy efficiency). They identify four...

Another Sign of Ethanol Oversupply in the Midwest

Priming the E85 Pump This Sunday, I had dinner with my aunt, who lives in Chicago.  She recently bought an Impala LT (she's a loyal GM customer), and was surprised when she received a $1000 debit card with which to buy E-85, the 85% Ethanol, 15% gasoline blend used in flex-fuel vehicles.   I was not able to find any web reference to this offer (including on the GM website), but Google still had a cached article from HowStuffWorks.com which explained: To help defray fuel costs, GM, as part of its "Live Green, Go Yellow" E85 ethanol...