Monthly Archives: May 2008

The Week In Cleantech (May 24 – May 31) – Who Is Going To...

On Wednesday, Cramer at TheStreet.com inherited some wind stocks for us. The article begins by claiming that Cramer is a "longtime bull of the wind power business." I'm not sure what 'long-term' means for Cramer, but in January 2007 the extent of his knowledge on Energy Conversion Devices (NASDAQ:ENER), which is not a wind play but is nonetheless a good proxy for understanding of the alt energy sector overall, was that since oil prices were expected to trend down the stock was a "sell! sell! sell!", presumably because there was nothing more to this company than oil prices...oups...But I...

Peak Oil & Energy Efficiency In The News

A couple of interesting items in the news yesterday on topics dear to alt energy investors' hearts. Firstly, a new report (PDF document) by CIBC World Markets arguing that globalization could be reversed by high oil prices. The folks at CIBC WM contend that growing shipping costs driven by higher prices for transportation fuels could erase the Asian labor cost advantage, driving a renaissance in North America's manufacturing sector. What's the main culprit? Peak Oil, albeit not called directly Peak Oil. I watched an interview with Jeff Rubin, CIBC WM's Chief Economist, on Bloomberg's In Focus yesterday, and...

Keewatin Windpower Proceeds with Acquisition of Sky Harvest Windpower

The following is a Special Information Supplement by our Featured Company sponsor Sky Harvest Windpower Corporation In connection with its proposed acquisition of Sky Harvest Windpower Corp., Keewatin is pleased to announce that it has engaged Stirling Mercantile Corporation to prepare a fairness opinion concerning the transaction. Sky Harvest holds the land rights to develop a wind power project on approximately 8,500 acres of land located in southwestern Saskatchewan. The company has completed wind resource assessments on the property and is proposing the construction of a 150 megawatt facility. Keewatin’s Board of Directors anticipates that the fairness...

Trading Alert: Railpower Tech

I took a small position today in Railpower Tech (RPWRF.PK or P.TO) at C$0.46. Tom briefly discussed Railpower last November in an article on rail stocks. I don't want to dwell too much on how I view the macro picture for rail, but suffices to say that a combination of increasing fuel prices and concerns about climate change is re-kindling interest in this sector in a significant way across North America (in other regions of the world, mainly Europe, the interest never really vanished in the first place). Tack on top of that the potential for material savings in...

The Week In Cleantech (May 18 – May 24) – Is AMSC A Dog?

On Monday, Richard T. Stuebi at Cleantech Blog discussed the war for talent in cleatech. An interesting look into personnel recruitment issues in the cleantech/alt energy sectors, and perhaps a sign that the industry is maturing. My own experience in MBA school is that cleantech remains an industry that very few students seriously consider as a career option, even though there is a multitude of ways one can leverage an interest in this industry professionally. Hopefully this will change. On Tuesday, Tyler Hamilton at Clean Break argued that smart grid represents a new boom opportunity for IT. An...

It’s Energy Efficiency, Stupid!

It's no longer breaking news, Deloitte released earlier this week the results of two surveys, one of state public utility regulators and one of residential electricity consumers (both PDF documents). Deloitte's interpretation of the results can be found here. The results have also been interpreted by two prominent alt energy/environmental blogs: the WSJ's Environmental Capital and Grist. The former argues that policy-makers and 'smart-money' are out of whack with the little guy, because the little guy simply isn't willing to pay for solutions to climate change out of his electricity bill. The latter, looking at the same data,...

Carbon Offsets Work – Will the Mainstream Media Ever Get It?

The carbon markets are an area of keen interest for me personally and professionally, so it is always frustrating that the mainstream media largely refuses to learn the details. In general, layman and media who don’t understand the details of the carbon markets attack carbon offsets in two areas, first, questioning whether the credits are for a project that would have occurred anyway (a concept known in carbon as “additionality”), and second questioning whether there are checks and balances to ensure the environmental standards are adhered to and the abatement actually happens (in carbon known as the validation...

The Week In Cleantech (May 11 – May 17) – Coal’s Clout

On Monday, Chris Baltimore at Reuters discussed how Democratic candidates were playing up "clean coal". It's always interesting to read about politicians courting different audiences. In this case, out of convenience, both candidates are avoiding substantive debate on energy policy, during which it would certainly emerge that clean coal is more dream than reality. On Monday, Julian Murdoch at Hard Assets Investor told us that it was in the wind. An interesting piece on one of my favorite sectors, wind, with a discussion of a few good plays. Speaking of wind, T Boone Pickens was responsible for the...

US Presidential Election & Carbon Markets: Is The Climate Exchange Story Overdone?

An interesting piece yesterday in POLITICO on how carbon prices on the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) have been trending up in recent months, mostly since it's become clear that all three remaining presidential hopefuls will likely regulate CO2 emissions at the federal level. In fact, as per the chart above, prices for the right to emit a metric ton of CO2 have been on a tear, recovering from a pretty significant slump in the preceding months. Last week, the World Bank Carbon Finance Unit released its annual update on the state of global carbon market (PDF...

Is Timminco For Real?

Timminco (TIMNF.PK or TIM.TO) was, without a doubt, one of the great solar plays of 2007. The Toronto-based company, which has yet to turn a profit, claims it has come up with a process to produce solar-grade metallurgical silicon with cell efficiencies of about 14%. Metallurgical silicon allows for important energy cost savings in the production process (~70%), so being able to approach cell efficiencies reached by conventional solar-grade silicon processes could mean an important cost advantage for metallurgical silicon producers when measured on a per watt basis. Eventually, certain people began publicly doubting Timminco's...

The Week In Cleantech (May 3 – May 10) – Big News For Energy...

On Sunday, Jim Fraser at Energy Blog reported a claim by Sungri that it can produce 5-7 cents per kWh CSP. This is quite the claim, and if true, would represent nothing short of big bang for the solar space. Nevertheless, I remain wholly unconvinced. On Sunday, John Laumer at TreeHugger told us that Waste Management was going to fuel Altamont (CA) area trucks with landfill-harvested liquid natural gas. Landfill gas (LFG) can be used for both power generation and for liquid fuel production. I did a bit of research into this a few months ago and, with...

Presentation from May 10, 2008 NREL Seminar

For those who attened my presentation yesterday, thank you for all the great questions. I'm having trouble uploading the presentation (it's too large for my server.) However, it should soon appear on NREL's presentation's page. As usual, I own most of the stocks mentioned in the presentation (too many to list,) and the Guiness Atkinson Alternative Energy fund (also mentioned) is an advertiser on AltEnergyStocks.com. UPDATE: It's still not on NREL's page, but I uploaded it on another server here. Although I had to cut it off because of time, if you have...

AAER & The Hydro-Quebec Tender: A Tale Of The Importance Of Risk Management

Some of you may remember an article I wrote last March about a small Canadian wind turbine maker called AAER Inc (AAERF.PK or AAE.V). In fact, I got a few emails from readers informing me that they'd bought the stock following my article and that they were happy with its performance. The following chart traces the stock's performance between the date of the article (March 7, 2007) and last Friday (May 2, 2008): Since I wrote this article many things have changed with AAER. The Katabatic contract, which is what attracted my attention initially,...

Wind-Rail Convergence?

Taking a study break, I happened to see an article in the Denver Post bringing together two of my favorite clean energy themes: Efficient transport, and wind power. Rail transport has become essential to delivering windpower across the country. The full article is here: Rolling With the Wind.

The Week In Cleantech (Apr. 27 – May 3) – Competition In Thin-film About...

On Tuesday, Jennifer Kho at Greentech Media informed us that LDK's CEO was starting up a thin-film solar firm. Given thin-film's potential and the stock market successes of one thin-film maker in particular, the emergence of competition doesn't come as much of a surprise. And who else to do better than an already-successful solar entrepreneur. On Wednesday, Craig Rubens at earth2tech featured an interview where the CEO of PG&E painted the future of utilities for us. An interesting interview on the potential and challenges of plug-in hybrids and net metering. On Wednesday, Scott Krisner at Innovation Economy...