Monthly Archives: September 2008

What I Sold: Dynamotive Energy Systems (OTC:DYMTF)

This entry continues a series on companies I sold as part of a portfolio cleanup prompted by the mess on Wall Street.  In the first entry I described what I plan to do with the cash, followed by the reasons why I sold Carmanah Technologies and Pacific Ethanol.  UQM Technologies was one I didn't sell.   I have not  mentioned Dynamotive Energy Systems (DYMTF) before.  I have mixed feelings about the company.  They use fast pyrolysis to make cellulosic biofuels, which I believe will prove to be one of the more economic pathways to cellulosic biofuels.  However, I believe that...

What I Didn’t Buy: Railpower Tech (RLPPF.PK)

Over the past few days (and continuing this week), Tom has been writing about about what he sold recently. Lately, I have been thinking about what I could buy with the cash I have sitting around, seeing as many alt energy stocks look like bargains compared to where they were trading at just a few short months ago. Over the weekend, I looked again into a stock I wrote about in May, Railpower Tech (RLPPF.PK or P.TO). I got a couple of requests for updates on this one so I decided to write about it. Railpower makes hybrid...

The Week In Cleantech (Sep. 21 to Sep. 27) – Tax Credit Or No...

In Solar, John Gilluly at The Chip Stock Trader let us know that help was on the way for solar stocks. An interesting take on the solar installation business with a stock pick - Akeena Solar (AKNS). But Keith Johnson at the WSJ's Environmental Capital suggested everyone should put away the champagne: the much awaited bill extending tax credits for solar and wind, it seems, may not be passed this session. Failure to agree on a bailout plan over the weekend would just about fully re-load the gun for solar shorts to get back to work next...

What I Sold: Pacific Ethanol (NASD:PEIX)

This entry continues a series on companies I sold as part of a portfolio cleanup prompted by the mess on Wall Street.  In the first entry I describe what I plan to do with the cash, and the second was about Carmanah Technologies.   UQM Technologies was one I didn't sell. In May of last year, I took a look at competitive forces in the corn ethanol industry.  While I was rather negative on the industry at the time, when ethanol stocks fell in the summer and fall of 2007, I called the bottom much too soon, and...

What I Sold: Carmanah Technologies (CMHXF, CMH.TO)

On Monday, I told readers that I was getting out of companies some which I feel are likely to need to raise new money over the next couple years.  I also provided a list of stocks I will be buying when I judge we're near the bottom.  This is the first in a series of short articles about those stocks.  Carmanah Technologies (CMHXF) I've mentioned Carmanah Technologies (CMHXF) in passing in articles about LED companies.  I first became interested in Carmanah in 2005. The company's integrated LED-solar lighting solutions caught my attention because they were (and are) economic regardless...

What’s Up with UQM?

As part of a general portfolio cleanup, I recently considered selling my stake in UQM Technologies, Inc. (AMEX:UQM), a manufacturer of electric motors for hybrid and electric vehicles.  I chose to keep the stock because they seem to have sufficient cash on hand to fund several years' operations.  I'm glad I did, because the stock is up 76% since Monday, with no recent news. But there's a rumor that Chrysler will be using a UQM product in one of its planned electric cars.  If that rumor is true, the stock's rise is probably justified.  I like the company either...

What I’m Selling (and will be Buying) in the Market Turmoil

The market is in turmoil, and it seems like everyone I talk to wants my take on what's happening this week.  So here's my take: I really don't know if the various bailouts and decisions not to bail out made by Paulson et al will turn out to be good decisions or not.  I do know that the mess we're in is due to hard decisions which have been put off for years at the highest levels, and I do know that the American taxpayer is going to be feeling the pain for a generation, if not...

2nd Annual Tidal Energy Summit 08

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The Week In Cleantech (Sep. 14 to Sep. 20) – White Roofs A New...

In Solar, Eric Savitz at Barron's Tech Trader Daily wondered whether stock loan deals would be repaid. It's always important for shareholders to pay attention to which financing structures companies chose. In this case, if you understood this well, it could have a been good lateral short play on Lehman's problems. However, if you were long ESLR and had not paid this financing too much attention, you were probably not pleasantly surprised. Good CleanTech let us know about a new report claiming that thin-film will make up a whooping 40% of the solar PV market by 2012....

Wind and Heat Pumps: A Winning Combination

This article has been cross-posted on The Oil Drum. Last month, I brought you some nice maps showing when and where good wind resources are found in the US.  Now I've found something better: a visual comparison of electrical load with wind farm production, published by the Western Area Power Administration in 2006.  The study compared electricity production from five wind farms in Northern Colorado, Southwestern Nebraska, and Central Wyoming in 2004, 2005, and the start of 2006, compared with electricity consumption in the same area over the same time period. Comparison of Wind Production to...

Why Power-Save (PWSV.ob) is No Longer on our Stock List

Mea Culpa. We often get request from readers to add companies to our Alternative Energy Stocks list.  Since the field is very active, we do some quick checks to make sure that the companies at least: Provide enough information to make an informed investment decision. There's nothing obvious which indicates serious investors wouldn't be interested. We by no means feel that everything in the list is a good investment, but we do feel that our list a good place to start your own research. Usually. Last weekend, we received a request from a shareholder to add Power-Save...

The Week In Cleantech (Sep. 7 to Sep. 13) – Toyota Speaks Of ‘Liquid...

In Geothermal, Richard T. Stuebi at Cleantech Blog told us about geothermal heat pumps, the forgotten one. Matthew McDermott at TreeHugger informed us that Ormat had bought exploration rights on an Alaskan volcano. In Solar, Eric Savitz at Barron's gave us more details of Cypress Semiconductor's spin-off of its SunPower unit. He also provided growing evidence of an impending shake-out in the solar PV sector driven by panel oversupply. Jeff St. John at Greentech Media told us that LG was plotting a partnership with Conergy. He also discusses plans by large South Korean firms,...

What Do CPV and LEDs Have in Common?

I recently attended the Optoelectronic Industry Development Association's (OIDA) "Green" Photonics Forum.  Unlike dirty industries trying to appear green, the Optoelectronics industry does not really have to try to be green.  Two prominent examples familiar to clean energy investors are Concentrating Photovoltaic Solar (CPV) (i.e. using optics to focus light on high efficiency solar cells) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). The presentations on Tuesday focused on the above technologies, and I was struck by a common problem faced by both: heat dissipation.  According to Sarah Kurtz, a National Renewable Energy Laboratory scientist leading the team working on high-efficiency, multi-junction...

Evergreen Solar (NASD: ESLR): Ready to Turn Around?

Evergreen Solar has been in a trading range ($8 to $18) for about two years.  Now it's trading again at the bottom of the range, and with the general market downturn, along with the anticipated wave of new polysilicon supply a lot of investors will be wondering: Is Evergreen about to turn around as it has so many times in the past, or is it going down from here? Over the past couple years, I have been very successful at trading the stock, but not because of some special insight.  When a stock has so many analysts following it...

The Week in Cleantech, September 1-6, 2008: Solar also Rises; Batteries are Something to...

In Solar, New Energy Finance told us that Spain had raised the cap on new solar capacity, but not enough to appease critics. Ucilia Wang at Greentech Media brought us analysts' picks for 2009's winning Solar stocks, but they didn't mention Sharp (SHCAY.PK), which GoodCleanTech told us had developed a technique to halve silicon wafer costs. In Clean Transportation, Autoblog Green brought us Insight into Honda's new Global Hybrid.  And Autoboog Green also told us GM's Lutz was bragging about the Volt's "flawless" batteries, GoodCleanTech introduced Mazda's plans for a rival. Treehugger...