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Fixing Leaks, Diluted Pacific Ethanol, and "Another Solyndra": The Week In Cleantech: 6-29-2012

Tom Konrad

June 25: Pure Technologies Expands in the US

Pure Technologies Ltd. (TSX:PUR, OTC:PPEHF) today announced plans for a major expansion of its Engineering Services business through the establishment of up to five new regional offices in the United States.  Last year, Pure was struggling when the Arab Spring stopped work at their biggest customer, a Libyan water authority, but the company did an admirable job cutting costs and developing business in other parts of the world.  Work (and payments) from Libya resumed this spring, and the company's business in North America is growing at a breakneck pace (40% per annum) as well, as this expansion demonstrates. 

Pure has a number of technologies for water pipe inspection and leak detection which can deployed while the pipes are in service.  As water and energy become increasingly interlinked, often the best way to save energy is to save water.  Pure Technologies delivers an extremely cost-effective way of doing that.  Press release.

June 26: Markey amd Napolitano introduce bill to repower dams

 Natural Resources Democratic Ranking Member Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Subcommittee on Water and Power Ranking Member Grace F. Napolitano (D-Calif.) introduced legislation to improve the performance of federally-owned and operated hydroelectric dams across America. The “Hydro 2.0 Act” would authorize the Bureau of Reclamation to utilize revenues from new power production at existing sites to upgrade the efficiency of dozens of dams and improve their environmental performance before looking to build new dams.

New hydro generation technology allows old turbines at existing dams to produce more electricity from the same power flow, but federal ownership and a lack of a budget for new investment has so far prevented many profitable upgrades from being made. This bill would unlock the future earnings from new hydropower investments as a source of funds to make the upgrades.  The net result: federal revenues would increase (even after paying for the debt required to finance the investments), jobs would be created retrofitting the dams, and more clean power would be generated at a net profit to the taxpayer. 

The bill explicitly does not authorize the construction of new dams.  Bill summary.

June 27: GTM Research Predicts 21 GW of PV Production Capacity to be Retired by 2015

  • GTM's new report, PV Technology, Production and Cost Outlook: 2012-2016 looks at the continuing oversupply of the PV market, and expects oversupply to continue, until supply and demand come into balance as cost-cutting, capacity closures, and an expanding market bring them back into balance by 2015.  I took a look at the implications for solar stocks.
  • Reports about Kandi Technologies (KNDI) being the only approved provider for the Chinese city of Hangzhou's 20,000 EV rental program are flooding the Chinese press.  But some shareholders are disappointed because some reports say it may take up to two years to complete the roll-out.  They seem to be forgetting that Hangzhou is a pilot program, and Kandi's selection makes it much more likely that the company will likely play a starring role in China's much grander EV plans.  If China's plans for 500,000 EVs by 2015 and 2m by 2020 are slow off the mark, it's because of the high cost of EVs from firms like BYD (BYDDY).  Kandi's $7,500 mini-EVs could change that.

June 28: Pacific Ethanol Diluted

  • Pacific Ethanol (PEIX) prices public offering of 28 million units at $0.43 per unit, with each unit consisting of 1 share and warrants to purchase an additional 1 1/2 shares at $.53 and $.63.  The highly dilutive offering caused the stock to drop 40% to $0.31 in interday trading.
  • A bill to reduce the high "value added tax" (VAT) rate on electric vehicles has passed Iceland's Parliament.  This bill removes the Value Added Tax (VAT, currently set at 25.5 percent for vehicles), on the first $45,000 of the price of EVs. Electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and other smaller cars will be VAT free.  More at Autoblog Green.

June 29: Does A.S. Stand for Abound Solar or Another Solyndra?

  • Abound Solar announced that it would suspend operations and seek bankruptcy protection.  The company had borrowed about $70 million against a $400 million US DOE loan guarantee.  Taxpayers will likely lose between $40 million and $60 million, depending on the price received for Abound's assets, making this loss about on tenth of that lost with Solyndra, not that the anti-green PR machine will mention that. More here.
  • Alterra Power (TSX:AXY,OTC:MGMXF) received an unsolicited offer for its 2/3 stake in the HS Orka geothermal plant in Iceland.  The company does not need the money, but will consider the proposal.  More details here.

DISCLOSURES:
    TK: Long PUR, KNDI, AXY

Tom Konrad Ph.D. CFA is Editor of AltEnergyStocks.com, and a blogger on Forbes.com.



was posted on AltEnergyStocks.com.


       

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