Monthly Archives: November 2012

Will SolarCity IPO Offer Hope for Renewable Energy Investors?

By Harris Roen SolarCity, a solar panel installation and finance company, is one of the more promising stories for alternative energy investors this year. SolarCity filed details of its initial public offering (IPO) on Tuesday, making it one of the few alternative energy company IPOs that investors are optimistic about. This article explains what type of business SolarCity is, lays out details of its stock rollout, and reveals important pluses and minuses for investors. What SolarCity Does SolarCity’s product is simple; it installs solar systems for homeowners, business (including Wal-Mart, eBay and Intel) and government...

Solar City IPO: A Bit Pricey

by Debra Fiakas CFA Renewable energy retailer SolarCity has filed for an initial public offering of 10 million shares of its common stock and a few shares owned by existing shareholders.  The offering is valued at between $130.0 million and $150.0 million based on an anticipated share price between $13 and $15 per share.  SolarCity expects its shares to trade on Nasdaq under the symbol SCTY. Proceeds raised by SolarCity will be used support acquisitions of complementary operations.  Proceeds could also be used to support SolarCity’s capital spending program as it seeks to extend its distributed network...

Ceres and Syngenta to Promote Sorghum in Brazil

Jim Lane Ceres, Inc. (CERE) and Syngenta sign a major deal to stimulate sweet sorghum adoption. Brazilian producers seek paths for expanding ethanol production. What are sorghum’s chances of being the darling of the expansion story? In California, Ceres, Inc. (CERE) announced that it has signed a sweet sorghum market development agreement with Syngenta. The companies will work together to support the introduction of sweet sorghum as a source of fermentable sugars at Brazil’s 400 or more ethanol mills. Under the agreement, Syngenta and Ceres intend to collaborate on small-scale trials as well as larger demonstration-scale...

China Finances Ming Yang Wind in India

Doug Young Rice farmer in India with wind turbines.  Photo courtesy of Vestas Wind Systems (VWDRY) With its new energy sector tottering on the brink of collapse, China no longer seems to care if foreign government accuse it of unfairly supporting its sector with low cost loans and other state subsidies. That at least appears to be the message from a new plan by Ming Yang Wind Power (NYSE: MY), which has just announced a massive new tie-up with policy lender China Development Bank to provide financing...

Geothermal Stocks Warming Up

Tom Konrad CFA Geothermal Plant at The Geysers.  Photo Source: Calpine (CPN) After a couple years of chilly investor sentiment, geothermal stocks are starting to warm up.  The sector has been so beaten down that the small exploration and production players seem to have lost what little following they had, and so recent good news has gone mostly unnoticed. Last week, industry leader Ormat Technologies Inc. (NYSE:ORA) set the stage by beating analyst expectations for both earnings and revenue per share in the third quarter, and announcing a deal to buy a...

Seven Indian Clean Energy Stocks

by Sneha Shah Raja Ravi Varma's portrait of the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, ലക്ഷ്മി ദേവി. via Wikimedia Commons Why Invest in Indian Green Energy India is set to become the 3rd largest market for wind energy after USA and China and is set to enter the top 10 club of countries in installing solar energy capacity in 2012. Massive power deficits, millions of people without power, billions of dollars in oil, gas and coal imports imply that India offers massive opportunities for renewable energy generation. In fact Indian solar ...

Incredible Shrinking Solar Stocks

Doug Young More clouds for solar sector There's a flurry of news coming from the embattled solar sector, led by a sharp cutback by Suntech (NYSE: STP) at its main US plant that looks suspiciously like it is being ordered by Beijing part of a government rescue plan for the struggling company. Meantime, JA Solar (Nasdaq: JASO) and LDK (NYSE: LDK) are struggling just to stay listed as their market values quickly evaporate. And in a rare but fleeting piece of good news, Yingli (NYSE: YGE), Trina (NYSE: TSL) and others are getting a temporary boost...

Ceres, Inc.: a 5-Minute Guide

Jim Lane Address: 1535 Rancho Conejo Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91320 Founded: 1996 Annual Revenues: $6.6 million (Fiscal Year ended Aug. 31, 2011) Type of technology: Plant biotechnology, gene marker-assisted breeding and other genomics Fuel Type: Biomass is the common denominator to advanced biofuels, biopower and bioproducts and is independent of the end-fuel molecule. Major investors: Ceres is a public company. Its common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol CERE. Pre-IPO investors include Warburg Pincus, Soros Private Equity Partners, GIMV and Oppenheimer. Past milestones: Completed IPO...

Exide: Many Alliances, Fewer Results

Debra Fiakas Alliance photo via BigStock  Exide Technologies (XIDE:  Nasdaq) is one of the largest transportation and industrial battery suppliers in the U.S., vying for market share with Johnson Controls (JCI:  NYSE) and EnerSys (ENS:  NYSE) among others.  Batteries are a competitive business, even as the automotive sector has attempted a recovery from the 2008 free fall in new car sales.  Electric vehicle and renewable energy storage applications have helped expand addressable market.  However, for a conventional battery producer capturing a share of these...

With the Cleantech Hype Gone, the Real Investment Opportunity Begins

David Gold The bubble has burst. The hype and euphoria of 2008 and 2009 is a distant memory. Fueled in part by the externality of the handouts from the stimulus package, and the (now fleeting) spike of natural gas and oil prices, cleantech has experienced its own mini dotcom era now followed by a dot bomb phase.   The politicization of Solyndra, the fracking revolution (that has dramatically increased U.S. fossil fuel reserves) and the realities of what it takes to build successful cleantech companies have all brought the cleantech venture capital space crashing back to earth....

Ameresco Revenues Fall Off Fiscal Cliff

Tom Konrad CFA The climate of uncertainty caused by deadlock in Washington is leading to penny-wise, pound foolish behavior at all levels of government, and Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC) felt the pain severely in the third quarter. Framingham, MA based Ameresco helps institutions, mostly government entities, improve their energy infrastructure and reduce energy use without capital outlays or increases in energy budgets.  It does this by using the cost savings from energy efficiency to finance the capital outlays, allowing schools, hospitals, and the like to insulate or install solar panels while sticking to existing budgets, and often producing some savings.  To take three examples...

Axion Power – A Battery Manufacturer Charging Forward

John Petersen Last week Debra Fiakas of Crystal Equity Research published an article titled "No Battery Producer Left Behind" that was based on old information about the relationship between Exide Technologies (XIDE) and Axion Power International (AXPW) and reached several erroneous conclusions. Since I'm a former Axion director, the stock is my biggest holding and I follow the company like a hawk, Tom Konrad asked me to clarify the record and present a high level overview of Axion's business history, stock market dynamics and technical accomplishments over the last four years. Since Tom's request is a...

Solazyme’s Hybrid Vigor

Jim Lane Solazyme lands monster capacity expansion agreements with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Bunge (BG)– what’s the sector’s hottest company up to now? Wednesday, Solazyme (SZYM) announced two landmark capacity expansion agreements with Bunge and ADM, respectively. The Bunge agreement will expand joint venture-owned oil production capacity at Solazyme Bunge Renewable Oils from the current 100,000 metric tons under construction in Brazil to 300,000 metric tons by 2016 at select Bunge owned and operated processing facilities worldwide. Under the terms of the ADM agreement, Solazyme will initially target the production of 20,000 metric tons of...

Four American Stocks for the Next Economy

Garvin Jabusch The Green Alpha Advisors' approach to portfolio management utilizes a top-down macroeconomic model reflecting how global economies will evolve to meet demands presented by modern challenges such as resource scarcity, growing populations, land and food management, atmospheric carbon and extreme weather, to name a few. These emerging challenges are daunting, but fortunately, society is answering and acting to preserve our economies and way of life with a new wave of innovation, the like of which has not been seen since the information technology revolution of the 1990s and the industrial revolution before that.  The...

How New England Can Eliminate Oil Use For Single Family Homes for Less Than...

Chris Williams We can use simple, effective, and proven policies that have been used to supercharge the New England solar PV industry to incentivize renewable thermal technologies and eliminate oil use for single family homes. Here's the best part, the policies will be cheaper than solar PV, they will create more local jobs per kW installed and displace more expensive fuel.  At Renewable Energy Vermont 2012, I delivered a presentation on how a production-based incentive for renewable thermal technologies, like the $29/MWh incentive in New Hampshire, would be cheaper than the current solar PV incentive in Vermont and...

Why Alternative Energy Stocks Are Down Despite An Obama Victory

By Harris Roen If you follow the energy sector closely, then you know that many questions regarding the direction of alternative energy companies were looming during the 2012 campaign season. Was the country going to continue with the Obama Administration’s “all-of-the-above” strategy with its strong emphasis on renewables, or would there be an accelerated domestic drilling and pipeline bonanza under Republican leadership. When the election finally ended last week, many pundits expected investors to pour money into the beleaguered alternative energy sector resulting in a surge of stock prices. So why, instead, did alternative energy...