Monthly Archives: December 2013

Two Mega-Deals Illustrate China’s Massive Solar Building Plans

Doug Young A couple of year-end announcements from solar majors Trina (NYSE: TSL) and ReneSola (NYSE: SOL) are pointing to a coming flood of new orders for the entire solar panel sector next year, fueled by huge new demand from their home China market. I fully expect we’ll see a steady stream of similar announcements throughout next year and even into 2015, providing a flow of good news for rebounding solar stocks after a 3-year sector downturn. But amid the bright news, potential downside lurks in the risk that payments...

Ten Clean Energy Stocks For 2014

A list of ten high yield and value clean and alternative energy stocks expected to do well in 2014.

The Pros Pick Three Green IT Stocks For 2014

Tom Konrad CFA Green 2014 image via BigStock Being green is not all about wind turbines and solar panels.  In fact, it’s usually greener to be smarter about using what we have than to replace it with something new, no matter how green. My panel of professional green money managers understands this.  When I asked them each for their top three green stock picks for 2014, there were as many picks focused on smarter resource use as there were solar stocks. I recently gave...

The Pros Pick Three Green Income Stocks For 2014

It’s now possible to invest in green stocks for income, not just for growth. Here are three picks for 2014 from green investing professionals.

When Will Solar Microinverters Reach Commercial Scale?

Microinverters are being used in smaller commercial solar installations, but the industry is in flux and coming regulations may drastically change the playing field.

Christmas Climate Bond From Hannon Armstrong

Sean Kidney Out Monday: a very interesting bond from US listed sustainable infrastructure investor, Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure (NYSE:HASI): a $100 million asset-backed securitization of cash flows from over 100 individual wind, solar and energy efficiency installations, all with investment grade obligors. They’re calling them “Sustainable Yield Bonds”; Climate Bonds for us. Coupon is 2.79%. This first bond was privately placed - but they’re planning lots more. Hannon Armstrong have taken the high ground on emissions and built in quantitative annual reporting of greenhouse gas emission reductions, measured in metric tons per $1,000 of par value. The assets...

The Other Cellulosic Fuel

by Debra Fiakas CFA In an article posted in November I incorrectly named the product of Kior, Inc. (KIOR:  Nasdaq) as cellulosic ‘ethanol’.  Kior does indeed use cellulosic biomass -  wood chips to be exact  -  but the company’s catalytic pyrolysis technology turns out crude oil that can be further refined into gasoline or diesel.  Ethanol, on the other hand, is the product of a fermentation process.  There is nothing new about catalytic pyrolysis  -  superheating in a container with no oxygen.  Oil refiners have been fracturing large, complex hydrocarbons using heat and catalysts for...

Twelve Hydrogen And Fuel Cell Stocks

Tom Konrad CFA While many people think first about hydrogen when they think of fuel cells, fuel cells are not limited to hydrogen.  They are a set of related technologies, many of which can generate electricity from a number of hydrocarbon fuels rather than hydrogen.  I limited my recent post on the rapid rise of hydrogen stocks to just US-listed companies involved in the production and use of hydrogen, leaving out foreign stocks and other fuel cell technologies for brevity. In my research for that article, however, I came across fully ten publicly traded companies involved with...

Tesla: What’s In A Chinese Name?

Doug Young How do you say in Chinese? This week had US electric car maker Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) officially driving into China despite its failure to resolve a trademark dispute, meaning it has no official Chinese name as it enters the market. All of the world’s top car makers now manufacture in China. But that’s a very expensive business, and other companies have been chasing more niche-oriented spaces in the market. Online car information provider Autohome (NYSE: ATHM) is one of those, and successfully sold investors...

Sweetwater and Pacific Ethanol Strike Supply Deal

Jim Lane In New York, Sweetwater Energy and Pacific Ethanol (PEIX) announced a project to supply customized industrial sugars for the production of cellulosic ethanol. The agreement supports the construction of a cellulosic biorefinery, contingent upon Sweetwater Energy obtaining the necessary financing and permits, at the Pacific Ethanol Stockton facility capable of producing up to 3.6 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol annually. Pacific Ethanol operates and manages four ethanol production facilities, which have a combined annual production capacity of 200 million gallons in Boardman, Oregon, Burley, Idaho and Stockton, California, and one idled facility is located in Madera, California....

REG Enters Renewable Diesel With Syntroleum Purchase

Jim Lane In Oklahoma, and Iowa, Renewable Energy Group (REG; NASD:REGI) announced that it would acquire substantially all of the assets of Syntroleum Corporation (NASD:SYNM), and assume substantially all of the material liabilities of Syntroleum, for 3,796,000 shares of REG common stock worth $40.08 million at today’s market close. The purchase price subject to reduction in the event that the aggregate market value of the REG common stock to be issued would exceed $49 million or if the cash transferred to REG is less than $3.2 million). “This will help us grow our advanced biofuel business, enhance our intellectual...

Hydrogen Stocks More Than Double In 2013: Why The Pros Missed The Ride

Tom Konrad CFA Hydrogen Photo via BigStock If you hadn’t noticed that hydrogen stocks are up an average of 131% so far this year, you’re not alone. Both hydrogen fuel cell stocks and hydrogen fuel systems stocks are up strongly.  Plug Power (NASD:PLUG), a maker of hydrogen fuel cell systems for off-road vehicles is up 122% year to date.  Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (NASD:BLDP), which makes hydrogen fuel systems for a wide variety of applications is up 133% so far this year, and 149% from its...

Axion Power: Improving on the Conventional

by Debra Fiakas CFA While the rest of the battery industry is trying to perfect new technologies, Axion Power International (AXPW:  OTC/QB) has been working on a fix for conventional lead acid batteries.   Low cost made the lead acid batteries popular even from the early days when a French scientist first introduced the configuration in the mid 1800s.  Lead-acid technologies represent about half of batteries made today.  Unfortunately, lead-acid batteries have low energy-to-weight and volume.  Storage times are limited.  They also have corrosion problems.  The active materials in lead-acid batteries change physical form during charge...

Total and Amyris Take Another Step Down The Aisle Towards Commercial Biofuels

Jim Lane Total elects to bottle up the IP and protect itself against Amyris “hardship” as it advances towards commercializing key biofuels. In California and France, Amyris (AMRS) and Total announced the formation of Total Amyris BioSolutions B.V., a 50-50 joint venture that now holds exclusive rights and a license under Amyris’s intellectual property to produce and market renewable diesel and jet fuel from Amyris’s renewable farnesene. Amyris also plans to initiate sales of renewable jet fuel in Brazil once it achieves ASTM validation. “The joint-venture Total Amyris Biosolutions is a first step towards the...

Canadian Solar Caps 2013 With Mega-Deals

Doug Young Canadian Solar "caps" 2013 with big solar deals The year 2013 will go down as a major turning point for China’s solar panel makers, with some names emerging as new sector leaders after a prolonged downturn while others quietly disappeared. The latter category saw former leader Suntech (OTC: STPFQ) go bankrupt and LDK (NYSE: LDK) quietly sell off many of its assets, while the former category has seen Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) and Shunfeng (HKEx: 1165) emerge as names to watch in the future. Canadian Solar...

Holiday Shopping Deal On Ram Power Shares

Tom Konrad CFA Holders of Ram Power Corp. (TSX:RPG, OTC:RAMPF) on November 26 (the “record date”) will be receiving valuable coupons as the result of the company’s rights offering, announced November 18th. Just in time for the holidays, these coupons, or “rights” can be used to buy additional shares of Ram Power for 8¢ Canadian per share any time before  5pm on December 23rd. (Disclosure: I am long Ram Power stock.) Holiday shoppers looking for more traditional gifts will be able to raise a little cash by selling the rights on the Toronto Stock Exchange,...