Monthly Archives: September 2016

Grid Connected Ocean Power

by Debra Fiakas CFA The U.S. Navy is laying claim to the first electric grid connected wave power generator in the country.  A test site has been set up near military facilities at Kaneohe Bay in the Hawaiian Islands, where wave activity is known to be exceptional.  Yes, Hawaii is part of the United States.  The project consists of two wave-power generation systems or ‘power buoys’ anchored about a half-mile off shore.  The two buoys are connected by undersea cable to the Marine Corps base at Kaneohe and ultimately to Oahu’s electric power grid. The first of...

Darling Ingredients’ Bean Stalk

by Debra Fiakas CFA Once upon a time there was a boy named Jack, Who lived with his widowed mother On their small farm in the country. Benjamin Tabart, The History of Jack and the Bean Stalk Jack made a mistake or two on the road to fixing his family’s income problems, but in the end Jack’s bean deal prove lucrative.  We are wondering if Darling Ingredients' (DAR:  NYSE) acquisition of VION Group in early 2014, will prove as beneficial to the food by-products processor.  The VION operation was a division of VION Holdings N.V....

Graphite Producers In Production

by Debra Fiakas CFA The series on graphite resource development is completed with a discussion of the companies that are currently in production.  The U.S. Geological Survey estimates 1.2 million metric tons of flake graphite are produced annually.  The vast majority  -  780,000 metric tons  -  are produced in China.  India and Brazil follow with 170,000 metric tons and 80,000 metric tons, respectively.  North America, which seems to show so much promise to the graphite resource developers that have been featured over the past few articles, is currently only contributing 30,000 metric tons per year to the graphite...

The Year Of Living Disingenuously: KiOR

The Inside True Story of a Company Gone Wrong, Part 4 by Jim Lane In 2011, KiOR raised $150 million in its June IPO, claiming that it was generating yields of 67 gallons per ton in its Demo unit operations. But it was miles short of that. In our previous installments, we have charted how KiOR moved from a promising early-stage technology to a public company with serious technological flaws that could have been fixed, but were ignored in what a senior team member speaking for the record, Dennis Stamires, characterized as a “reckless rush to...

The Graphite Hustle

by Debra Fiakas CFA The Klondike Gold Rush of the 1800s has given way to the Canada Graphite Hustle of the 21st Century.  In what may seem to many an interminable series on graphite resources developers we have made note of over a half dozen companies in Canada attempting to bring new supplies of graphite ore out of the earth.  The action is not limited to Canada.  There are at least a dozen other aspirants with plots in Canada and the rest of North America as well as in Australia and Africa. Piecing together disclosures by the...

Can Public Equity Investing Have Impact?

by Garvin Jabusch There’s an argument in the world of impact investing that goes something like, "impact happens only through private investments; there is no real impact, apart from shareholder engagement efforts, in public equity investing." An associated perception is that investment impact means capitalizing an enterprise beyond what would happen otherwise, meaning private equity alone has the power to provide real impact. But is this true? Publicly traded corporations are the largest and most visible social and environmental bellwethers of the global economy, and the high allocation to public equities in most investor portfolios means public equity...

Gevo To Supply Lufhansa With Renewable Jet Fuel

Jim Lane   In Colorado, Gevo (GEVO) has entered into a heads of agreement with Lufthansa to supply Gevo’s alcohol-to-jet fuel from its first commercial hydrocarbon facility, intended to be built in Luverne, MN. The terms of the agreement contemplate Lufthansa purchasing up to 8 million gallons per year of ATJ from Gevo, or up to 40 million gallons over the 5 year life of the off-take agreement. Gevo utilized the enthusiasm generated in financial markets yesterday to raise $15.6M in cash and to convert $11M in debt to equity. What the deal means in the short term...

Solar Module Prices: The Trend Is Down

by Paula Mints Buckle up, another module price war is afoot – or maybe it’s dumping or maybe it’s panicked selling or maybe it is the result of overcapacity and softening demand or maybe it is China’s government saying NO MORE to it’s out of control market and effectively stranding a whole lot of overcapacity or maybe it is all of the aforementioned. Pricing is always a complex subject. The average price for modules from China is currently $0.60/Wp (and dropping) and the average price for smaller buyers is $0.66/Wp (and dropping). These are averages and...

Ten Clean Energy Stocks For 2016: August Earnings

Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA My Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2016 model portfolio continued to coast upward in August after five months of blistering performance since February, while clean energy sector benchmarks and real managed portfolio, the Green Global Equity Income Portfolio (GGEIP), pulled back slightly.  The following chart shows the performance of the model portfolio and its sub-portfolios against their benchmarks. The portfolio, its growth and income subportfolios, and GGEIP all remain far ahead of their benchmarks.  Second quarter earnings announced this month were neutral or positive for the income...

The Low Cow-bon e-Cow-nomy

Jim Lane This month in Finland, a team of intrepid researchers herded one thousand European cows one-by-one into a glass “metabolic chamber” to measure their methane emissions, digestion, production characteristics, energy-efficiency, metabolism, and the microbial make-up of their rumens. The Project is known as RuminOmics, but if it had been titled The Truman Show II: When the Cows Come Home, we wouldn’t have been a bit surprised. The Cow Emission Crisis. No Kidding Around. The ultimate aim of the study was to find an optimal, low-emission, high-yield cow, and the team noted in its premise that of all greenhouse...

US Solar: Lawsuits, A Quiet Exit, and Grand Plans But Fewer Results

Lessons From SunEdison, First Solar, and SolarCity by Paula Mints SunEdison (SUNEQ) Currently SunEdison faces at least 15 lawsuits. SunEdison, Terraform (TERP) and other defendants asked to have the cases against them consolidated. Along with the lawsuits, from October 2015 through May 26 at least 20 security class actions have been filed against SunEdison its subsidiaries, officials and underwriters. Many of these actions relate to claims that investors were misled about the liquidity of SunEdison, et al. Meanwhile, GCL-Poly wants to buy SunEdison’s (MEMC) polysilicon business for $150-million and those in charge of selling off the...