Books, Reports, Webcasts & Podcasts

EVs, Lithium-ion Batteries and Liars Poker

John Petersen Last week I stumbled across a link that led to a 2010 report from the National Research Council titled "Hidden Costs of Energy, Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use." This free 506-page book takes a life-cycle approach – from fuel extraction to energy production, distribution, and use to disposal of waste products – and attempts to quantify the health, climate and other unpriced damages that arise from the use of various energy sources for electricity, transportation and heat. After studying the NRC's discussion of the unpriced health effects, other nonclimate damages and greenhouse gas...

Redefining Alternative Energy – Not One Business but 30 Different Businesses

 Bill Paul For investors to benefit fully from the alternative energy revolution, they must first see it for what it is, namely, some 30 different businesses, separate yet interconnected in their goal to reduce the use of oil, coal and/or natural gas and, with it, the emissions these fossil fuels generate. While wind and solar dominate the news, analysts’ research reports, and alternative energy ETFs, there are many other prospective long-term winners receiving far less attention. Some are developing other alternative energy sources, such as geothermal, biomass and biogas, wave and tidal, and algae. Some are...

Climate Change & Corporate Disclosure: Should Investors Care?

Charles Morand On Monday morning, I received an e-copy of a new research note by BofA Merrill Lynch arguing that disclosure by publicly-listed companies on the issue of climate change was becoming increasingly "important". The note claimed: "e believe smart investors and companies will recognize the edge they can gain by understanding low carbon trends." I couldn't agree more with that statement. It was no coincidence that on that same day the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a non-profit UK-based organization that surveys public companies each year on the state of their climate change awareness, was...

Book Review: Investment Opportunities for a Low Carbon World (Cleantech Indexes, Funds and ETFs)

Charles Morand This is the third installment of my review of the book book "Investment Opportunities for a Low Carbon World". The second installment covered geothermal power and energy efficiency and the first installment covered wind and solar. This post reviews three interrelated chapters on the world of cleantech and alt energy indices, funds and ETFs. Two of these three chapters are my favorite in the book so far -  they provide very useful information for the novice investor with an interest in alt energy investing but limited time and knowledge for successful stock picking.  Cleantech...

Book Review: Investment Opportunities for a Low Carbon World (Geothermal + Efficiency)

Charles Morand Last Thursday, I reviewed two chapters from the recently published book "Investment Opportunities for a Low Carbon World"*. This post reviews two more.  Geothermal Energy Alexander Richter, Glitnir Bank (now Íslandsbanki) Geothermal is one of the most interesting forms of clean power generation there is. As noted by the author, the most convincing argument for geothermal electricity is the fact that it operates at capacity factors in the upper 90s. This makes it the only renewable technology suitable for baseload power with the exception of dam-based (i.e. large-scale) hydro. However, as...

Book Review: Investment Opportunities for a Low Carbon World (Wind + Solar)

Charles Morand Tom and I recently received complimentary copies of a new book called "Investment Opportunities for a Low Carbon World", edited FTSE Group's Director of Responsible Investment Will Oulton*.  The book is a compendium of articles by 31 different authors broken down into three main categories: (1) environmental and low-carbon technologies; (2) investment approaches, products and markets; and (3) regulation, incentives, investor and company case studies. While Tom will provide a comprehensive review of the book once he's finished reading it in its entirety, I will instead review a few selected chapters over...

How Likely Is A Big Rally For Alt Energy Stocks?

Last week, Jefferies & Co. held its Global Clean Technology Conference. Unsurprisingly, the tone wasn't as optimistic as in previous years, with cash and funding worries top of mind. Nearly two months ago, I discussed some tangible signs pointing to looming problems in the industry. However, despite all the gloom, it seems as though several firms (and investors!) are expecting the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) to provide the industry with a lifeline. But will this really be the case? For one thing, the major environmental spending programs in the ARRA are relatively...

Solar Stocks As the Best Play On The Cleantech Revolution? (Part I)

I just got around to reading a new report by Merrill Lynch (link at the end of this article) identifying cleantech as "The Sixth Revolution" (the other five being: Industrial Revolution; Age of Steam & Railways; Age of Steel, Electricity and Heavy Engineering; Age of Oil, the Automobile and Mass Production; and Age of Info and Telecommunications). Periodically, sell-side firms will release free cleantech/alt energy reports, which lay out their macro theses but stop short of providing stock picks to non-clients. I don't generally pay these reports too much attention as I find they rarely - if ever...

Alt Energy Stocks Analyst Tom Konrad On PBS’s WealthTrack

Alt Energy Stocks Analyst Tom Konrad will join a televised roundtable discussion with EnergyTechStocks' Managing Editor Bill Paul and Ardour Global Indexes' Joseph LaCorte this Friday. The discussion will center around the topic of investing in alternative energy. The program, entitled WealthTrack with Consuelo Mack, will air on PBS between November 9th and 12th, after which it will be available for online viewing here.  You can find a listing of stations carrying the show with airtimes at the end of this article. Bill Paul may be familiar to our readers because of the series of articles he wrote following...

Deutsche Bank On Investing In Climate Change

I recently got around to reading Deutsche Asset Management's (DeAM) note on investing in climate change (PDF document). There is very little original work in this paper. Most of the tables and figures are derived from existing studies by the likes of McKinsey, the IPCC and New Energy Finance, to name a few. The paper synthesizes publicly-available information on cleantech and climate change trends into a broad investment thesis. DeAM sees investment opportunities as falling in two main categories: Adaptation (e.g. water management, disaster control, infrastructure) and Mitigation (renewable energy, clean power gen, energy efficiency). They identify four...

The Business Of Climate Change, Part II

A few weeks ago, a reader sent me a link to the second edition of Lehman Brothers' The Business of Climate Change report (PDF document). I unfortunately only got around to reading through it tonight. Over the past two years, several of the big sell-side shops have published reports discussing the major investment opportunities and risks related to global warming. This one is a tad different from other such reports. The discussion is far more academic (rather than focused around actionable information) and the authors do not provide a list of potential outperformers organized by sector. Nevertheless,...

Power Purchase Agreements Webinar

Greentech Media is hosting a one-hour webinar at 12:00 PM ET Wednesday, September 19th, entitled "The Advance of the Solar PPA: When an Organization is Ready for a Power Purchase Agreement." PPAs are an interesting new area of activity in alternative energy, and definitely something worth understanding for the alt energy investor. For further details and registration, visit Greentech Media's special section for this event.

Q2 2007 Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices

Ernst & Young recently released its Q2 2007 Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices . As part of this initiative, E&Y typically publishes three forward-looking indices that rank countries based on their alternative energy investment friendliness. The indices are: the All-renewable Index, the Long-term Wind Index and the Near-term Wind Index (2-year time horizon). This edition of the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices report also contains a short discussion on supply-chain gluts in the alternative energy space. We have already discussed some of the potential investment opportunities related to...

The Economist is Cleaning Up

The Economist ran, in its edition for the past week, a series of very interesting articles on the topic of business and climate change called "Cleaning Up: A Survey of Business and Climate Change". To access the articles, go to the Economist's page for that edition and scroll down to the section called A survey of business and climate change (right side of the page). Some of the more interesting articles, from my point of view: 1) Emissions trading 2) The wind and solar industries 3) Clean coal Happy reading!

Annual Alternative Energy Market Survey

The Distributed Energy Financial Group LLC (DEFG) and Market Strategies Inc. (MSI) released, on Wednesday, the results of their Third Annual Alternative Energy Market Survey. This report is based on a online survey of 450 "industry leaders". Unsurprisingly, survey participants remain very bullish on revenue growth in the sector, expecting aggregate revenues to grow by 87% in 2007. That growth, several agree, will continue to be driven in part by strong support by various levels of governments. Some other interesting bits information from the survey: - While energy is forecasted to continue being...

Q1 2007 Renewable Energy & Biofuels Country Attractiveness Indices

Q1 2007 Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices Ernst & Young recently released its Q1 2007 Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices, a series of indices that rank countries on their attractiveness with regards to alternative energy growth and development. These indices provide good yardsticks for investors who want to know which markets offer the best near and long term alt energy growth prospects. The report presents three main indices, whose names are fairly self-explanatory: (1) The All Renewables Index (2) The Long-term Wind Index (>2 years) (3) The Near-term...