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Advanced Energy: Overlooked and Undervalued

Investors interested in renewable energy often get singularly focused on innovators new energy sources at the expense of companies that provide the nuts and bolts of the energy infrastructure.  Advanced Energy Industries (AEIS:  Nasdaq) is a stalwart of the electric power network, providing power conversion and control components that convert energy to the proper current for use by consumers and business.  The company has a broad product line that has applications with a diverse customer base, including semiconductor manufacturers and chemical processing plants. The 2017 acquisition of Excelsys Holdings Ltd. based in Ireland added products targeted at medical and industrial applications. As popular as Advanced...
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Hopping Off The Short Enphase Bandwagon

by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Last week, I wrote that I'd taken a short position in Enphase Energy Inc. (ENPH). I have now closed out that position and don't intend to go short again. My decision to go short was based on four factors: I'm worried about risk in the overall market, and so am considering opportunistic short positions as a hedge. Prescience Point Capital Management released a report accusing Enphase of earnings manipulation. The report seemed well-researched from a purely accounting point of view. My favored indicator for avoiding companies which might be engaging in earnings manipulation, Beneish M-Score was...
demand charge impacts on DC Fast Charger costs

EV Fast Charging Disincentives

by Daryl Roberts DC Fast Chargers (DCFCs) and Tesla superchargers are a key element in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure that could facilitate wider adoption of EVs by enabling recharging that comes to resemble the time currently taken for gas station stops, and thereby reducing “range anxiety” for drivers. However, the pricing structure for electrical costs incurred at commercial DC fast chargers is currently prohibitive, because it includes a special fee called a “demand charge”. Rate design in a number of states includes this additional charge, based on the “peak rate” on electric power consumed in kW. In New York,...

Introducing PERGY

Impressed by the number of stocks in the Crystal Equity Research alternative energy indices that have delivered exceptional price appreciation, the last few posts have been on a quest to find fundamental characteristics that could give an advance signal of a future star.  The post “Alternative Returns” on May 8th introduced the series identified future growth as a precursor of strong stock performance.  The next post “Quest for Growth” on May 11th looked at stocks with above average growth predictions.  Then the post “Alternative Bargains” looked at stocks in the alternative energy indices that are trading at below average price-earnings multiples. There is a...
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Bargain Priced Alternative Energy Stocks

A review of Crystal Equity Research’s novel alternative energy indices found a number of companies that have delivered exceptional price appreciation over the last year.  Several were reviewed in the recent post “Alternative Returns” on May 8th.  Expectations for growth appeared to be driving the price movement, so the last post “Quest for Growth” featured four companies from the indices for which analysts have posted high growth predictions.  Not unexpectedly some investors have already bid higher the stocks of those promising companies. In this post we go back to the lists to find the companies with both high growth predictions and low price-earnings...
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List of Wind and Solar Inverter Stocks

Inverter stocks are publicly traded companies that manufacture or are suppliers to companies whose products, called inverters, convert power from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).  Inverters are used to allow power from solar, wind, and batteries to feed the electric grid.  They are also included in the list of electric grid stocks. Advanced Energy Industries (AEIS) Darfon Electronics Corporation (8163.TW) Enphase Energy, Inc. (ENPH) Schneider Electric (SU.PA, SBGSF, SBGSY) SMA Solar Technology (S92.DE) SolarEdge (SEDG) If you know of any inverter stock that is not listed here and should be, please let us know by leaving a comment. Also for stocks in the list that...
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List of Smart Grid Stocks

Smart grid stocks are publicly traded companies that use or enable information technology to operate the electric grid more efficiently.  They are also included in the list of electric grid stocks. Advanced Energy Industries (AEIS) AMSC (AMSC) Arrow Electronics (ARW) Digi International (DGII) Echelon Corporation (ELON) EnSync, Inc. (ESNC) ESCO Technologies, Inc. (ESE) Itron (ITRI) Landis+Gyr Group AG (LAND.SW) Schneider Electric (SU.PA, SBGSF, SBGSY) SMA Solar Technology (S92.DE) SolarEdge (SEDG) Superconducting Technologies, Inc. (SCON) If you know of any smart grid stock that is not listed here and should be, please let us know by leaving a comment. Also for stocks in the list that you think should be removed.  
Electric bucket trucks for electric grid repair n Puerto Rico

List of Electric Grid Stocks

Electric grid stocks are publicly traded companies whose business involves electric infrastructure, including transmission, distribution, pricing, conversion, and regulation.  Includes the list of smart grid stocks. Advanced Energy Industries (AEIS) AMSC (AMSC) Avangrid, Inc. (AGR) AZZ Incorporated (AZZ) China Ruifeng Renewable Energy Holdings Ltd (0527.HK) Digi International (DGII) Echelon Corporation (ELON) EMCORE Group, Inc (EME) ESCO Technologies, Inc. (ESE) Fortis, Inc. (FTS, FTS.TO) General Cable (BGC) Hammond Power Solutions Inc. (HPS-A.TO, HMDPF) Hubbell, Inc. (HUB-B, HUB-A) InfraREIT, Inc. (HIFR) Itron (ITRI) Landis+Gyr Group AG (LAND.SW) MasTec Inc. (MTZ) MYR Group Inc. (MYRG) National Grid PLC (NGG) Prysmian S.P.A (PRI.MI, PRYMF) Quanta Services Inc (PWR) Red Electrica (RE21.SG, RDEIY) Schneider Electric (SU.PA, SBGSF, SBGSY) Siemens AG (SIE.DE, SIEGY) SMA Solar Technology (S92.DE) SolarEdge (SEDG) Stella Jones (STLJF) Superconducting...

Is AMSC Ready to Get Back to the Future?

Last week a jury found in favor of the United States government in a suit brought in 2013 by the Obama Administration against the Chinese wind turbine producer, Sinovel Wind Group (601558:  Shanghai).  Sinovel was found guilty of stealing technology from American Superconductor (AMSC:  Nasdaq) that had supplied Sinovel with converter hardware and software solutions.  Sinovel may have to pay hefty fines when the final sentencing step is completed in June 2018. American Superconductor (now called AMSC) had already brought a private suit against Sinovel in China two years before the Justice Department filed its case.  The China court dismissed the case for lack of...

How Energy Deregulation Affects States and Stocks

by Elaine Thompson Bloomberg New Energy Finance, in an executive summary of its New Energy Outlook 2017 report, predicts renewable energy sources will represent almost three-quarters of the $10.2 trillion the world will invest in new power-generating technology. Analysts outline several reasons for this increase in spending, such as the decreasing costs of wind and solar and consumers’ increasing interest in solar panels. Competition between power sources also continues to grow, with products like utility-scale batteries upsetting coal and natural gas’s roles in the marketplace. But more importantly, state-driven renewable portfolio standards pave the way for additional ventures in renewable energy technologies, particularly...

Smarting Up Electrical Grids

by Debra Fiakas CFA My recent post “Bull Case in Rick Perry’s Grid Study” highlighted efforts by U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry to help the coal industry with a study of the U.S. electrical grid.  Coal has long claimed advantage as a ‘dispatchable’ power source, i.e. a consistently available power source suitable to supply power for the base load.  Technology is making base load less important.  Indeed, modernized or ‘smart’ electrical grids are making it possible to take advantage of low-cost renewable power sources even though they produce power intermittently and are therefore considered ‘not dispatchable’. ...

Microgrids: The Electric BTM Line

by Joeseph McCabe, P.E. Which vendors at Intersolar 2016 in San Francisco supply the best behind the meter self generation microgrid solutions?  I’ve asked similar questions about utility owned inverters, storage, and microgrids at previous Intersolars. This year I looked into the microgrid highest value propositions for photovoltaics (PV). What is a microgrid, and why they are coming of age now? A microgrid is a distinct electric system consisting of distributed energy resources which can include demand management, storage and generation.  Loads are capable of operating in parallel with, or independently from, the...

Net Metering Is the Solar Industry’s Junk Food

Shoppers who bring reusable bags to the grocery store buy more junk food. This example is part of a growing body of behavioral psychology research showing that when we feel good about ourselves for doing one thing right, we give ourselves permission to be careless in other areas. The solar installation industry seems to be falling into the "reusable shopping bag" trap. Solar itself is the reusable shopping bag. The junk food is net metering. Net metering is a simple, intuitive way to pay for solar generation at retail rates. But it puts solar companies on...

The War On Net Metering

by Paula Mints Net metering and interconnection are rights afforded distributed generation (DG) residential and commercial solar system owners through the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005. The act required publically owned utilities to offer net metering and left the various policies up to the states to enact. In 2004, before that energy policy was enacted, 39 states had net metering and interconnection standards and policies. At the beginning of 2016, 43 U.S. states and three territories had net metering policies, and four states had policies similar to net metering that the Database of State Incentives for Renewables...

Energy Infrastructure Construction Made Easy

by Debra Fiakas CFA Electric power companies need plenty of generating plants and distribution works to bring electricity to our doors.  Electric utilities are very good at generating electricity and managing relationships with the families and businesses that use the power, but building all that infrastructure  -  drawing up plans, hauling in materials and fastening girders  -  is not necessarily a power company’s strong suit.  Enter Quanta, Inc. (PWR:  NYSE) with a full menu of design, engineering and construction services for electricity generation and distribution infrastructure. Solving problems for electric utilities is good business for Quanta.  The...

Moving Microgrids Beyond R&D

by Joe McCabe Where is the money in microgrids? My goal at this years Intersolar event was to try and answer this question; to figure out the value proposition of microgrids as they relate to distributed generation, storage, renewable energy and photovoltaics.  A microgrid is an electrical supply and use system that can operate autonomously. Although all microgrids are small relative to the electric grid as a whole, the huge size of the grid leaves a broad range of what can count as “micro.”  Microgrids can be as small as a single building, but range on...