EERE Launches its Financial Opportunities Web Site

The DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has launched a new Web site that lists opportunities for financial assistance. In fiscal year 2004 alone, EERE awarded approximately $506 million in financial assistance. So if your thinking of getting into the Alternative Energy business, or have an idea that only needs some financial backing, you may want to take a look at the EERE Financial Opportunities Web site and here is a listing of the current related solicitations.

Who’s a Fat Cat?

Tom Konrad CFA A Fat Cat. Photo of "Cauchy" by author. Friday, in a generally positive article about Lime Energy (NASD:LIME), I noted that the top five executives at the company seemed overpaid in comparison to one of their nearest rivals, Orion Energy Systems (NYSE:OESX).  Since this was not based on in-depth research, and is a pretty serious allegation about a company I’m otherwise enthusiastic about, I decided to do some more digging. Who is a Fat Cat? Using data on executive pay from Morningstar, I compared executive pay at...

Autodesk and the Future of Sustainable Design

Joel Makower If you start with the premise that many of the solutions to our global sustainability challenges require smart design and systems thinking, it doesn’t take long before you find your way to Autodesk (ADSK). The 29-year-old design software company has made a series of impressive moves into the sustainability realm over the past few years. It’s one of those largely unheralded companies creating the tools used by architects, designers, manufacturers, and most recently cleantech entrepreneurs to produce the next generation of greener, cleaner, more efficient products. Over the past year or so, I've had...

Canadian Municipality Saves Taxpayers $8 million Using Itron Enterprise Energy Management Software

Itron Inc. (ITRI) announced that the Region of Peel (ROP), a municipality near Toronto, Canada, has saved its residents more than $8 million by using their energy management software tools to reduce energy costs and operate its numerous facilities more efficiently.

Smart Grid Stocks For The Obama Stimulus Package

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how a new Obama administration would renew with Keynesianism (i.e. large-scale counter-cyclical infrastructure spending) but with a green twist to: (a) get the US economy out of its funk and (b) propel America into the 21st Century by providing a massive push for its green industries. I discussed certain rail stocks and electric grid stocks that could benefit as a result. By-and-large, I've been right on both counts about the President-elect's strategy (i.e. Keynesian and green), but I did forget to mention an important part of the plan's focus:...

What I Sold: Carmanah Technologies (CMHXF, CMH.TO)

On Monday, I told readers that I was getting out of companies some which I feel are likely to need to raise new money over the next couple years.  I also provided a list of stocks I will be buying when I judge we're near the bottom.  This is the first in a series of short articles about those stocks.  Carmanah Technologies (CMHXF) I've mentioned Carmanah Technologies (CMHXF) in passing in articles about LED companies.  I first became interested in Carmanah in 2005. The company's integrated LED-solar lighting solutions caught my attention because they were (and are) economic regardless...

Political Developments in Energy Efficiency

This article is part of a series on the WGA Energy Efficient Buildings Workshop. Governor Ritter After arriving slightly late (a gunman had been shot by state troopers outside his office the day before.)   Bill Ritter kicked off the workshop with his thoughts on energy efficiency.  Other than the Governator, I don't know of any other state governor in the US who understands renewable energy as well as Governor Ritter.  And he's dedicated to learning more; when I attended a fundraiser early in his campaign last year, he had not yet heard about plug-in hybrids, but in a...

Is There Life After the Bulb?

When incandescent light bulbs are phased out in the United States between 2012 to 2014, managers of utility Demand Side Management (DSM) programs will be between a rock and a hard place.  At the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project's 5th annual Energy Efficiency Workshop, this fact seemed to be the elephant in the room that most of the utility executives in attendance did not want to talk about. One Trick Pony It's not for nothing that the compact fluorescent bulb, or CFL, has become the international symbol of energy efficiency.  While it is true that we're not going to stop...

Cree Survey at Light+Building Indicates Expected Rapid LED Adoption for Lighting

Cree, Inc. (CREE) announced the results of a new survey on the adoption, deployment and overall benefits of LED lighting. Conducted for Cree this week at Light+Building 2006 in Frankfurt, Germany. The survey revealed extraordinary optimism among lighting industry executives, architects, designers, engineers and other decision-makers regarding the growth of the LED lighting market. Out of 123 trade show participants polled, 50 percent of respondents stated they have seen a 20 percent to 60 percent growth rate for LED lighting applications in their businesses over just the past six months. Looking forward, 50 percent of those polled...

What A Portfolio Approach To Climate Policy Means for Your Stock Portfolio

Portfolio theory can lend insights into which carbon abatement strategies policymakers should pursue.  If policymakers listen, what will it mean for green investors? Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Good Info, Not Enough Analysis I've now read most of my review copy of Investment Opportunities for a Low Carbon World.  The quality of the information is generally excellent, as Charles has described in his reviews of the Wind and Solar and Efficiency and Geothermal chapters.  As a resource on the state of Cleantech industries, it's generally excellent.  As an investing resource, however, it leaves something to be desired.  Each chapter is written...

Geothermal Heat Pump Stocks

Geothermal heat pumps (GHP), also know as Geoexchange, or ground-source heat pumps have been recognized by both the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy as the most efficient and environmentally friendly way to heat and cool a building available.  The downside of GHPs has always been the large up-front cost associated with the cost of the ground loop.   With Obama promising a massive energy efficiency overhaul of federal buildings, the up-front cost is unlikely to be important so long as the expected returns on the investment are sufficient to pay for the upgrade.  Since geothermal...

Three Money Managers See LED Industry Shining in 2013; Their Stock Picks

Tom Konrad LED lights on an outdoor tree. Photo by author This is the third article in my series based on my panel of green money managers’ predictions for 2013.  The first article looked at what they expect 2013 holds for the Solar industry, and the second looked at their predictions  for the Smart Grid.  This installment focuses on the LED industry. Jeff Cianci: Faster than Anyone Expects Jeff Cianci is Chief Investment Officer at equity investment fund Green Science Partners. Cianci says “The trend toward LED lighting for...

If I Could Own Only One Alternative Energy Stock, It Would Be . ....

Bill Paul My friend Consuelo Mack, host of "Consuelo Mack's Wealthtrack" on PBS TV, asks her guests for their "one investment pick." What's my one alternative energy stock pick? A year ago on Consuelo's show, I recommended LED lighting developer Cree Inc. (Symbol CREE), because the LED lighting market (part of the burgeoning energy efficiency sector) is expected to hit upwards of $5 billion by 2013 v. $600 million in 2008, according to investment banking firm Merriman, Curhan, Ford, and because Cree was then an attractive takeover candidate. It still is; however, since the stock has since risen something...

Energy Efficiency with Solid State Lighting (LED)

As I mentioned in a previous post (and also a purchase of LSGP.ob), I have become very interested in the potential investment opportunities in companies that are involved in the conversion of typical halogen and incandescent lighting over to solid state lighting (i.e. LED.) With that said, I wanted to pull back the curtain to show you my process and thinking when I enter a new investment space. The potential returns for the companies in this space can be quite large over the next 10 years. Many municipalities and large corporations are looking at the potential...

Short Demand for Cree High and Rising

I got a call from my broker this morning asking me if I'd be willing to loan out my shares of Cree, Inc. (NASD:CREE) to a short seller.  Since the only cost to me is that I will not be able to vote my shares, and I will earn 2.5% per annum on the value, I said "yes."  Normally, brokerages get the shares they lend out to shorts from margin accounts with a margin balance.  Since I never carry a balance (although I do have a margin account in order to trade options) they must ask my permission...

Baldor Electric (BEZ): Efficient Motors Drive Profits

Tom Konrad, CFA Baldor Electric Company stands to benefit from new Federal energy efficiency standards and other efforts to improve industrial energy efficiency. One of the lesser-known provisions of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) will be to require efficiency standards for the majority of industrial electric motors.  This will be a boon for motor manufacturers when EISA comes into effect in December 2010: efficient motors require higher quality materials and manufacturing, and so can be sold for higher margins.  A major beneficiary of this transition will be Baldor Electric (NYSE:BEZ).  Baldor is...