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...

Distributed Energy Systems Corp. Announces its Northern Power Systems Unit Wins Contract to Provide...

Distributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC) has been awarded a $3.1 million contract by Honeywell to provide a turnkey on-site combined heat and power (CHP) system for the United States Postal Service (USPS) Margaret L. Sellers Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) in San Diego, California. The facility is the main mail handling facility for the San Diego district and supports more than 40 post offices within the performance cluster. The turnkey CHP system will provide 1.5MW of electricity in normal operation; an amount equal to 85% of the Sellers facility's forecasted power requirements. Recovered heat from the engine's exhaust...

DIY Energy Audit, and Energy Star Summit Stocks

Last week, I attended the 2007 Energy Star Summit to keep up with what is going on in home energy efficiency, and, with luck, find a new public company or two to recommend.   After several workshops for home energy raters, I came away with an idea for an article to help people concerned about home safety and efficiency look for new places to live.  Because it was off-topic for Alternative Energy Stocks, I offered it to my friend Preston at Jetson Green, and he has published it here. Back on the subject of financial (As opposed to real-estate)...

Selling Pressure Comes Off Lime Energy

Tom Konrad CFA When Lime Energy (NASD:LIME) reported accounting problems, including the possibility of fictitious revenue on July 17th, investors abandoned the stock, unwilling to own a company in which they knew the financial statements to be misstated.   Over the next two weeks, Lime found a floor around $0.90 (down from over $2 on July 16th), as those investors who would sell at any price were replaced by those who, like me, feel that $0.90 is less than any reasonable estimate of LIME’s true value even in liquidation. Volume then dried...

What’s In Store For The Grid

One the biggest problems facing North American power markets is the age of, and lack of investment in, power grids. Over the next few years, we can likely expect some major investments going into refurbishing and expanding North American electricity distribution networks. As an alternative energy investor, you probably want to have the grid issue on your radar. The reason is that as new money pours into this sector, certain firms with interesting technologies to make the grid more efficient could see some substantial upside. The DOE announced, two days ago, that it had awarded funding for...

Energy Efficiency Policy Recommendations for State Legislators

On Monday, I had one of my favorite sorts of opportunities, which was a chance to influence future energy legislation.  The National Conference of State Legislators invited me to give a short presentation as part of a two-day energy efficiency workshop for interested legislators from across the country.   Given the short time frame, I couldn't say everything I would have wanted, but fortunately, I was part of a large group of excellent presenters, so what I didn't hit, they did.  I focused on my ideas for transforming markets and tackling the many barriers to energy efficiency . Tom Konrad...

Money and Reduced Emissions Don’t Sell Energy Efficiency, but Comfort and Health Do

    As an expert witness in an energy efficiency ("Demand Side Management" or DSM in utility-speak) docket before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, I have been making the case that non-energy benefits of energy efficiency measures such as the increased safety and comfort of an efficiently operating home need to be included in evaluating the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency programs.  There has been much resistance to the inclusion of these benefits, mainly because they can be difficult to quantify.  Yet we omit them at our peril. Why Energy Efficiency and Health Matter     Last summer, I explored why the...

You Call This Cleantech?

David Gold Invest in a solar, biofuels, or LED lighting company, and nobody will question the company’s cleantech pedigree.  Invest in a manufacturer of network switch upgrades for telephone companies, then call it “cleantech” and you’ll see a lot of raised eyebrows.  I know, because we did just that. We are investors in Aztek Networks, a company that makes replacements for the TDM switches that handle much of the phone traffic from standard landline phones.  Telecom companies are excited about Aztek’s product because it enables them, for the first time, to incrementally switch out their old...

Energy Recovery Offers Savings to Gas Industry

by Debra Fiakas CFA In early December 2014, Energy Recovery (ERII:  Nasdaq) staged an analyst and investor event in New York City principally to introduce its most recent technology innovation, VorTeq.  The product is a hydraulic fracturing solution for the gas industry.  Unlike its other products, the VorTeq is a colossal apparatus requiring a semi-tractor to transport it into place as a replacement for the ‘missiles’ now found at natural gas well sites. VorTeq Animation In the current configuration, high pressure pumps are used to drive a blend of fracturing sand, water and chemicals down into the well hole.  Pump components,...

Alcoa: an Ironic Energy Efficiency Stock

Being concerned about global warming, but also an investor and advisor who wants to keep my own and my client's money relatively safe is fraught with compromises.  For instance, a lot of environmentalists probably think that Alcoa (NYSE: AA) is an inappropriate investment, although I like it now that it has fallen from its recent highs. There are two major environmental objections to Alcoa.  First, aluminum is extremely energy intensive to refine, and so has a high embodied energy (although recycled aluminum is much better).  Second, like any large mining company, they are responsible for considerable pollution. Yes,...

How Geothermal Heat Pumps Can Soar Like Solar

Tom Konrad CFA Geothermal Heat Pumps (GHP) are a niche market.  They shouldn’t be. Disclosure: Long WFIFF, short LXU puts (a net long position.) A Better Mousetrap? Ralph Waldo Emerson never said “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”  The mousetrap that likely inspired the misquote was invented seven years after his death.  Unfortunately, many people take it literally.  GHPs have all the hallmarks of a better mousetrap: They do the job of heating and cooling a building more efficiently than any other option.  Despite...

Space Cannon Selects Cree LEDs for All New LED Lighting Systems

Cree, Inc. (CREE) announced that major lighting designer and manufacturer Space Cannon VH S.p.A. has signed an agreement to purchase approximately $5.4 million of XLamp® power LEDs, among the industry's brightest and most efficient high power light emitting diodes (LEDs). Space Cannon plans to use Cree power LEDs exclusively for all future solid state lighting installations, including high profile projects, such as the Turin Olympics. I really like the LED and energy efficiency space and think these types of projects will become more common. The key is to get into these companies at the...

Lighting Science Group Introduces R30 Led Floodlights with Breakthrough Performance in Energy Efficiency and...

Lighting Science Group Corp. (LSGP.OB) unveiled an LED R30 floodlight which provides the equivalent light output of a 65 watt incandescent floodlight but uses up to 80% less energy over a lifetime that is up to 50 times longer. The new floodlight, powered by Optimized Digital Lighting(TM) (ODL(TM)) technology, is designed for use both indoors and outdoors, in recessed cans and other applications that require a standard screw base socket. The R30 floodlight is one of the most widely used bulbs today, typically found in large quantities in commercial, industrial, retail, educational and hospitality facilities.

Looking for Cash in Old Refrigerators

by Debra Fiakas CFA Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCI:  NYSE) is a typical small company, toiling away in seeming obscurity and struggling to get proper valuation of their success.  There is little glamour in old refrigerators and washing machines, but ARCA has figured out how to wring cash from recycling our household appliances.  In the last three fiscal years the company converted 1.6% of sales to operating cash flow. Unfortunately, things have turned a bit sour in the world of old Frigidaires and tired Maytags.  Last week ARCA reported financial results for the quarter ending September 2015.  The company suffered...

ABB: Improving Transmission and Distribution Efficiency

Diamond in the Rough Alternative energy stocks are usually exciting, development stage companies with break-through technology which just might to totally transform the way we live.  Unfortunately, that's a better description of a speculative lottery ticket style company than a solid investment which will provide solid, long-term capital gains.  So it's always a pleasure to find a company whose products are so commonplace that we don't even notice them, even when we see them every day, and yet is involved in essential work to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.  I took this picture in...

Two Dividend-Paying Energy-Efficiency Companies

Charles recently recommended a few dividend paying alternative energy companies as safe havens in the current turmoil.  Since I've been thinking along the same lines, I thought I'd add my own picks.  I currently like energy efficiency companies with solid balance sheets, because I believe that Obama's fiscal stimulus will contain significant money for green, energy-efficiency related jobs.   That said, here are two I'd add to Charles' list.  These two also have the advantage of being pure-play (or nearly pure-play) bets on clean energy. Name Ticker Yield Focus Related Articles Waterfunace Renewable Energy WFI.TO, WFFIF.PK...