LED Stocks Get Some Respect

Cree's Wild Ride On May 21, I noticed a big up-move in Cree, Inc. (CREE), a company I've been adding to most of my managed portfolios for the last year, at prices averaging around $18.  Checking recent news stories, I noted two articles on TheStreet.com which had recommended it over the weekend (as a beaten down stock and chart of the day.)  It turns out this was just the beginning of a feeding frenzy among the media which has gone on for the last couple weeks, bringing a lot of attention to what I call "the next compact fluorescent:"...

Power Integrations Enables Manufacturers to Earn the ENERGY STAR Label on External Power Supplies

Power Integrations Inc (POWI) announced that its EcoSmart technology enables manufacturers to earn the Energy Star label for their external power supplies. An expansion of the Energy Star program announced this week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency addresses external power supplies, the adapters that power such products as cell phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, PDAs and many other household and office devices.
LED lighting

List of LED Lighting Stocks

LED lighting stocks are publicly traded companies involved in the manufacture or deployment of efficient LED lighting technology. AIXTRON SE (AIXA.DE) Acuity Brands (AYI) Amtech Systems Inc (ASYS) Applied Materials (AMAT) Carmanah Technologies Corporation (CMH.TO, CMHXF) Cree, Inc. (CREE) Energy Focus (EFOI) EPISTAR corporation (2448.TW) Koninklijke Philips N.V. (PHG) Lighting Science Group Corporation (LSCG) Lime Energy (LIME: Nasdaq) LSI Industries Inc. (LYTS) Orion Energy Systems, Inc (OESX) Osram Licht AG (OSAGF, OSR.DE) Neo-Neon Holdings Limited (1868.HK) Revolution Lighting Technologies, Inc. (RVLT) Rubicon Technology, Inc. (RBCN) SemiLEDs Corporation (LEDS) Universal Display(OLED) Veeco Instruments Inc. (VECO) Zumtobel Group (ZMTBF: OTC or ZAG.VI) If you know of any LED lighting stock that is not listed here and should be, please let us know by leaving...

Is Cree, Inc. (CREE) Likely to Burn Out?

Tom Konrad, CFA Pioneering light-emitting diode (LED) maker Cree, Inc. looks overvalued. Light-Emitting Diodes, or LEDs, can be made to shine more brightly by increasing the power to them.  This has the unfortunate effect of overheating the leads and shortening the lifespan of the LED.  A similar effect may soon hit the stock of LED maker, Cree, Inc. (CREE.) Since I began the tradition, Cree has been a mainstay of my annual portfolio of ten stocks for the next year, published each January (See the 2008 and 2009 lists.  The Cree-free 2010 list is here.)  LEDs have been among...

Green Shoots for Green Building: Seven Stocks to Play the Trend

Tom Konrad CFA Rockwool insulation (Photo: Achim Hering) Signs of Green Building Growth Rockwool International (COP:ROCK-B,OTC:RKWBF) recently announced the establishment of the insulation manufacturer’s first US factory, in Mississippi, about 30 miles outside Memphis, Tennessee.  The firm has been seeing double-digit annual sales growth in North America, driven by interest from do-it-yourself chains and insulating commercial buildings, and expects this growth to continue. The company’s rock wool insulation, sustainably made from stone and recycled materials, can provide improved fire protection when compared to traditional insulation products. Rockwool is far...

Lime Energy’s Long Dark Year Of The Soul

Tom Konrad The last year has been hard on Lime Energy (NASD:LIME Disclosure: I own this stock.)  The company discovered problems with its internal reporting over a year ago, and the effort to restate the books and establish proper controls took much longer than anyone expected, in large part because the internal investigation uncovered additional problems as it proceeded. While the company was in danger of delisting, creditors were reluctant to provide funding, and this led the company to sell its two most capital intensive businesses: its asset development business, and its ESCO business.  The ESCO business required backing...

EnerNOC: Demand Response IPO

Lunch with an Efficiency Expert Yesterday, I had lunch with Howard Geller, Ph.D., one of our nation's leading experts in energy efficiency and energy policy. Howard is the director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), former Executive Director of ACEEE, and has a Doctorate in Energy Policy from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. My first question for industry experts is which companies are doing good things in their feilds, and I was especially interested in Howard's answers because energy efficiency is so much more difficult to pin down than most other types of...

The Value of Energy Efficiency

I've begun acting as a consultant to the Colorado Energy Efficiency Business Coalition (CEEBC) in a rulemaking docket for Demand Side Management (DSM) case before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC).  In the 2007 Legislative session, the Colorado legislature passed enabling legislation calling for utility-wide Demand Side Management programs for natural gas utilities.  To date, all DSM in Colorado has been focused on low income customers.  Crucially, the legislation allows for non-energy benefits, such as increased comfort, economic multiplier effects (i.e. jobs), and reduced volatility of energy costs be included in the evaluation of the benefits of programs. ...

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...

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...

Force in Name Only

by Debra Fiakas CFA One of the companies in our novel alternative energy indices is Forcefield Energy, Inc.  (FNRG:  Nasdaq).  For a time it was listed as among alternative chemical products and now is included among waste-to-energy developers, but it could be as easily included in our data base among sellers of LED lighting products.  The identify confusion is due in part to Forcefield’s own description, which includes a laundry list of capabilities and technologies. The company lays claim to proprietary products for heat recovery and the conversion of waste heat to useful purpose.  Forcefield comes by...

EE=C

Tom Konrad, CFA Apple takes on Google in Silicon Valley rivalry to save the world... first.   Recently appointed Apple (NASD:AAPL) senior VP of Energy Lester Coulson is unimpressed by Google's (GOOG) efforts to solve climate change.  "Google has been trying to make renewable energy cheaper than coal for more than three years now, and we haven't even seen a Beta version!" Coulson admonishes.  "Sure, they've made a few headlines by investing in EGS and planning to string wires up and down the Atlantic coast, but after investing $100 million, is renewable energy cheaper than...

Ten Solid Clean Energy Companies to Buy on the Cheap: #1 Johnson Controls, Inc....

Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI) has long been one of my favorite energy efficiency picks, with an added bonus coming from their joint venture with Saft to produce batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.  They have also shown some energy saving innovation making parts for auto interiors. Building EfficiencyEfficient buildings are much more complex than simply replacing inefficient HVAC and lighting with more efficient versions.  Quite often, the most cost effective measures come from using systems more efficiently.  As an analogy to the home, look at any list of quick tips for energy saving around...

Dark Clouds Threaten German Clean Energy Ambitions

John Petersen During the fourteen years that I've lived in Switzerland, the Germans have been the world's staunchest supporters of green power and alternative energy. Their aggressive development of wind power was breathtaking, as was their warm embrace of photovoltaic power. Over the last few weeks, however, there has been an ominous change in the mainstream German media's tone as the political class finally comes to grips with the unpleasant reality that rooftop solar panels are worthless on short, grey winter days and "For weeks now, the 1.1 million solar power systems in Germany have generated almost no...

Cabot Corp. and Centerpoint LLC Agree to Produce Translucent Nanogel(R)-Filled Roofing Systems to Bring...

Cabot Corp (CBT) announced a supply and marketing agreement with Centerpoint(TM) Translucent Systems, LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of residential roofing products. The agreement provides for the use of Nanogel® translucent aerogel in energy efficient daylighting roofing systems produced by Centerpoint. The Nanogel daylighting material that combines high light transmission with energy efficiency and sound insulation will be incorporated into polycarbonate panels made specifically for translucent roofing applications. The combined product-glazing panel provides more than five times the energy efficiency when compared with glass panels typically used in residential sloped glazing. I'm going to start tracking companies...

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...