Ten Alternative Energy Speculations for 2008: Geothermal, Wind and Wave, and Thin Film Hype

This article is a continuation of my Ten Alternative Energy Speculations for 2008, with picks #8, 9, and10 published last Thursday.  If you haven't already, please read the introduction to that article before buying any of the stock picks that follow.  These companies are likely to be highly volatile, and large positions are not appropriate for many investors.   My least risky picks are part of that same article linked to above; the moderately risky picks are here.  This article contains the most speculative three picks. #3 Nevada Geothermal Power (OTCBB:NGLPF or Toronto:NGP.V) US$1.29 or CAD$1.26 Geothermal first started catching...
geothermal - geyser

List of Geothermal Stocks

Geothermal stocks are publicly traded companies whose business involves using the earth's heat energy for productive use, such as generating electricity and space and process heat. Calpine Corp. (CPN) Climeon AB (CLIME-B.ST) Enel SpA (ENEL.MI, ESOCF) Energy Development Corporation (EGDCY) Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. (INE.TO, INGXF) LSB Industries (LXU) Ormat (ORA) Ormat Industries (ORMT.TA) Polaris Infrastructure Inc. (PIF.TO, RAMPF) If you know of any geothermal 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.

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...
Puna Geothermal Venture

Geothermal Power: Business in a Tough Neighborhood

Geothermal power producers use Earth’s internal heat to power electrical generators.  It is the quintessential renewable energy source.  Most geothermal plants are located adjacent to underground pockets of super hot water.  Developers look for locations where these thermal reservoirs are near the earth’s surface, providing availability of the super hot water at a reasonable cost.  Unfortunately, those locations are often in tough neighborhoods. Ring of Fire The overwhelming majority (85%) of current geothermal power installations in the world are located along the Ring of Fire that circumvents the Pacific Ocean.  More a horseshoe than a circle, the Ring of Fire is a geographic anomaly that is...
geothermal eruptions

Blindsided with Advance Warning

Holders of Ormat Technologies (ORA:  NYSE) shares may feel somewhat blindsided by the cessation of operations at the Puna geothermal power plant on the Hawaii Island.  Lava flowing from neighboring Kilauea volcano has overrun two of the geothermal wells as well as a warehouse and an electricity substation. Shareholders cannot claim they were not forewarned.  Ormat’s annual report for 2017 mentions the risk of volcanic eruptions seventeen times.  However, since no geothermal power company has ever experienced an interruption in operations due to a volcanic eruption, investors most likely overlooked the real dangers of locating a business on top of geological ‘hot spot.’ https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3a/Hawaii_Mount_Kilauea%27s_eruption_opens_new_lava_vent.webm Ormat is not the...

Newsweek Special Report

"Experts generally agree that our current reliance on fossil fuels is unsustainable. Already oil is near $50 per barrel, and the great millions of Chinese and Indians destined to take to the road in the next decades have not yet gotten behind the wheel." This week Newsweek has written several special reports about alternative energy in all its forms. All of these reports can be found at the following link.

Geothermal: The Other Base Load Power

Last Thursday and Friday I attended the Geopowering the West Investors' Forum in Montrose, CO (hosted by the Delta-Montrose Electric Association, Colorado's most progressive Rural Electric Cooperative.)  I've long been interested in geothermal stocks, and I first started adding them to managed portfolios in 2003.  As a whole, those stocks have more than doubled in the 1-4 years since they were purchased. Fundamental Advantages of Geothermal Electricity Why did I make those first purchases?  Geothermal power has some unique advantages over other forms of renewable energy. Geothermal is base load power.  Utilities have a strong preference towards...

Outlook for Geothermal Energy Stocks in 2011

Tom Konrad CFA My take-aways from the GEA Finance Forum After a long time lost in the proverbial desert of high capital costs and few financiers willing to step up, a number of geothermal companies made breakthroughs last fall.  The Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantees for geothermal power development began to come through, and financiers were beginning to step up.  Nevada Geothermal Power (NGLPF.OB) announced a deal with Ormat (ORA) in which Ormat will earn a share of Nevada Geothermal's Crump Geyser property by paying for and financing most of the development costs,...

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...

Geothermal Tie-up

Ormat Technologies (ORA:  NYSE) is buying U.S. Geothermal (HTM:  NYSE) for $5.45 per share in cash.   The offer represents a 29% premium to the HTM closing price the day prior to the announcement.  The shares had been in a steady decline over the past several months, hitting a 52-week low of $3.11 earlier in January 2018.  So while the offer price pales in comparison to the U.S. Geothermal’s all-time high stock price of $28.68 way back in October 2007, shareholders may be feeling a warm breeze coming off Ormat’s cash. Should Ormat shareholders be as thrilled as the company ponies up $110 million...

Ten Solid Clean Energy Companies to Buy on the Cheap: #10 United Technologies

Like most conglomerates, United Technologies Corporation (UTC), (NYSE:UTX) won't be found in any of the Clean Energy indices, but its growing portfolio of clean energy businesses makes it fit well into a diversified portfolio with a clean energy tilt.  A conservative capital structure and solid earnings and cash flow, and a decades long history of constantly increasing dividends make this a company that I'm comfortable holding for the long term.   In terms of sustainability, the company has been recognized by Dow Jones as in the top 10% of the world's most sustainable companies.  Long before it became fashionable for...

Raser Technologies (RZ): A Bargain, or Just Cheap?

Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Raser Technologies (NYSE:RZ) stock has fallen almost 50% since the company announce an offering of shares on June 30.  Although the round quickly filled, the stock continued falling, and it seems like a screaming deal.  Is it? On July 7, Raser Technologies sold $25.5M of stock and warrants in a secondary offering.  According to press reports, this amounted to 13% of Raser's stock, thereby valuing the company at (very approximately) $200M, or $175M pre-money.   The units, each consisting of 1 share and 1/2 a warrant exercisable at $4.62 was offered at $2.98. ...

U.S. Geothermal, Inc (AMEX: HTM)

US Geothermal, Inc. (AMEX:HTM) ) is one of only two pure-play geothermal power companies traded on US exchanges.  The other is Ormat (NYSE:ORA), a vertically integrated company widely considered to be the industry leader.  As baseload, extremely reliable power, Geothermal fits easily into utilities existing grids, making it a popular source of green power, especially with utilities uncomfortable with the intermittent and difficult to predict nature of wind and solar.   Unlike wind and solar, the potential resource for geothermal power is quite small relative to electricity demand. At least until Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) technology is commercialized,...

Alterra Power: Deep Geothermal

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week, one of the leaders in a development consortium, Iceland’s largest privately owned energy generator HS Orka hf, announced the completion of a project to prove the merits of deeper geothermal wells.  The project in the Reykjanes Peninsula in southern Iceland reached 4,659 meters depth in January 2017, where temperatures measured 427 degrees Centigrade and fluid pressure was 340 bars.  By all accounts the project was successful, suggesting that deep wells could a cost effective approach to geothermal energy. The drilling program was mentioned in early December 2015 a recent post “Hot...

US Geothermal Fizzles

by Debra Fiakas CFA Geothermal power generator US Geothermal (HTM:  NYSE) came up short in reporting financial results for the first quarter ending 2017  -  at least from the perspective of the four analysts with published sales and earnings expectations for the company.  Operating revenue of $8.4 million slipped slightly from the same period a year ago, but produced slightly lower net income of $1.1 million.  The company’s share was $260,000 or a penny per share.  Not good enough say the analyst’s who were collectively looking for two pennies per share in earnings! Missing earnings expectations has...

Ormat No Longer Stands Alone

Tom Konrad, CFA The market for Organic Rankin Cycle geothermal turbines has become competitive. In my October 2010 profile of geothermal industry leader Ormat Technologies (ORA), I quoted a conversation I'd had with a Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) representative in 2006, where she told me that Ormat stood head and shoulders above all the other geothermal players.  As the only truly vertically integrated geothermal developer, with in-house exploration, drilling, turbine technology, and operations, Ormat is still unique among geothermal companies.  But not too long ago their Organic Rankin Cycle turbines (which they call Ormat Energy...