Income From Hydroelectric Power

by Debra Fiakas CFA Are you an investor hungry for current income?  Is there a green line of global warming fear running through your investment selections?  I have stock that fulfills both requirements.  Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (BEP:  NYSE) is a renewable power producer with assets in Canada, the U.S. and Brazil.  Brookfield generates over 5,900 megawatts of power each year from plants running on river water, wind or natural gas.  Another 2,000 megawatts is apparently under development in Canada and Brazil. What Brookfield does best is hydroelectric production.  The company claims over 170...

Administration Lays the Groundwork for Hydropower Boom

Tom Konrad CFA The US Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the US Army Corps of Engineers are quietly laying the groundwork for a renewable energy boom that you might not expect.  What they've done is announce a memorandum of understanding to work together to support environmentally sustainable hydropower. They're not talking about building new dams, which have questionable environmental benefit, but rather to remove barriers to developing cost-effective hydropower at existing dams and waterworks.  Hydropower does not get much attention from investors.  In large part, that's because of the lack...

The Magma/Plutonic Merger

A Great Deal for Plutonic Shareholders, Not bad for Magma Tom Konrad CFA As a shareholder of Magma Energy Corp. (MGMXF.PK), I'm reading through the joint information circular on the proposed merger of Plutonic Power Corp (PUOPF.PK) and Magma to form "Alterra Power Corp." I'm not thrilled with the merger, although I plan to vote for it, now that it's arranged. Overall, I think the merged Alterra will be a stronger company than either company alone. Both companies are in capital intensive niche Renewable Energy industries, so the added scale and diversification of Alterra should better...

Must Renewable Energy Be Diversified?

Dana Blankenhorn Most renewable energy companies specialize. Solar companies do solar. Wind companies do wind. Geothermal companies do geothermal. Biomass companies do biomass. But a small Canadian merger challenges that assumption. Magma Energy (MGMXF.PK), a geothermal company, said it will spend about $100 million in stock to buy Plutonic Power (PUOPF.PK), which has wind and hydropower projects, and ambitions to get into solar. The combined companies will go by the name Alterra Power. Both companies are based in Vancouver. Size really does matter, crowed Magma CEO Ross Beatty on a conference call announcing...

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...

Another Look at the Algonquin Power Income Fund

Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA The Algonquin Power Income Fund (AGQNF.PK) has been one of my star performers in an excellent year.  Is it still a good investment at these prices?  Since I recommended the Algonquin Power Income Fund (AGQNF.PK/APF-UN.TO) in January as a renewable energy income stock for 2009, the company is up 69%, in addition to the C$0.02 monthly dividend, worth approximately another 8% through August on the US$1.82 purchase price, making it the second-best performing of my ten picks (after Cree, Inc (CREE).)  However, since the major basis for my recommendation at the time was the...

$3 Billion For Cleantech & Alt Energy

Charles Morand The DOE made public earlier today the amount of money that will awarded to clean power projects in lieu of the usual tax breaks: $3 billion. This will allow project proponents to receive a direct cash grant now instead of a Production Tax Credit or an Investment Tax Credit later on. The guidance document notes the following: "Section 1603 of the Act’s tax title, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act, appropriates funds for payments to persons who place in service specified energy property during 2009 or 2010 or after 2010 if construction began...

Large Hydro Power: The Underloved Energy Source

Charles Morand While browsing Cleantech News, I came across an interesting post on Energy Outlook on the lack of attention hydro power is receiving in the latest of round of policy efforts aimed at greening the U.S.' energy supply and combating climate change. Besides having been been scuffed at in Waxman-Markey, hydro power has effectively been ignored in the ARRA, receiving a measly $32 million, peanuts in comparison to the $786.5 million awarded to biofuels, the $350 million for geothermal power and the $117.6 million going to solar. Not mention the millions of dollars that will flow...

Focus On Clean Power Income Trusts

Last week, Tom brought you a piece on the Algonquin Power Income Fund (AGQNF.PK), in which he opined that shift in investor attention away from capital gains toward yield might eventually provide a catalyst for the prices of yield-focused securities such as income trusts to rise. So-called utility trusts, or income trusts where the underlying corporation is engaged in utility activities such as power generation, are a common feature of the Canadian income trust sector (the mother of all income trust sectors). A sub-set of utility trusts is the clean power utility trust, where the power generation...

Five Alternative Energy Stocks I’ll Research “One of These Days”

I have more ideas than I have time to explore them, and it's getting out of hand.  I still need to write the promised articles on Evergreen Solar (ESLR) and Lithium Technology Corp (LTHU), but there are many others that have caught my attention over the last six months or so.  Since the list keeps getting longer, I thought I'd just give you a taste of some of the companies in my inbox, and why they seem interesting.  Since I may or may not ever write articles about any of these, I thought I'd give people the opportunity to...

Hydropower: The Renewable Energy Elephant in Room

There is a form of renewable energy which accounts for approximately one sixth of world electrical generation, and unlike wind and solar has a natural form of storage which costs a fraction of any other form of electricity storage, and has black start capability.  Given all these positive characteristics, it may seem surprising that we have not yet written about it.  The renewable energy in question is Hydropower, and the reason we've not covered it before is that the facilities are typically owned and run by governments or diversified utilities.   Until now, the only Hydropower investments I have been...

Some Thoughts on Water, Electricity and Climate Change

Most forms of electricity generation use water.  Thermal generation (coal, natural gas, nuclear, biomass, and Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)) evaporate water for cooling, although they can substitute air cooling, but only by sacrificing efficiency.  Moving in the other direction, many dry coastal regions use desalinization to essentially convert electricity into clean drinking water.   A plant  was recently approved in Southern California, despite environmental concerns. Lack of water use is one of the less recognized advantages of wind and solar photovoltaic generation, but is a significant advantage in the arid West.  Next week, I will be publishing an article which...

Change Winds Blow for Renewable Energy Income Trusts

Renewable energy is still very much in its infancy, which means that companies in the space are either profitless or high-multiple startups, or divisions of much larger companies (GE Wind (NYSE:GE), or utilities such as FPL Group (NYSE:FPL) and Xcel (NYSE:XEL) which get much of their power from conventional generation.) This presents a dilemma for investors who understand the compelling drivers for the sector, but whose risk tolerance or financial needs indicate an income-based investing strategy. Canadian Income Trusts in Renewable Energy A few Canadian Income Trusts have historically gone some way towards filling this niche....

Internal Hyrdo Sets Alternative Energy Unit Deployment for U.S.

Internal Hydro International Inc. (IHDR) announces that it will be field testing production units of the Energy Commander V 30 Kw small hydro product. These EC V untils are able to supply a constant 30 kilowatts of constantly available electricity via the natural flows of water from dams, water pipelines, streams and rivers.

Green energy seen as $100 billion market in decade

Renewable energy like wind and solar power and hydrogen fuel cells could blossom into a $100 billion a year global market in less than a decade as technology costs fall, according to a study. The combined market for "green" sources of energy has already grown 68 percent since 2002 to more than $16 billion last year, according to Clean Edge, a research and publishing firm based in California. You can view and download the complete Clean-Energy Trends report at the following link.

ENDESA Will Invest Euro 286 Million in New Wind Farms and Mini Hydro Plants...

ENDESA (ELE) has received authorisation to build and start up new wind farms and mini hydro plants this year, requiring an investment of Euro 286 million. The start-up of these projects, part of ENDESA's Strategic Plan, will add 277 MW to ENDESA's generation capacity, 252 MW in wind (for a Euro 250 million) and 25 MW in mini hydro capacity (for an investment of around Euro 60 million). Facilities already under construction and expected to come on stream in 2005 include the wind farms at Pena Ventosa and Chan do Tenon in Galicia, Las Hoyuelas in Castilla La...