Will 2010 Be the Year of Cleantech Revenues, IPOs and, Maybe, Even Profits?

David Gold As a “gearhead” (engineer) I must admit I truly enjoy looking at all the cool technologies being developed by cleantech companies.  The promise of cleantech hinges, in part, on these innovations.  So it is not surprising that so much focus in the blogosphere and the press is given to the funding and development of these new technologies.  Much like the dot-com buzz in the mid-90s, today we celebrate the amazing innovations that are taking seed. But for cleantech to avoid the fate of synfuels of the ‘70s or that of many of the early...

The Pope and the Climates of Justice

by Jake Raden Pope Francis’s encyclical on global warming and environmental degradation, Laudato Si, identifies our disruptive effects on our climate as social justice and spiritual issues. “Those who possess more resources and economic or political power seem mostly to be concerned with masking the problems or concealing their symptoms,” he writes, lamenting that those with privilege lack a “sense of responsibility for our fellow men and women upon which all civil society is founded.” (Image Courtesy of: http://www.cgdev.org/page/mapping-impacts-climate-change) The image above is from the Center for Global Development and it’s one in a series that ranks...

Why Alternative Energy Stocks

Are Alternative energy stocks the Microsoft of the future? If you invested $1,000 in MSFT back in 1986 your investment would now be worth over $300,000. If you really believed in the Personal Computing industry you could have also invested in companies like Intel, Apple, and Cisco at bargain basement prices.

Energy Trends That Matter For Investors

By Harris Roen The US is by far the world’s greatest user of energy per capita in the world. Each American uses about 87,000 kilowatt-hours per year – that is twice as much as the European Union (EU), the next closest consumer! Understanding energy trends in this country is extremely important for investors who want to understand how the energy landscape will look 10, 20 or 30 years from now. Figure 1: Global Per Capita Energy Use The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) made public an early release of its in-depth Annual Energy Outlook. This...

Getting in on Early-Stage Companies

Question from a Reader: (links mine, in case you have not read the articles I think he's referring to) Hi, I'm a very small time investor and I have a strong longterm belief in the alt energy sector. I have one gripe with the sector, though - the fact that it's hard to get in all the way at the bottom, ie: from the birth of companies. I have a feeling that much more growth will happen at that level, and investing in something like ICLN gets me into mature companies that have much less growth potential.  ...

The Water Food Energy Climate Nexus (Pt. 1)

v:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} o:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} w:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} .shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);} Eamon Keane Eamon Keane 2 581 2011-04-11T22:13:00Z 2011-04-11T22:13:00Z 4 1112 6341 52 14 7439 14.00 Clean Clean false false false false EN-IE X-NONE X-NONE ...

Cleantech Stimulus Still Not Stimulating

David Gold The stimulus bill along with the $31B cleantech element focused on grants and loan guarantees through the Department of Energy was passed into law over 18 months ago.  About a year ago I wrote about how the cleantech stimulus was not very stimulating to our economy. I suggested at that time that the goals of stimulus and of long-term investment are largely incompatible, and the evidence is bearing that out.  At the time, I felt like a bit of an outcast for having such a critical view and yet being an ardent supporter of clean technologies...

Cheap Oil: Nemesis Or Sideshow?

by Garvin Jabusch Next economics posits that for the global economy and earth's tolerances/carrying capacities to run in a mutually tolerable equilibrium, we must continue to make rapid advances in economic efficiencies in all sectors. For 7.3 billion of us (and counting) to thrive on finite resources and avoid the worst effects of climate change, we have to drive more and more economic output from less and less input. Fortunately, energy is one of the areas where we can quickly make huge strides in this respect but not with fossil fuels in the mix. On the contrary,...

Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race?

Tom Konrad CFA Highlights from a report on Clean Energy investments from the Pew Charitable Trusts. The Pew Charitable Trusts just released their report on Clean Energy, finance, and investment in the Group of Twenty (G20) economies in 2010 . I had the opportunity to review a pre-release version of the report. Some 2010 trends they discovered were encouraging or exciting, some were disappointing. I also had the chance to speak to the director of Pew's Clean energy Program, Phyllis Cuttino, about the report. Here are the highlights from the report and our discussion. Clean Energy Sectors...

Energy Efficiency and Solar Lead Alternative Energy Stocks Skyward

By Harris Roen Industry Day Week Qtr Year Energy Efficiency -0.3% 2.3% 18.7% 49.9% Environmental -0.2% 1.1% 9.8% 11.8% Fuel Alternatives -0.3% 1.3% 19.6% 29.2% Smart Grid -0.1% 2.4% 9.5% 31.9% Solar 0.5% 6.8% 40.3% 52.8% Wind 0.0% 2.1% 9.7% 21.6% Average -0.1% 2.7% 17.9% 32.9% Data as of: 7/17/2013 Alternative energy stocks are up over 30% on average for the year, reflecting impressive gains off of widely oversold lows in 2012. Almost three-quarters of...

Water Stocks: Better Than Oil Or Smartphones

By Jeff Siegel I've never understood it, but no one really gives a damn about water. Sure, it's the foundation of life. But what does that matter when we can get cheap smartphones and Internet-connected washing machines? Those things are exciting, and there's proverbial gold in those silicon hills. Don't get me wrong; I love technology and continue to profit handsomely by devoting a small portion of my portfolio to tech stocks. My point, however, is that while technology is great, without water, we die. It's pretty simple, really. Yet when it comes to investing, few investors take...

The Rare Earth Supply Chain: Ores, Concentrates, Compounds, Oxides and Metals

REE Refining 101 by Kidela Capital Group “There is a reason why the Rare Earths are called rare. They’re not called rare because they’re truly rare. They’re called rare because it’s very difficult to isolate these elements individually and it takes a lot of skill to do that.” Constantine Karayannopoulos, chief executive of Neo Material Technologies1 Rare Earth Elements have become an indispensable part of modern life, found in everyday items like computers, camera lenses and high efficiency light bulbs to complex, emerging technologies in the optics, medical and defence spheres....

Does Buying Green Stocks Do Any Good?

Tom Konrad CFA Volt owners are almost universally happy with their cars, despite the fact that very few will recoup the extra costs of the car in gas savings.   Even though the financial savings are small compared to the large up front payment for the vehicle, the emotional payback more than compensates. As someone who helps people invest in green stocks, I can tell you from first hand experience that investor enthusiasm has everything to do with recent financial returns, and not much to do with the good we’re doing. In 2007, when practically any stock which could be...

Geothermal, Battery, and Solar LED articles in TQ

There were three excellent alternative energy articles in last week's Technology Quarterly from the Economist. Readers know I'm an avid battery investor, and the Economist's in depth History of the Battery is well worth reading for anyone who wants to gain insight into the promises and challenges awaiting developers and investors. My favorite battery investment, Electro Energy, last profiled here has seen considerable selling, having lost half its price since its peak in early January.  I still like the and own the stock. There is also a short article about the prospects for Enhanced Geothermal, one of my favorite...

EnviroStar: A Clean Laundry Stock For Your Portfolio

Saj Karsan EnviroStar (EVI) is a distributor of laundry equipment that has developed a proprietary dry-wet-cleaning machine that avoids the use of perchloroethylene (Perc), a harmful chemical that the International Agency for Research on Cancer has deemed a carcinogen. Perc is also classified as a hazardous air contaminant by the US Environment Protection Agency, and its use will become illegal in the state of California in the year 2023. EnviroStar's patented Green-Jet process uses an environmentally-friendly, water-based solution that is both non-toxic and requires less energy consumption than traditional dry-cleaning methods. This is currently a tiny company, with...

Sages and Seers: Warren Buffett, Bill Clinton, Oxford University Prof. Nick Bostrom, and the...

Garvin Jabusch The last couple of weeks have seen some remarkable next economy pronouncements from three of the world's smartest people, each representing a different realm of human endeavor: business, politics and academics. Warren Buffett, Bill Clinton, and Oxford University professor Nick Bostrom are among the world's highest achievers, and each has remarkable visibility in to the real, actual state of the world. As such, I couldn't help but notice their recent confluence of messaging. In his most recent annual shareholder letter, release February 25th, 2012, Warren Buffett touted Berkshire Hathaway's significant, recent investments in renewable energies:...