10 Stocks To Last The Decade…

Someone recently sent me a link to a Motley Fool piece entitled "10 Stocks to Last the Decade, Revisited". It appeared on Feb. 2 so some of you may have already read it. For those who have not, I thought it might be an interesting read because so many parallels can be drawn between the tech euphoria of the '90s and the cleantech euphoria of today. In a nutshell, the author looks back at a summer of 2000 Fortune article in which 10 stocks were identified as sure winners for the next decade based on how hot...

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:...

The Alternative Energy Revolution – Summary of Industry Sectors

Last week I was speaking to Jim Atkinson of Guinness Atkinson Funds (or GA Funds) (see Disclosure below). Jim sent me document or research paper called, "The Alternative Energy Revolution" which was written in April 2006. The document is usually accompanied by a prospectus for the GA Alternative Energy Fund. Today, I am not commenting on the fund itself but will summarize some of the information I found important in "The Alternative Energy Revolution" paper. A link to the document itself follows my summary. Please note, I am simply presenting the information and numbers in the document. ...

What has Changed in the Alternative Energy Investment Landscape?

Is the time right to invest in alternative energy? We’ve seen a lot of this before in the 1970s and 1980s. Solar and biomass hot, big regulatory pushes, and then companies and investors lost a lot of money when things changed. We’re still a bit skeptical. We’re also all about not getting pulled in to each and every overpriced hype (read, the ethanol race) – but fundamentals are fundamentals. And they’re hard to ignore and pretty darn impressive. We think the real question today is not “are alternatives a good investment?��?, but “which ones have legs and make a...

Two Recent Presentations on Investing in Renewable Energy

As I mentioned Monday, I did a presentation at a Renewable Energy Expo on Saturday about investing in renewable energy... This is a Powerpoint Recap of my Investing in Renewable Energy 101 article, with some Visual Comparisons and stock picking advice thrown in.  I list a bunch of stocks on a few of the slides, and as usual, many of which I own (see disclosure below.) You can download my Introduction to Investing In Renewable Energy here. Yesterday, I also did a 45 minute presentation to private equity investors on ways too look at renewable energy...

Alternative Energy Investing Unfazed By Defeat of Proposition 87

Proposition 87 sure got a lot of attention in the past few months, not least because high-profile venture capitalist (and clean tech enthusiast) Vinod Khosla threw his full weight behind it. Proposition 87 would have created a tax set at between 1.5% and 6% (depending on the price of the barrel of oil) on producers of oil extracted in California, and would have established, with the proceeds, a $4 billion fund to invest in alternative energy. Unfortunately for Khosla and his bunch, California voters defeated Proposition 87 at the ballot box on Tuesday. Unsurprisingly, this had no impact...

Are the Declines in Solar and Wind Stocks Structural, or Cyclical?

Tom Konrad, CFA Last week, I asked three green money managers if they thought cleantech stocks, especially solar and wind sectors were near a bottom.  While they did tell me about eight cleantech value stocks, they were not ready to call the bottom. Commoditization in Clean Energy In response to my questions, Rafael Coven, the manager of the Cleantech Index (^CTIUS), which is the index behind the Powershares Cleantech Portfolio ETF (PZD,) ...

Energy Investing: What To Expect In 2015

By Jeff Siegel Tonight, I will welcome in the New Year with family. We'll feast on cured meats, pickled vegetables, and lamb neck stew. We'll sip an old fashioned or two with apple and sage, share some laughs, and maybe even shed a few tears as we remember those we lost in 2014. When the ball drops, we'll hug, kiss, and cheer on all that waits to be discovered in 2015. There will be good and there will be bad, but I suppose it's the uncertainty of it all that makes life worth living. Don't Fear the Uncertain It...

Graphene Pixie Dust

by Debra Fiakas CFA Ever since British scientists worked a little magic with some scotch tape, the world has been captivated their discovery of graphene, the single atom thick material that can conduct electricity and is at once strong and bendable.  Investors have been dreaming graphene could be sprinkled across industry like pixie dust, creating valuable new products and driving company valuations to lofty heights.  Reality has been a bit less grand. To be clear, there have been successes.  As noted in the June 9th article, “Graphene in the Oil Patch,” the wonder material has been found...

Power Plant Costs & The Case For Energy Efficiency

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a presentation that was given by FERC officials on the phenomenon of rapidly rising costs in US power generation (presentation link at the end of this post). The FERC, or Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is America's energy watchdog. The presentation begins by noting that across America's major electricity hubs, power prices are up significantly on last year (between 62% in the Midwest and 123% in NYC) and that, unfortunately, this probably isn't an anomaly. In fact, the presentation argues, there may be something secular at play. Two main trends are noted....

How to Read a Sustainability Report: Five Tips

Five tips to help you make sense of the next sustainability report you read Reading Sustainability Reports photo via BigStock   By Marc Gunther. This article was first published on Ensia.com. Corporate sustainability reports have been around since … well, it’s hard to say.  The first report may have been published by “companies in the chemical industry with serious image problems” in the 1980s, or by Ben & Jerry’s in 1989 or Shell in 1997. No matter since then, more...

Breaking News – President Bush Calls for Cut in Gasoline Use and Pushes Renewable...

President Bush, in Tuesday's State of the Union address, will propose a plan to cut U.S. gasoline consumption by 20 percent while bolstering inventory in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Republican sources say. The president's 10-year plan to cut gasoline use includes tightening fuel economy standards on automakers and producing 35 billion gallons of renewable fuel such as ethanol by 2017, according to sources briefed on the speech. One official said the moves would be equivalent to taking 26 million vehicles off U.S. roads. Full CNN story. While this is great to see, it is a...

The Next Tesla Or SolarCity

Tom Konrad CFA Andrew Shapiro Speaking at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum – Wall Street this morning, Andrew Shapiro, the Founder of Broadscale Group, presented his ideas on how small clean energy companies can succeed: Collaborate with big corporations.  That does not mean going cap in hand looking for the cash those companies can bring, but forging collaborative partnerships where interests are aligned with a corporate investment, and leveraging the reach and scale of those companies to rapidly achieve scale that entrepreneurs have trouble finding on their own....

Ten Solid Clean Energy Companies to Buy on the Cheap: These Almost Made It

In the future, I plan to avoid doing lists of ten stocks. I've found the writing to be somewhat repetitious, and I suspect some readers feel the same way.  Look for more threes and fives. That said, there are more than enough solid companies with strong clean energy arms.  These companies are my favorite investments right now, both because I think that now is a time to play it very safe in the stock market (I'm also increasing my cash reserve), and because these companies allow me to use Cash Covered Puts. Since I do have several...

Q4 2006 Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices Out

Ernst & Young's Renewable Energy Group just released the Q4 '06 update for its Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices (the document is not yet available on the website, but it should be soon). In the words of Ernst & Young," the Country Attractiveness Indices provide scores for national renewable energy markets, renewable energy infrastructures and their suitability for individual technologies." These indices thus provide useful information for investors wanting to assess the desirability of company exposure to certain markets. There are 3 indices (their names pretty much says what they are about): (a) the All Renewables...

Feel-Good Government Grants Leading Cleantech Astray

David Gold Grants for smart grid projects. Grants for battery manufacturing lines. Loan guarantees for renewable energy project development. Grants to private companies for energy efficiency projects. And with each it seems that the cleantech world cheers. Yet for all our desire to create sustainability in our consumption and use of energy, this model of getting us there is not only unsustainable but is of questionable value. I want to emphasize that I am speaking about government grants to the private sector where the government is not the end customer and...