Minimizing a Key Threat: State of the Union Address 2012

Garvin Jabusch Americans, rightly, prefer specifics and plans, as opposed to rhetorical vision and platitudes, from their president in their State of the Union addresses. We couldn't agree more, so here are our thoughts about President Obama's 2012 address, with respect to our area, the next economy and investing therein. President Barack Obama delivers the 2012 State of the Union Address (Image source: whitehouse.gov) Two years ago, President Obama in his State of the Union Address said, "The nation that leads the clean energy economy will lead the global economy and America must be that...

AltEnergyStocks.com’s Ten Best Competitors

When I began writing about clean energy investing in 2006, my competition was sparse.  The quality blogs with industry heavyweights were either not focused on investing, or were primarily focused on venture capital.  Now the world has changed.  I keep finding new blogs and writers with a strong focus on both clean energy and public companies.  Here are a few I'd like to share with readers: Dedicated Blogs Energy Tech Stocks - Three articles a day can be a little daunting, but that's what happens when you try to cover everything. Camino Energy - Their PurePlay indices are a...

Delusions: The Secret to Lost Opportunities

By Jeff Siegel This past Thursday, as we sat down to yet another Thanksgiving feast, the obligatory What are you thankful for? question surfaced. To be honest, I've never been a fan of playing this game. After all, if you're thankful for something, why do you have to wait until November 24th to talk about it? Nonetheless, I played along that afternoon and decided I was thankful for all the great thinkers over the years that enabled progress and allowed us to enjoy the many comforts and conveniences we take for granted...

Japan Wants to be World Leader in Rare Earth Recycling

by Kidela Capital Group Necessity is the mother of invention and Japanese industry is discovering just how true that old saying is. Last year, a diplomatic spat between Japan and China led the world’s largest supplier of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) to suspend exports of Rare Earth oxides and other critical metals to its largest single client. Japan, like the rest of the world, is almost totally reliant on Chinese Rare Earth (RE) exports and the China’s action, which came as a shock to Japanese industry, is a sentient warning for the rest of the world....

2013 Alternative Energy Stock Predictions

Will Natural Gas Crush Alternative Energy in 2013? By Jeff Siegel Swami photo via Bigstock In 2004 a hotshot Wall Street type cornered me after I spoke at a private luncheon in New York. He told me I had a lot of balls wasting his time talking about alternative energy  declaring he was an “important man” who didn't find it amusing that some tree hugger in a suit (yes, that's what he called me) would lecture him about a coming boom in solar... I never forgot that...

Presentation from May 10, 2008 NREL Seminar

For those who attened my presentation yesterday, thank you for all the great questions. I'm having trouble uploading the presentation (it's too large for my server.) However, it should soon appear on NREL's presentation's page. As usual, I own most of the stocks mentioned in the presentation (too many to list,) and the Guiness Atkinson Alternative Energy fund (also mentioned) is an advertiser on AltEnergyStocks.com. UPDATE: It's still not on NREL's page, but I uploaded it on another server here. Although I had to cut it off because of time, if you have...

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...

Sprott’s Peak Oil Watch

While browsing the web this morning, I came across a very interesting section on Peak Oil on Sprott Asset Management's website (best viewed with Explorer). Sprott Asset Management is a Toronto-based boutique investment management company that I consider, for lack of a better term, pretty cool. They have taken some relatively unorthodox commodities bets in the past and have often won them. For instance, they spotted the bull market in uranium very early on and did well as a result (PDF document). There are many web-based Peak Oil resources out there, so you may wonder why I decided...

SEC Charges Chinese Units of Five Accounting Firms; Chinese Cos Defect

Doug Young Media are buzzing with word that the US securities regulator is once again tussling with major auditors over access to the accounting records of US-listed Chinese firms, in the latest chapter of an ongoing story; but what has me more intrigued is the scramble that is probably taking place behind the scenes, as those same auditors try to figure out what they will do when the inevitable happens and they are forced to share their records with the US Securities and Exchange Administration (SEC). Right now I can imagine what is happening: the auditors, including big...

Can America Regain the Rare Earths Crown?

by Kidela Capital Group A rare earth element is like air. It only seems to become important when you are running out. With China suddenly cutting back on exports while controlling 95 percent of the world’s production of rare earth elements, the United States and other countries suddenly finds themselves vulnerable. This vulnerability has to do with the stability of the supply of these strategic commodities. Countries from around the world have suddenly woken up to the realization that the future of their high technology industries could be in the hands of one supplier – China. In the...

When The Supreme Court Weighs In, Investors Better Pay Attention

Things got a little tougher for the Bush White House yesterday, when the Supreme Court effectively slapped it on the wrist for its position on climate change by ordering the EPA to justify its lack of action on the climate file with substantive arguments (i.e. the Court buys the IPCC's story rather than Bush's). Things Just Keep On Piling This ruling adds to a long list of recent events that render it increasingly difficult for climate nay-sayers to hold the fort. The most significant such events are: (a) one of the top Republican politicians...

Chaos Theory, Financial Markets, and Global Weirding

Tom Konrad Ph.D. CFA In my bio, I usually state My study of chaos theory led to my conviction that knowing the limits of our ability to predict is much more important than the predictions themselves, a lesson I apply to both climate science and the financial markets. Despite having written about financial markets and clean energy stocks regularly since 2006, I have never before explained in print what I meant by that.  This summer's heat wave and stock market turbulence illustrate how my intuition about chaos theory informs both my understanding of the climate and...

Cash in on the efficient transit and transmission building booms

This week's Fortune contains an article titled Cash in on the Rebuilding Boom in which the author, Katie Benner picks several companies she feels will benefit from upgrading the United States' aging infrastructure.  She picked Granite Construction (NYSE: GVA), for their road, bridge, and mass transit construction business,  Greenbrier (NYSE: GBX) for their railcar leasing operations, General Cable (NYSE: BGC) for their wire and cable business, and Wesco (NYSE: WCC) for their business distributing electrical supplies and equipment.  I agree that our nation's infrastructure is in need of a massive upgrade and repair.  However, given my expectation of continued...

T. Boone Pickens on Larry King Live Thursday

In the past 24 hours, there have been a flurry of opinions coming out on what a commanding Obama victory would mean for people's portfolios. Alt energy investors certainly have reasons to be cautiously optimistic. T Boone Pickens, the famous Texas oilman turned clean energy cheerleader, and his Pickens Plan, are likely to have some influence on where President-elect Obama goes with his energy plan and alt energy policies. Pickens has been campaigning for his plan nearly as hard as the candidates have been campaigning for the White House, and his recent rapprochement with the Democratic Party...

The Bailout Package & Renewable Energy

As most of you will probably know by now, the US Senate voted tonight to pass the $700 billion bailout package for the financial sector. As part of the this new version of the bill full of so-called "sweeteners", or measures meant entice certain individuals to vote in favor, lawmakers included a one-year extension of the Production Tax Credit for wind and an eight-year extension of the Investment Tax Credit for solar. Now the House must still vote on Friday, so this isn't a done deal just yet. However, although it probably won't get much attention in the...

Carbon War Room CEO: “Radical Incrementalism Will Fail”

Tom Konrad CFA The Richard Branson-backed nonprofit, the Carbon War Room is a group that thinks big in the battle against catastrophic climate change.  They're only interested in attacking problems with the potential to reduce carbon emissions on the gigaton scale, that is reducing emissions by a trillion tons a year.  No one nonprofit or even one multinational company can deploy the necessary capital to seize a fraction of the opportunities on this scale.  An annual gigaton of carbon emission reductions requires between $300 billion (Energy Efficiency) and $2 trillion (Solar PV) in up-front investment, according...