The Next Economy in 2012: Progress Towards Inflection

Green Alpha Advisors' Annual Client Letter and Portfolio Commentary Garvin Jabusch and Jeremy Deems 2012 saw a return to positive performance for the next economy and for markets overall. Generally, global economic conditions, as indicated by some jobs growth, slowly improving industrial output and a housing rebound, improved marginally, but debt crises in Europe and America, exacerbated by eternal dithering, gamesmanship and posturing by politicians and other policy makers on both continents, kept optimism in check and moderated expectations for growth. With respect to the next economy, though, growth and expectations for growth began showing real signs of building...

Why Investing Should Be Moral

Last night, a recent finance graduate introduced himself to me, telling me he had attended my presentation at the Colorado Renewable Energy Society on July 24th. (the whole presentation is available after the link, scroll down to Jul 24.)  He said he wasn't invested in clean energy because "Investing is about making money... there's nothing moral about it."   I'm sure I was quite sarcastic when I replied, "That sounds like a finance major." I believe that finance and economics, as they are currently taught, make people less moral.  I'm not talking about God.  I'm personally agnostic with tendencies towards...

The EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2007 (Early Release) is Out

A quick post to inform our readers that the Energy Information Administration has just published an 'early release' version of its 2007 Annual Energy Outlook. Topics covered include: Energy Trends to 2030 Economic Growth Energy Prices Energy Consumption Energy Intensity Electricity Generation Energy Production and Imports Carbon Dioxide Emissions Along with this table outlining a range of energy-related projections to 2030 (PDF document), including revisions from 2006 projections.

Will We Have Too Much Generation for Renewables?

Too Many Brownies Before Dinner "When you feed your kid six brownies before dinner, you can't expect him to eat the salad, no matter how good it is."  So says Leslie Glustrom, a long term renewable energy advocate.  This is her metaphor for why Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) has been reluctant to pursue Demand Side Management (DSM) and renewable energy projects in Colorado as they have been in Minnesota.  Because Xcel is currently constructing 500 MW of new coal-fired generation, and they are also interested in a 300-350 MW IGCC plant by 2013, they may have little demand for...

Renewable Energy Stocks By Dollars Per Watt

Tom Konrad CFA Disclosure: I and my clients own HASI and BEP. I have short call positions in NYLD and PEGI, and short put positions in PEGI. Dollars per watt ($/W) is a lousy measure of the economics of solar, but it persists. Most likely, it persists because it seems familiar.  We can pay $4 for a watt of solar, or $4 for a Iced Hazelnut Macchiato at Starbucks.  Unfortunately, while the analogy may seem apt, this is a lot like knowing you’re getting a Macchiato without knowing if it’s a Tall, Grande, or Venti.  The actual energy production from a...

Cleantech Venture Capitalists Beware – What You Don’t Know About Energy Can Kill You

Oil prices quietly (at least in the cleantech world), slipped below $80 last week, off some 50% from their highs a few months ago. Did I say 50%? Yes 50%. And gas has slipped, too, as with some variations, natural gas historically trades at a roughly 10:1 price ratio of Barrels to MCF. It's easy to get caught up in the cleantech hype and forget that only 10 years ago this year oil prices fell two thirds, caught between rising supply from a decade of drilling and nasty Asian flu, triggered in part by, wait, a financial debt...

Earnings Season – Alternative Energy Stocks to Watch

By Harris Roen Some 44 companies active in alternative energy have reported earnings in January 2013. Results have been all over the map, so it is important for alternative energy investors to know where to be cautious, and where the best potential profits are to be found. Below is a summary of selected earnings results from alternative energy companies that the Roen Financial Report tracks. Date Linear Technology Corporation (LLTC) More Info 1/15 Earnings came in on target for this integrated circuit company, but EPS were down 16%...

Will Rare Earths Cripple the Green Economy? Part 3

Eamon Keane This is Part Three of a three part series based on a rare earth elements (REE) review which is available for download at slideshare, where references can be viewed. Part 1 is an introduction to REEs. Part 2 analyzes REE consumption and refining and Part 3 looks at how REEs might affect the green economy. There have been several forecasts made for future demand. Approximate data was derived from Byron Capital Market’s own estimate and the data contained in Oakdene Hollins’ May 2010 report “Lanthanide Resources and Alternatives” for others . Figure...

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...

Growing Clean Energy Through Business Model Innovation

David L. Levy Boston-based Zipcar (ZIP) raised $174 million from its Initial Public Offering in April 2011. It already has operates in 14 big cities and 230 college campuses around the United States, Canada and the UK, and is planning to use the new capital for market expansion. Zipcar is not a high tech business, and its success is not due to sophisticated technological innovation; rather, it’s an example of business model innovation. Zipcar reinvented the traditional car rental business by simplifying and reducing the costs for short-term rentals, and rebranding the service as green car sharing. They...

The Arizona Renewable Energy Assessment: An Investor’s Perspective

Black and Veatch Corporation (B&V) recently completed and in-depth assessment of renewable energy generation potential for three Arizona utilities (Arizona Public Service (APS), the Salt River Project (SRP), and Tucson Electric Power (TEP)) which must comply with Arizona's Renewable Energy Standard.   Nate Blair, a senior energy analyst (and fellow board member at the Colorado Renewable Energy Society) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory sent me the link.  Thanks, Nate! The Renewable Energy Standard requires that APS and TEP generate 15% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and the SRP has adopted a...

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...

The MacArthur Foundation Invests In Climate Solutions- And In Fossil Fuels

By Marc Gunther.  Eighteen months ago, the people who manage the endowment at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation got some bad news: Investments they had made in funds managed by EnerVest, a Houston-based private equity firm that operates more than 33,000 oil and gas wells across the US, had plummeted in value to almost nothing. The losses were small, relatively speaking — roughly $15 million, a fraction of the foundation’s $7 billion endowment — but they were unwelcome, if only because they called attention to the fact that MacArthur, whose mission is, famously, to build a “more just, verdant and peaceful world,” had...

Seven Greentech “Experts” and Their Stock Picks

Tom Konrad CFA Not many self-proclaimed Greentech experts know what they're talking about, and fewer can effectively make the case of Greentech investing. When I attended the MoneyShow last week to moderate a panel, I also stayed around to see what people who held themselves out as Greentech or Cleantech experts were saying.  Since MoneyShow attendees do not pay to get in, all the revenue comes from presenters.  I was asked to moderate my panel because I made it a condition of helping them advertise the show, but many of the presenters I saw were on stage...