Solar: Energy, But Not Oil

by Garvin Jabusch Solar photovoltaic (PV) as a means of deriving energy is fundamentally different from fossil fuel-based commodities (oil, coal, and gas). Consider: A solar PV panel can be thought of as nothing more than a hugely oversized computer chip a bunch of circuitry embedded in a silicon wafer. Indeed, in most economic sector classification schemes (GICS, etc.), PV manufacturers are defined as "semiconductors," which is basically true (if misleading in other ways).  So different are the driving economics behind tech-based and commodities-based means of deriving energy, that we at Green Alpha are recommending to Standard &...

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...

Inevitable Shifts and Indispensable Technologies

Next Economy Inflection, Pt. III Garvin Jabusch Back at the New Year, I thought it’d be fun to write up a short recap of some of the evidence that, finally, the world is waking up to the real need to get our economies on a footing that can allow it to persist indefinitely. In that post I wrote of those observations that “these are just the first few recent ‘tipping point’-like stories to come to mind. I've read dozens more examples recently, and I feel the fact that I can no longer be aware of all the evidence...

Top 5 Things Cleantech Entrepreneurs Fail to Understand About Raising Capital

David Gold After decades of venture capital investment, growth and exit, the traditional focus areas of venture capital (such as IT, web and software) have developed strong entrepreneurial ecosystems. A high percentage of start-ups in these traditional areas come to market with one or more experienced entrepreneurs or with a strong and active network of investors/advisors who have “been there, done that.”   They know what it takes to raise capital and to build a great fast-growing business.  Cleantech companies, however, are much more likely to be led by first-time entrepreneurs who often struggle to create an ecosystem of...

Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) Tax Equity Conference Brief

I recently attended the Solar Energy Industry Association's (SEIA) Finance and Tax Seminar in New York. The subject matter in this event delved into issues related to tax equity finance.  Each panel session was moderated by a tax attorney or an accountant, and most of the content of the sessions consisted of technical tax law. To place the discipline into context, one speaker noted that the tax equity renewables investing deal volume in 2018 was $2-3B for solar and $9B for wind, and the number of tax equity participants is roughly only 25-35 large corporations.  So unless there are changes...

Electricity and Water– Can We Have Both? 

by John V. AndersonThe Water-Electricity Connection: Basic Principles There’s been a lot of discussion – and a fair amount of controversy – lately about water use in power plants. Unfortunately a lot of this discussion is based on an incomplete understanding of the fundamental issues involved. First of all, virtually all of the non-hydro power we consume is generated by heat engines of one sort or another. All heat engines absorb energy from a hot source (e.g. a flame, nuclear core, or solar), and they all reject energy to a cold sink – that is they...

Investing For The Anthropocene

by Garvin Jabusch Jack Bogle is flat wrong. I mean, within his worldview and that of Modern Portfolio Theory, he’s right, but in the Anthropocene, he’s wrong. Bogle, founder and retired CEO of the Vanguard Group, is known for championing the superiority of low-fee index funds. His firm’s largest product, the $155 billion Vanguard 500 Index Fund is the perfect poster child for his philosophy. It closely tracks the S&P 500 Index of America’s largest companies, and it has a fee of only 0.06% inclusive. The S&P 500 has performed better than most actively managed portfolios over time, so...
Katelyn Kriesel

The Case of Divestment From Fossil Fuels (Powerpoint presentation)

This is a presentation from the Third Annual Climate Solution Summit by Katelyn Kriesel, Board President of the Sustainable Economies Alliance on the case for divesting from Fossil Fuels. _Divestment Presentation - New Paltz Katelyn Kriesel is an expert in the field of sustainable finance. She is a Financial Advisor with Hansen’s Advisory Services, located in Fayetteville, NY, a firm that has specialized in Socially Responsible Investing for over 30 years. She is also Board President and founder of the Sustainable Economies Alliance (SEA), a not-for-profit organization that is raising community awareness regarding economic sustainability and empowerment. She uses this expertise...

Capital Pacific Bank: Free Market Alternative with a Conscience

Not A Bankster By Jeff Siegel In the long, slow recovery from the 2008 financial collapse, the banking industry has increasingly been regarded as a buglight for the untrustworthy. The Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate) scandal brought banking corruption to the front of the news, and showed the world a huge ethical hole that had burned through the middle of major banks. In a 2012 essay entitled “Is Banking Unusually Corrupt, and If So, Why?” Financial analyst, Circuit Court judge and University of Chicago Law School Lecturer Richard A. Posner laid out the reasons why...

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...

GE’s Ecomagination: A Panacea?

Last Thursday, General Electric's (NYSE: GE) CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, reported on the progress to date of the company's Ecomagination project. Ecomagination seeks to position GE as a global environmental technology heavyweight, and Immelt is confident that this initiative will contribute substantially to the eventual emergence of GE's share price from the funk it's been over the past seven years. The Globe & Mail ran an interesting piece on Ecomagination the following day. Rob Day at Cleantech Investing also briefly touched on on the topic on Monday. The jury is still out - will Ecomagination be GE's...
Energy A Human History by Richard Rhodes

Richard Rhodes, “Energy: A Human History”

Richard Rhodes has written an amazing book. He aspired to tell the tales of energy transitions over the past 400 years. His Energy: A Human History accomplishes that task. The book is daunting in size for non-required reading. It is filled with brief stories of this or that device or discovery or development, and almost overwhelming in both scope and detail. I wondered, at times, when the payoff would come. My advice: If you are at all interested in the topic, stick with it. To my economics-trained mind the book lacks analytical structure. One story after another, linked together by fuel source or technology, layer...

How to Measure the Next Economy?

Garvin Jabusch In search of a sucessor to the Global Industry Classification Standard The Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) is the framework within which finance types organize companies and their stocks into industries and sectors. You've heard the names for these groups many times: energy, transportation, materials, commercial services, etc. These divisions have been useful in attempting "to enhance the investment research and asset management process for financial professionals worldwide" (mscibarra.com, 3/2010). And, for a while, GICS did a decent job of keeping portfolio managers, investment advisors and their clients reasonably well organized in their thinking about...

Feeling Feeling Blue About Green? Reasons for Cleantech Optimism…

David Gold There are so many easy reasons to be a pessimist today:  the world financial crisis, the discord and dysfunction in Washington, and the almost certain doom that many scientists claim we are facing from global warming. With the first high profile cleantech company failures, the euphoria of the cleantech bubble has burst creating pessimism about the future of cleantech as a whole.  I say, hogwash!  History says we have many reasons to be optimistic.  Just because things look bad today doesn’t mean the world is coming to an end!  We humans have a hard...

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...

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...
Close Bitnami banner
Bitnami