Interview with Ray C. Anderson, of Interface Inc.

Tom Konrad, CFARay Anderson, the pioneering founder and Chairman of Interface, Inc. (IFSIA) was an early pioneer of sustainable enterprise.  We recently had the opportunity to interview him on the benefits he sees for investors from corporate sustainability (full transcript follows.)I've recently been thinking about corporate sustainability (in the green sense) and how it relates to  corporate sustainability (in the business survival sense.)  Since I expect business conditions to be more difficult in the coming years than they have been in the past, any edge in resilience a company might gain from pursuing sustainability may be useful, both on...

ETS Interview: The Will the Real Transportation Fuel of the Future Step Forward

For macro reasons, I think that the next generation liquid fuels may be cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel or renewable diesel from algae.  But those fuels will increasingly be sharing the roads with the long term transportation fuel of the future: electricity from renewable sources, especially wind.  Wind will be important for electric transportation and electric transportation will be important for wind because, when you're already going to be charging batteries, you may as well do it when the electricity is cheap, which will be when the wind is blowing..   Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) neatly solve the main barrier...

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,) ...

Stock Picks for US Energy Dominance

Tom Konrad, Ph.D. CFA Thursday night (Friday morning in Sinapore) CNBC Asia's Street Signs program must have had an interview cancellation, because they needed someone to give them 3 energy stock picks in response the Trump's "Energy Dominance" speech on last minute notice.  They sent me (and probably a bunch of other people) an email two and a half hours before air.  I did not see it until 20 minutes before the actual interview.  I warned them that I do clean energy, not fossil fuels, but apparently they had no other takers who were awake and able to...

Alt Energy Stocks Analyst Tom Konrad On PBS’s WealthTrack

Alt Energy Stocks Analyst Tom Konrad will join a televised roundtable discussion with EnergyTechStocks' Managing Editor Bill Paul and Ardour Global Indexes' Joseph LaCorte this Friday. The discussion will center around the topic of investing in alternative energy. The program, entitled WealthTrack with Consuelo Mack, will air on PBS between November 9th and 12th, after which it will be available for online viewing here.  You can find a listing of stations carrying the show with airtimes at the end of this article. Bill Paul may be familiar to our readers because of the series of articles he wrote following...

How the Gabelli Green Growth Fund Got Its Five Stars

Tom Konrad, CFA An interview with John Segrich, CFA, portfolio manager at the the Gabelli Green Growth Fund (SRIGX). When I did my recent past performance comparison of clean energy mutual funds, I found that the Gabelli Green Growth Fund (SRIGX and SRICX) beat all its rivals by a long shot over the last three years, earning a coveted five-star rating from Morningstar.  In general, I'm a skeptic about short-term past performance: If you look at enough funds, sooner or later you'll find one that has had great performance by sheer luck.  Even when a few years'...

Fuel Tech – Driving Profits by Cleaning up Coal

Fuel Tech (Nasdaq: FTEK) is one of the fast growing public greentech / cleantech companies focused on cleaning up dirty coal. I have known John Norris, the CEO of Fuel Tech, and his family for years, and have had the pleasure of following his career for some time. He's one of the many former nuclear engineers that grew up in the electric utility industry. He has held utility executive positions including CEO of Duke Engineering & Services, SVP and CEO of Duke Energy Global Asset Development, and Senior Vice President, Operations and Technical Services, at American Electric Power...

Three Money Managers See LED Industry Shining in 2013; Their Stock Picks

Tom Konrad LED lights on an outdoor tree. Photo by author This is the third article in my series based on my panel of green money managers’ predictions for 2013.  The first article looked at what they expect 2013 holds for the Solar industry, and the second looked at their predictions  for the Smart Grid.  This installment focuses on the LED industry. Jeff Cianci: Faster than Anyone Expects Jeff Cianci is Chief Investment Officer at equity investment fund Green Science Partners. Cianci says “The trend toward LED lighting for...

They’ll Put the Cellulose in Cellulosic Ethanol

One of the keys to staying ahead of the game in money management is lateral thinking.  I start with the trend, and then try to think of industries or companies that might benefit, but are not on everyone else's radar.  With Peak Oil-driven demand for biofuels, regular readers know that I consider the people who produce the feedstock (farmers, and industries whose waste can fairly easily be converted into biofuel) to be the most certain winners.  One direction this chain of logic has taken me is to forestry companies.  I'm far from a forestry analyst, so I decided to...

A Clean Energy Inflection Point in 2013? The Best ETF to Play the Trend

Tom Konrad In 2007, it seemed like clean energy was finally becoming mainstream.  Both candidates for the US Presidency accepted the need to act on global warming, even if they did not agree on the degree, and clean energy stocks were rising even faster than the broad stock market. Then came the 2008 financial crisis, and many Americans discovered they had much more immediate worries than the slow but inexorable warming of the planet.  Fossil fuel interests and the politicians who benefited from their donations  played to the new mood by providing a worried populace with the excuse they wanted...

Eight Cleantech Value Stocks

Tom Konrad CFA Three professional Cleantech money managers' top stock picks. On Tuesday I published Money Managers See Value in Clean Energy Sector, but Hesitate to Call the Bottom based on my correspondence with Rafael Coven, manager of the Cleantech Index (^CTIUS), Garvin Jabusch, manager of the Sierra Club Green Alpha Portfolio, and Sam Healy, a portfolio manager at Lamassu Capital.  These three professionals were in strong agreement that many cleantech stocks are currently excellent value plays, even if cleantech and the market as a whole may have farther to fall, especially if the broader market continues to decline....

Money Managers See Value in Clean Energy Sector, but Hesitate to Call the Bottom

Tom Konrad CFA Three green stock specialists see individual stocks at attractive values, but think it's too soon to call the bottom for the sector as a whole. Last month, I wrote that I'm again finding clean energy stocks that I think are bargains, and listed ten.  I was not ready to call a bottom for clean energy, and in fact said I expected the market to get worse before it gets better, so investors should keep some money on the sidelines to wait for more opportunities to emerge. In a little over a month...

Interview With Nathaniel Bullard On Fossil Fuel Divestment

by Tom Konrad CFA Renewable Energy World asked me to write a commentary on Bloomberg New Energy Finance's recent report on the difficulties institutional investors are likely to have divesting from fossil fuels.  The report details how the scale, yield, liquidity, and historic growth of the oil and gas sector are impossible to match with any other investment sector. While this is quite true, much of the other coverage has missed the point.  Ironically, I thought Bloomberg News' coverage was some of the worst, because it focused on the least important aspect of fossil fuels...

US Yieldcos Will Survive

by Susan Kraemer As unrealistic expectations of dividend growth are scaled back, yieldcos are now on a more sustainable path. Weaknesses in the US yieldco model came into sharp relief this summer as share prices fell along with oil and gas stocks. This was in part due to investor confusion about energy stocks but also in response to a flaw in US yieldco expectations. Manager of the Green Global Equity Income Portfolio and AltEnergyStocks.com editor Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA had warned of the looming potential for exactly this kind of market correction in a conversation a...

Commodities Specialists Ask About Alternative Energy

Commodities investing site HardAssetsInvestor has published an interview with me from the start of December.  We covered a broad swathe of the clean (and not so clean) energy.   If you're wondering why my top stock pick from the article was ABB, and not one from my recent 10 Speculations series, it's because all of those are too risky to be my top picks.  I like risk, but not with the largest part of my portfolio... stocks like ABB that let me sleep at night. Major topics we touched on: Ethanol (both corn and cellulosic) Cost comparisons in electricity...

Three Green Money Managers; Six Green Stocks for 2013

Tom Konrad When I asked my panel of green money managers their predictions for trends 2013, I got enough material for four articles: On where the cleantech sector is heading in 2013, as well as on Solar, Smart Grid, and LED technology. I also asked them for stock picks, some of which I included in the previous articles.  Several had opinions about EnerNOC (NASD:ENOC), which I wrote about here, and two picked LED stocks Veeco Instruments (NASD:VECO) and Universal Display Corp. (NASD:PANL), which I discussed here. Since I just published my annual model portfolio of...