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...

ETS Interview: LEDs and Energy Efficiency

Today, Energy Tech Stocks has the fifth installment from our interview, outlining my LED stock picks.  He quotes me at the start saying that it's "going to be a gigantic market" about LEDs.  It is, but only when compared to the current size of the market... you can ramp up a lot from a very small base.   LED bulbs are increasing in brightness and decreasing in price rapidly.  It's these quickly improving economics that make me bullish about LEDs.   Unlike many energy efficiency technologies, LEDs are a product that a business can sell.   Much of energy efficiency involves...

Hither and Yon: Transmission and Biofuels

In the most recent two installments of Energy Tech Stocks' interview with me cover my views on transmission stocks, and biofuel stocks.  Readers of AltEnergyStocks know that I am a big fan of electricity transmission, a theme I keep coming back to.  You also know that I have a very ambivalent relationship with both ethanol and biodiesel.  So I liked Bill's transmission article, but I just wasn't able to convey to him the subtleties of how I feel about biofuels.  But he got one thing right: the owners of biofuel feedstock are likely going to be the biggest winners....

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...

Energy Tech Stocks Interview- Utility Scale Batteries

Two weeks ago I did a phone interview with Bill Paul of Energy Tech Stocks.  Bill's a long time WSJ reporter who got out in time before Rupert Murdoch swooped in, as well as a long time environmental journalist.  As such he interviews those of us whose job it is to have views about what's going on in Cleantech and presents those opinions in a readable and engaging way.  He also has this addictive trick of breaking up interviews into several parts and leaving you with a cliffhanger.  Bill's first installment showed up in my feed reader last...

Interview with Dr. Mike Gallagher, President & COO of Westport Innovations

One of the companies I have followed for some time is Westport Innovations, Inc., (TSX:WPT or WPIVF.PK) out of Vancouver. The technology and product suite allows large diesel trucks to run standard diesels on a 95% natural gas mix, enabling fuel switching as well as significantly improved NOx and PM, as well as CO2 emissions. The company's rapid expansions date from a late 1990s joint venture with Cummins (NYSE:CMI), and Westport has led this market sector since then. I had the opportunity at the recent Greenvest 2007 Conference I chaired in San Francisco to hear...

Interview with Tom Konrad on the CleanTech Show

An interview with our analyst, Tom Konrad, with Nick Bruse of The Cleantech Show is now available. In it, they discuss various strategies and the outlook for the Cleantech investment space, as well as some of Tom's ideas on industry regulation. You can download or listen to a podcast of the interview here.

Cleantech Venture Capital – Still Rising

As part of our ongoing series on stories on investment in the cleantech sector, we had a chance to discuss the sector with one of the venture capitalists at Emerald Technology Ventures. Scott MacDonald is an Investment Director with Emerald Technology Ventures, a global leader in cleantech venture capital. Founded in 2000 under the name SAM Private Equity, Emerald is a pioneer in this rapidly emerging sector and is focused on innovative technologies in energy, materials and water. With offices in Zurich, Switzerland and Montreal, Canada, Emerald manages three venture capital funds and two venture capital portfolio mandates...

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...

The Biggest Unheard Boom of 2006 in Cleantech, Smart Metering, and Energy

Author Neal Dikeman is a founding partner at Jane Capital Partners LLC, a boutique merchant bank advising strategic investors and startups in cleantech. He is the founding contributor of Cleantech Blog, and a Contributing Editor to AltEnergyStocks.com. In one of the less talked about cleantech mergers and acquisitions of 2006 (but one I think will have a deep impact on alternative energy and the smart metering and AMI market for years to come), First Data recently acquired Peace Software, an early provider of IT, billing, and CRM software to the deregulated utility sector, in a bid to get...

A Conversation with Ambassador Sklar on Solar in San Francisco

By Neal Dikeman, Partner, Jane Capital Partners LLC, Founding Contributor, Cleantechblog.com, and Contributing Editor, AltEnergyStocks.com. This week I had an opportunity to have a conversation with Ambassador Richard Sklar, the President of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, on renewables and solar power in San Francisco. This is his second stint at the SF PUC, and besides a time in politics, Ambassador Sklar has served as an executive in and advisor to private manufacturing and engineering firms. I had met him and several of the top SF PUC team at Solar 2006 in San Jose, and had been...