The Peak Coal Portfolio

Last week, we alerted you to a report from Germany's Energy Watch Group called “Coal: Resources and Future Production,��? which predicts peak coal by 2025.  Readers of AltEnergyStocks are doubtless familiar with peak oil, the inevitable fact that as we consume a finite resource (oil reserves) at some point the rate of that consumption must peak, and taper off.  Serious arguments about peak oil center around "when" oil production (and consumption) will peak, not "if."   The same it true for other finite natural resources, such as natural gas, uranium, and even coal.  The difference with coal is the received...

Trading Alert: CPTC.OB

In my article about electrical transmission, I mentioned that I liked Composite Technology Corp. (CPTC.OB). I became increasingly bullish on this stock as a result of my changing understanding while I was researching the article. The article then initiated an email conversation with a long-time investor, where I learned more about the company's business. As a result, I just purchased more of the stock (at $1.33, using a limit order), quadrupling my initial position (acquired in February at $.91. My current average cost basis is $1.23.) Several of my clients also own...

A Blue-Chip Alternative Energy Portfolio

Update: an expanded version of this portfolio appears here. Alternative Energy: Risky but Alluring For many of my older or more cautious clients, investment in small, profitless (or nearly so) startup alternative energy companies is inappropriate.  Even a diversified ETF such as the Powershares Wilderhill Clean Energy portfolio (AMEX: PBW) is too volatile due to its heavy exposure to profitless renewable energy companies such as Evergreen Solar (ESLR) (NasdaqGM: ESLR).   Because of this, in the last year PBW has been over $24, but as low as $16.24.  While such volatility can lead to supercharged profits when you are...

Trading Alert: AAER Inc. (TSE:AAE)

I took 2 long positions yesterday (1 in my normal trading account and the other in my retirement account) in an emerging Canadian integrator of megawatt-sized wind energy conversion systems (i.e turbines) called AAER Inc . Besides turbine assembly, the company also provides a range of services to clients in the wind industry, ranging from assistance in project planning and financing to post-installation maintenance. Now it must be said from the outset that is a very speculative play on North American wind and not suitable for all investors. I entered one of my positions at C$0.38 and the...

Change Winds Blow for Renewable Energy Income Trusts

Renewable energy is still very much in its infancy, which means that companies in the space are either profitless or high-multiple startups, or divisions of much larger companies (GE Wind (NYSE:GE), or utilities such as FPL Group (NYSE:FPL) and Xcel (NYSE:XEL) which get much of their power from conventional generation.) This presents a dilemma for investors who understand the compelling drivers for the sector, but whose risk tolerance or financial needs indicate an income-based investing strategy. Canadian Income Trusts in Renewable Energy A few Canadian Income Trusts have historically gone some way towards filling this niche....

A Great Day For Solar Stocks, But Beware The Volatility!

Is it the unprecedented amount of media attention climate change is currently getting? Is it the State of the Union Address? Is it the price of oil? Or is it a combination of factors? In the end, it doesn't really matter; it's this time of year again and the value of the solar sector is heading north. Today was a great day for solar stocks, while the market as a whole was mainly flat. I remember this period last year very well. I was long Suntech Power and Energy Conversion Devices , acquired...

Energy Conversion Devices (NASDAQ:ENER): Jefferies Vs. Cramer

Two different opinions on Energy Conversion Devices came out last Thursday (Jan. 11). Analyst Jeffrey W. Bencik at Jefferies & Co said that ENER was one his top 2 picks in the solar industry for '07, opining that despite continued volatility this should be a rewarding year for ENER investors. He believes that attention will "shift from company specific performance to a top down focus on the evolution of solar incentive schemes." Jim Cramer, on Thursday's Mad Money, said he could not, "in good conscience, recommend that stock with oil at $51, going to $49. So,...

What’s Going On With Beacon Power and RailPower Tech?

Two diametrically-opposed stories for this post: Beacon Power and RailPower Tech . The latter is up 134% on its week-ago closing price, while the former is down nearly 22% over the same period. Beacon Power Corp I wrote about Beacon Power a little while ago. The recent drop in share price is due in large part to the fact that Beacon announced, last Friday (Dec. 29), a glitch at one of its testing facilities in Massachusetts. This was followed by an analyst at Merriman Curhan Ford downgrading the company from Buy to Hold. Almost immediately, the...

Trading Alert: Purchased Beacon Power Corp (NASDAQ:BCON)

I purchased some more Beacon Power Corp. (NASDAQ:BCON) on Friday after watching the stock slowly dwindle over the past 2 weeks back toward its 3-month low. I purchased it at $1.07 Beacon Power makes flywheel-based, environmentally-friendly energy storage devices that can help smooth out supply-demand swings in electricity grids, notably by storing base-load power and releasing it during peak-load periods. More on Beacon Power’s flywheel technology. Beacon is not a company that looks particularly attractive fundamentally at the moment. For Q3 2006, the company reported a net loss of $3,165,000, or -$0.06 per share, on...

PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy ETF Constituents

The Energy Stock Blog has posted an update of the stocks that make up the PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (PBW). The only change that I see from the last reporting of the index is the addition of Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (PEIX) to the portfolio.

Is XsunX (XSNX) Being Manipulated?

Hans Deuel at Clearfish Research presents some very good concerns about the possible manipulation of the shares of XSUNX Inc. (XSNX). I've received a number of comments about XsunX, all from the same person. I decided to look into them. They are working on transparent solar cells, have a weird history, and a weird structure. The only technological information I can find on them is all paid advertising (from IPODesktop and others) masquerading as research. Each of their press releases are misleading. They offer one key statement, and then go on about intentions. For example, the latest one...

Shares of Carmanah Purchased

Wouldn't you know it, right after I posted about this company and complained that I couldn't buy it, I checked my brokerage account to see if there was any movement to my open market order. Well the IntraWeb gods must have been smiling on me, I got a partial fill in my personal account. So I now have a small stake in Carmanah Tech Corp (CMH.V) at a price of $3.0525. Maybe I should post my complaints more often :-) DISCLAIMER: I am not a registered investment advisor. The information and trades that I provide here...

Calpine Delisted from NYSE

The New York Stock Exchange has officially delisted Calpine Corp. and the stock is now currently trading over-the-counter as a pink sheet with the following ticker: CPNL.PK.

Calpine Given Notice

Calpine Corp. (CPN) shares are down another 20% again today and are now down in the 20-30 cent range. They were given notice today by a Delaware judge that they have until January 22 to repay $313 million owed to bondholders. Moody's has also downgraded their corporate bonds to junk bond Ca stauts (10 levels below investment grade.) Calpine was kicked out of the S&P 500 recently and now they are looking like they will declare bankruptcy. Boy the hits just keep on coming.

Calpine Gets Hammered

Shares of Calpine Corp. (CPN) suffered a greater than 20% loss yesterday and is now down almost another 13% today. All of this was caused by a court ruling stating that they will be unable to use the $395 million in cash they received from the sale of oil and gas fields earlier this year for the purpose of buying natural gas to run its power plants. The dispute stems from the Bank of New York's decision in September when, acting as trustee for Calpine bondholders, it withheld proceeds from Calpine's sale in July of North...

Shares of Sun Power Purchased

As I mentioned yesterday I had a limit order to purchase SunPower Corporation (SPWR). The stock was scheduled to start the day at $18 and I expected that the stock would be up big in the morning, so I set a limit order at $20. Well when the stock started trading it opened up at over $27. Mid-day the stock seemed to rest around the $25 level and that is when I entered the stock with a 1/3 position in my personal portfolio at a price of $25.70. The stock is not available for purchase at Marketocracy, so it...