The Ontario Green Energy Act: What Can Alt Energy Legislations Do For Investors

Dedicated legislations have been at the core of some of the most impressive regional growth stories in alternative energy, most notably in Germany with the Renewable Energy Sources Act or in California with the various legislative solar initiatives. On Monday, the Canadian province of Ontario became the latest jurisdiction to join the fray as lawmakers introduced the Green Energy and Green Economy Act. Why should investors care? Because such legislations have been at the core of some of the most impressive regional growth stories in alternative energy.  As a bit of a backgrounder on Ontario, there...

Focus On Clean Power Income Trusts

Last week, Tom brought you a piece on the Algonquin Power Income Fund (AGQNF.PK), in which he opined that shift in investor attention away from capital gains toward yield might eventually provide a catalyst for the prices of yield-focused securities such as income trusts to rise. So-called utility trusts, or income trusts where the underlying corporation is engaged in utility activities such as power generation, are a common feature of the Canadian income trust sector (the mother of all income trust sectors). A sub-set of utility trusts is the clean power utility trust, where the power generation...

Algonquin Power: A Renewable Energy Income Investment

The Pendulum Swings to Cash Over the long term, market cycles are characterized by swings of sentiment, and changes in investor preferences.  The recent cycle was characterized by an emphasis on growth and capital gains.  In the current financial crisis, investors are again learning the value of cash, and companies which produce steady cash flow and dividends.  Since the market tends to overshoot, I expect there will be a time a few years hence when, once again, the first question any investor asks about a stock is "What's the yield?" If I'm right, companies with strong cash flows that...

Power Plant Costs & The Case For Energy Efficiency

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a presentation that was given by FERC officials on the phenomenon of rapidly rising costs in US power generation (presentation link at the end of this post). The FERC, or Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is America's energy watchdog. The presentation begins by noting that across America's major electricity hubs, power prices are up significantly on last year (between 62% in the Midwest and 123% in NYC) and that, unfortunately, this probably isn't an anomaly. In fact, the presentation argues, there may be something secular at play. Two main trends are noted....

Two Canadian IPPs For Your Portfolio

Most alternative energy investors are aware of North American wind power's very bright growth prospects. In past articles, we discussed encouraging projections for the US and Canadian (PDF document) wind markets between now and 2015. While onshore European capacity is fast being exhausted, North America is only beginning its foray into wind and some major capex can be expected in this space over the coming years. Besides solid expected growth, another phenomenon is currently impacting the wind industry; consolidation. This is a global movement that is affecting all of the power gen sector, and that has no-doubt been...

What to Make of the TXU Deal?

Last weekend, TXU Corporation (NYSE: TXU) made the stunning announcement that it would be acquired by two private equity giants Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and Texas Pacific Group (TPG) in a transaction valued at $45 billion. Press release Two things leap out at me from the announced deal. First, the investors are willing to pay a 25% premium over the recent share price, while at the same time committing to a 10% rate reduction for TXU's residential electricity customers in Texas. KKR and TPG are no dummies: it must mean that they truly think...

Calpine to sell about a fifth of power plants

Calpine Corp. (CPNLQ.PK) said it plans to sell about one-fifth of its power plants in a bid to emerge as a leaner company focused on its profitable geothermal and gas-fired operations. The company also said it plans to close three offices and cut about 775 jobs. Without identifying the plants, Calpine said the sale of about 20 facilities would allow it to focus on core assets and key markets. The company's largest power markets are California and Texas. The plans drafted by CEO Robert May should allow the company to save over $150 million a year and...

E.On Launches $34.72B All-Cash Endesa Bid

German utility E.On AG launched a 29.1 billion euro ($34.72 billion) all-cash bid for ENDESA (ELE) on Tuesday, topping a previous offer from Gas Natural by more than 30 percent and threatening to disrupt carefully laid plans for Spanish power-market consolidation. Endesa said in a statement that the E.On offer was "clearly" the better of the two, but added that it still did not adequately reflect Endesa's true value. Shares of Endesa were up 15% in yesterday's trading.

FPL Group Beats Estimates By $0.06 and Profits Rise

FPL Group Inc (FPL) reported 2005 fourth quarter net income on a GAAP basis of $206 million, or $0.53 per share, compared with $173 million, or $0.47 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2004. FPL Group's net income for the fourth quarter 2005 included a net unrealized after-tax gain of $27 million associated with the mark-to-market effect of non-qualifying hedges. The results of last year's fourth quarter included a net unrealized after-tax loss of $2 million associated with the mark-to-market effect of non-qualifying hedges. Excluding the mark-to-market effect of non-qualifying hedges, FPL Group's earnings would have been...

FPL Group in Talks to Buy Constellation Energy Group

FPL Group Inc (FPL) is currently in the advanced stages of negotiations to acquire Constellation Energy Group (CEG). An FPL-Constellation merger would create a giant East Coast-based utility with a market capitalization, based on Tuesday's closing stock prices, of $26.97 billion - $16.93 billion for FPL and $10.04 billion for Constellation. Constellation Energy Group is based out of Baltimore Maryland and is the holding company for Baltimore Gas and Electric. They also have an extensive presence in the wholesale power supply and generation business. The Power Generation Division currently uses 4.6% alternative sources for power generation. ...