Solar Stocks As the Best Play On The Cleantech Revolution? (Part I)

I just got around to reading a new report by Merrill Lynch (link at the end of this article) identifying cleantech as "The Sixth Revolution" (the other five being: Industrial Revolution; Age of Steam & Railways; Age of Steel, Electricity and Heavy Engineering; Age of Oil, the Automobile and Mass Production; and Age of Info and Telecommunications). Periodically, sell-side firms will release free cleantech/alt energy reports, which lay out their macro theses but stop short of providing stock picks to non-clients. I don't generally pay these reports too much attention as I find they rarely - if ever...

A New Solar Fuel to the Rescue?

Cerium - an oil saviour? Eamon Keene Making fuel from solar energy is the holy grail of the renewable industry. In 2008, David Nocera, an energy professor from MIT, gushed about a "major discovery" which would unleash a solar revolution. The MIT press reported on a "simple, inexpensive, highly efficient process for storing solar energy". Ostensibly this was a way to split water to store solar energy in the form of hydrogen and each house would have its own solar panel, which would mean that "electricity-by-wire from a central source could be a...

Concentrated Solar Power and the New ITC

When the financial turmoil began, I sold my riskiest stocks.  Even a successful bailout bill is unlikely to return us to the heady days of 2006 and 2007.  Yet there is a bright side for clean energy investors.  Despite the recent evidence to the contrary, a financial crisis is likely to convince legislators of the importance of getting the economy going again, and of doing so with the least amount of public money possible. Concentrating Solar Power It was with this thought in mind that I attended CSP Today's Second Annual CSP Summit US in San Francisco. ...

Renewable Energy: a Better Bribe

Bribing and Pressuring Fissile Regimes On July 25th, France offered to build a nuclear reactor for Libya to power a water desalinization plant.  Russia is delaying the delivery of  nuclear fuel for Iran's nearly completed Bushehr to help pressure them to comply with UN Security council demands for less secrecy.  South Korea, Japan, China, Russia, and the United States promised to provide 950 thousand tons of oil or equivalent aid to North Korea in return for permanently disabling all its nuclear facilities. I'm not going to argue about whether using energy aid is the best way to influence this...

Solar Tracer at the Penny Stock Arcade

Dana Blankenhorn This article is no longer available. Disclosure: None Dana Blankenhorn first covered the energy industries in 1978 with the Houston Business Journal. He returned last month after a short 29 year hiatus because it's the best business story of our time. In between he covered PCs, the Internet, e-commerce, open source, the Internet of Things and Moore's Law. It's the application of the last to harvesting the energy all around us he's most excited about. He lives in Atlanta.

A Solar Technology for Every Application

Acciona's financing of Nevada Solar One, and a recent series of a financing, a prominent hire, and a big announcement from Concentrating Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) developer Ausra has been keeping long-underappreciated Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology in the news recently.  I consider this great news, because the potential for cheap thermal storage of CSP and the gigantic size of the available resource means that CSP is likely to provide the backbone of reliability for any future decarbonized electric grid where the clear skies which it requires to operate properly and sufficient transmission are available. But CSP is...
Solar Farm

List of Solar Farm Owner and Developer Stocks

Solar farm owner and developer stocks are publicly traded companies who develop or manufacture equipment that converts sunlight into other types of useful energy.  Includes manufacturers and developers of both solar photovoltaic and solar thermal equipment, as well as their supply chain. See also the list of Solar Manufacturing Stocks, the list of Residential Solar Stocks (forthcoming 6/21/18), and solar and wind inverter stocks. 7C Solarparken AG (HRPK.DE) Abengoa SA (ABG.MC, ABGOY, ABGOF) Acciona, S.A. (ANA.MC, ACXIF) Algonquin Power and Utilities (AQN, AQN.TO) Atlantica Yield PLC (AY) Bluefield Solar Income Fund (BSIF.L) Boralex (BLX.TO, BRLXF) Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (BEP) Canadian Solar (CSIQ) Capital Stage AG (CAP.DE) Edisun Power Europe AG (ESUN.SW) Etrion...

Solar Conquistador

by Debra Fiakas CFA In the last post on Brightsource Energy and its Ivanpah solar thermal power plant in California, I offered no investment opportunity.  Brightsource’s colossal configuration of mirrors and boilers in the Mojave desert is not the first solar thermal power plant using the tower configuration.  The solar subsidiary of Spain’s power generator and transmission leader Abengoa S.A.(ABGB:  Nasdaq) was first to market with a commercial solar thermal tower power plant near Seville. Since construction first started in 2004, Abengoa Solar has brought a series of solar thermal...

From Solar 2009: Investment Opportunities in Solar Stocks: Solar Millennium (SMLNF.PK)

Tom Konrad, Ph.D. This is the third in a series of entries on opportunities in solar stocks, based on a panel at Solar 2009.  The the first article introduced the panelists, and took a look at the solar sector as a whole.  The second was about First Solar. Allen Goodman  on Solar Millennium (SMLNF.PK) "Project developers stand out because of their ability to have a relationship with the customer." Peter Lynch on Solar Millennium (SMLNF.PK) "I liked Solar Millennium before it ran up to $90 last year, I liked it at $90, and I like it today at...

Mirrors in the Mojave

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week the Ivanpah solar thermal power plant in California went operational last week.  Ivanpah is a marvel.  Located in the Mojave Desert, the power plant generators are driven by steam like any other.  However, at Ivanpah the steam is created by acres of large mirrors that reflect and concentrate the desert sunlight onto water-filled boilers.  The boilers tower 150 feet above the mirrors that are spread across 3,500 acres.  Ivanpah scale has required the cooperation of a number of players.  Brightsource Energy is running the show with the...

Bragawatts

Tom Konrad, Ph.D. When Solaren announced they are seeking PUC approval for a power purchase agreement (PPA) with PG&E (NYSE:PCG) for solar power from outer space, I wasn't too surprised.   California utilities signing deals for large solar projects which quite likely may never be built is something of an industry trend.  At a Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) conference last fall, John White, the Executive Director of Cleanpower.org, said that competitive solicitations for power supplies in California are becoming a sideshow, and that the "Process lacks credibility among the most serious and qualified developers."  Rainier Aringhoff, the president of one...
solar manufactureing

List of Solar Manufacturing Stocks

Solar manufacturing stocks are publicly traded companies who develop or manufacture equipment that converts sunlight into other types of useful energy.  Includes manufacturers and developers of both solar photovoltaic and solar thermal equipment, as well as their supply chain. See also the list of Solar Farm Owner and Developer Stocks, the list of Residential Solar Stocks (forthcoming 6/21), and solar and wind inverter stocks. 5N Plus Inc (VNP.TO, FPLSF) Amtech Systems Inc (ASYS) Apollo Solar Energy (ASOE) Ascent Solar Technologies Inc (ASTI) Canadian Solar (CSIQ) DAQO New Energy Corp. (DQ) First Solar Inc (FSLR) GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd. (3800.HK) Guggenheim Global Solar ETF (TAN) Hanwha Q CELLS Co., Ltd. (HQCL) Iberdrola, S.A....

CSP: The New Baseload Kid On The Block?

Regular readers know I'm a big fan of wind power, especially in North America. I like the fact that the technology and business model are well understood, that most wind projects have good forward revenue visibility, and that wind is close to being competitive with conventional power generation without subsidies. Wind combines the best of both worlds: stable cash-flows and rapid growth. Over the past few months, concentrating solar power (CSP), a form of energy that is about as ancient as humanity, has begun appearing in the media and across the blogosphere with increasing frequency. What's the hype...

Why CSP Should Not Try to be Coal

Joe Romm, at the influential Climate Progress blog, has hit on a formula for countering the coal industry's claims that we need baseload power sources.  Since Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) in conjunction with thermal storage can be used to generate 24/7 or baseload power Joe has renamed it "Solar Baseload."   This is win-the-battle-lose-the-war thinking.  While it does neatly counter the argument we need coal or nuclear, since there are renewable power sources which can produce baseload, such as CSP, Geothermal, and Biomass.  I fell into this coal-industry trap myself in a 2007 article about Geothermal, as did AltEnergyStocks...

Brightsource: New Tech is Filled With Failure

Dana Blankenhorn If there is one thing I've learned as a tech reporter it is that failure is common, but what we learn from failure can often lead to greater success. Back in 1984 I was asked to help write the manual for a start-up called The Promise. The Promise would offer home banking, home shopping, and information services, delivered to your PC. The Promise failed almost before the lights went out on the press conference. It was at least a dozen years too early. There was no Internet, and I worked on a double-floppy IBM PC. Fortunately...

Chinese Green Subsidies: When Lifting All Boats Becomes Bailing Them Out

Doug Young Bottom line: Strong response to Tesla’s latest EV in China and a major new solar plant plan from SolarReserve reflect Beijing’s strong promotion of new energy, which is also creating big waste by attracting unqualified companies to the sector. A series of new reports is showing how Beijing’s strong support for new energy technologies is benefiting both domestic and foreign companies, as China tries to become a global leader in this emerging area. But the reports also spotlight the dangers that come with such aggressive support, which often leads to abuse of subsidies and other...