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. ...

Ten Solid Clean Energy Companies to Buy on the Cheap: #10 United Technologies

Like most conglomerates, United Technologies Corporation (UTC), (NYSE:UTX) won't be found in any of the Clean Energy indices, but its growing portfolio of clean energy businesses makes it fit well into a diversified portfolio with a clean energy tilt.  A conservative capital structure and solid earnings and cash flow, and a decades long history of constantly increasing dividends make this a company that I'm comfortable holding for the long term.   In terms of sustainability, the company has been recognized by Dow Jones as in the top 10% of the world's most sustainable companies.  Long before it became fashionable for...

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...

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...

Structured Leveraged Concentrating Solar Power?

On August first, Acciona Energy closed financing on Nevada Solar One, in the first leveraged lease structured financing in the United States. This begs two questions: What in the world is a leveraged lease structured financing? Why do we care? What in the World? An in-depth analysis of the economics of leverage leasing for all three parties involved is available here.  Structured financing is a generic term for any form of financing more complex than a loan or a rental.  For those of you who need to remain awake, here's the short version: a leveraged lease is...

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...