Equus: A Solar Inverter Play For Free!

Equus Total Return (NYSE: EQS) is a closed-end fund that trades at a 42% discount to its net asset value (NAV). The fund invests primarily in both debt and equity instruments of small-caps and private companies. Each quarter, management must report the fair value of its net assets, but the stock market value of Equus is much lower than that of its net assets. Here's a chart showing Equus' discount to its net assets for the last five years: As we can see, Equus is used to trading at a discount to its NAV, but...

Unlocking Solar Energy’s Value as an Asset Class

by James Montgomery 2014 is predicted to be a breakout year for solar financing, as the industry eagerly pursues finance innovations. Many of these methods aren't really new to other industries, but they are potentially game-changing when applied in the solar industry.

WorldWater & Power Announces Successful Completion of World’s Largest Solar Powered Irrigation System

Worldwater Corp (WWAT) announced the successful installation of a 200 horsepower solar-powered irrigation system at a commercial citrus ranch in California. The announcement was made by Quentin T. Kelly, WorldWater Chairman and CEO. WorldWater's proprietary AquaMax(TM) solar motors are powering the $2 million dollar water pumping installation. It is the largest solar power system in California's San Diego County, and the largest solar-driven irrigation system in the world.

Evergreen Solar and Q-Cells Form Joint Venture to Develop Solar Manufacturing Plant in Thalheim,...

Evergreen Solar Inc (ESLR) and Q-Cells AG, the world's largest independent manufacturer of crystalline silicon solar cells, today announced the formation of a joint venture to undertake the development of a 30-megawatt solar wafer, cell and module manufacturing plant in Thalheim, Germany, which is approximately 100 miles from Berlin. Construction of the facility is currently expected to begin in early 2005 and take approximately 12 months to complete. The total capital cost for all property, plant and equipment for the 30-megawatt factory is expected to be approximately $75 million. Evergreen Solar will own 75.1% of the joint venture; Q-Cells...

Barron’s Report on Silicon Shortage

Tyler Hamilton over at Clean Break has an excellent summary of the Barron's article on the State of the Solar PV market. A couple of interesting points made in the story, based on data from analysts:Within 10 years solar PV technology will be in cost parity with retail electricity prices.About $100 million (U.S.) has been invested in solar-related ventures in the first half of 2005.Shares of publicly traded solar-focused companies have jumped 150 per cent over the past 12 months.By 2010 solar power production is expected to quadruple to 6 gigawatts worldwide. During the time, the market will...

Inverter Stocks: A Value BOS Play on Solar

Tom Konrad CFA Think low solar panel prices drive a renewed boom in solar installations? Consider inverter companies as a way to play it. I don't usually follow solar stocks because I think solar is just a little too cool, and the space is too well covered by other analysts for me to feel like I can offer new insights.  Nevertheless, the sharp decline in solar stocks this year has been tempting me to dip my toe in the golden stuff.  Since I'm no solar stock expert, I've...

Renewable energy touted in new study

Nearly 36,000 jobs could be created in Texas if an increase in the national renewable energy standard were adopted, according to a new study released by the Union of Concerned Scientists. A national standard would require that 20 percent of the country's electricity come from clean, renewable sources like wind, biomass and solar.

Bush’s State of the Union

"America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world" Thanks to Mr. Bush's state of the union address last night, we should see some nice gains across the board in the Alternative Energy sector. Some of the big winners may be the Ethanol companies like Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (PEIX). The EnergyStockBlog.com has a nice write up on the potential for ADM. GreenCarCongress.com has a nice summary of the important parts of the speech. In his State of the Union 2006 address, President...

More Pain Ahead for Solar Stocks

Tom Konrad CFA Clean Edge's Clean Energy Trends 2012 contains some disturbing predictions for solar stock investors. Clean Energy Trends 2012, the annual report from Clean Edge by Ron Pernick, Clint Wilder, and Trevor Winnie, was released today. On the surface, it seems like good news for the solar sector.  Although headlines in 2011 featured much bad press for Solar PV, the industry has not been "withering on the vine." Here are some key points in the report:   Combined global revenue for PV increased from $71.2 billion in 2010 to $91.6 billion...

Schwarzenegger provides support for Solar power bill

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday threw his support behind a bill to dramatically increase the number of California homes using solar power, reviving a legislative effort that seemed all but dead last week. The bill calls for placing solar panels on 1 million new and existing homes during the next 13 years and offering rebates to the homeowners or builders who install them. Builders also would be required by 2008 to offer solar panels as an option on new homes in every subdivision with at least 25 houses. Releated Articles: Legislature defeats incentives to spur solar...

Epic Changes Are Coming in the Electric Power, Transportation and Energy Storage Sectors

John Petersen Epic is the only word I can use to describe an evolving tragedy that killed tens of thousands of people, inflicted hundreds of billions in property damage, destroyed 3.5% of Japan's base-load power generating capacity in a heartbeat and will cause recurring aftershocks in the global electric power, transportation and energy storage sectors for decades. While I'd love to believe the worst is behind us, I fear the times of trouble have just begun. Since it's clear that Japan will have to turn inward and serve the urgent needs of its own population first, the...

Siemens Bows Out of Solar, Announces Renewed Focus on Wind and Hydro Power

Vince Font Siemiens wind turbines at the Gunfleet Sands Offshore Wind Farm 4 km from Gunfleet Sand, Essex, Great Britain. Siemens AG is selling its solar business, and will focus its renewable energy efforts on hydro power and wind energy.  Siemens is an established “clear market leader for offshore wind power” according to Managing Board member Michael Süß.  Photo credit: Ashley Dace Citing slow growth, low profit and high cost, Siemens AG (NYSE:SI) announced that it would be selling its solar energy business as part of...

Honda to mass-produce solar cells

Honda Motor Co (HMC) plans to start mass-producing solar cells in 2007, eyeing growing demand for environmentally friendly energy sources. They will build a new factory for thin-film solar cells on the site of a car plant in Kumamoto. The company aims to generate annual sales of $40 million to $70 million from solar cells once the factory's output reaches full annual capacity of 27.5 megawatts, enough to power about 8,000 households. &mdash via Clean Break

DayStar Technologies and Auxilia Sign Memorandum of Understanding for Systems Integration of LightFoil(TM) Photovoltaic...

DayStar Technologies Inc (DSTI) and Auxilia, Inc. today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding design and development of fully integrated photovoltaic power systems for the unmanned airship (lighter-than-air vehicle) marketplace. The objective of the agreement is to develop plug-and-play architecture for the existing and developing products of both companies that could enable diverse airship configurations for low, middle and stratospheric altitude applications. DayStar and Auxilia will focus on integrating DayStar's proprietary LightFoil(TM) photovoltaic power product with Auxilia's products by utilizing the Auxilia Airship Simulation Center (AASC). LightFoil(TM) is specifically designed for unmanned airship applications where weight, high...

Shares in Altair Nanotechnologies Purchased

I purchased shares in Altair Nanomaterials (ALTI) this morning for both my personal portfolio and also the mutual fund. ALTI is a holding company that specializes in nanomaterials and also contains a life sciences division. The materials company has research in high performance batteries, fuel cells, and photovoltaics. Altair announced earnings today and the stock is up on the morning trading. Revenue Increases 68 Percent for Third Quarter and 230 Percent for Nine-Month Period "An increase in revenue of 230 percent for the first three quarters of 2005 is representative of the significant progress Altair has...

Investing in Solar

The one session I was most interested in attending at the Solar Energy confernce dealt with Investing in Solar. This session was primarily focused on venture capital. The panel was moderated by Ron Pernick from Clean Edge The panelists were: Bill Gross - Energy Innovations and IdeaLab. His company is making small CSP units that can be used for roof top installations. Dave Pearce - Miasole. This company is reasearching and producing a CIGS based thin-film PV. Howard Berke - Konara. This company is producing an organic based polymer solution for thin-film PV ...