The Week In Cleantech (Apr. 13 – Apr. 19) – Buffett Encore

This week, IMF officials voiced strong concerns over current biofuels policies in the US and Europe. On Friday, the head of the IMF claimed that biofuels posed nothing short of a moral problem for the West, and that he would support a moratorium on biofuels made from foodstuffs. Also on Friday, the IMF's Chief Economist called biofuels "a new form of protectionism" that is "now front and center in global geopolitics." For anyone who's been reading the news over the past month, you can't help but agree with this assessment. With food prices now rising in real terms for...

Fixing Leaks, Diluted Pacific Ethanol, and “Another Solyndra”: The Week In Cleantech: 6-29-2012

Tom Konrad June 25: Pure Technologies Expands in the US Pure Technologies Ltd. (TSX:PUR, OTC:PPEHF) today announced plans for a major expansion of its Engineering Services business through the establishment of up to five new regional offices in the United States.  Last year, Pure was struggling when the Arab Spring stopped work at their biggest customer, a Libyan water authority, but the company did an admirable job cutting costs and developing business in other parts of the world.  Work (and payments) from Libya resumed this spring, and the company's business in North America is growing at a breakneck...

The Week in Cleantech: Apr. 23 to Apr. 27 – An Ethanol Conspiracy Theory?

The Week in Cleantech is a weekly roundup of our favorite cleantech and alt energy blog posts and stories from across the web. If you know of a good piece that you think should be included here, don't hesitate to let us know! This week, we particularly liked... On Tuesday, Tyler Hamilton at Clean Break informed us that solar growth was expected to shine strong. The numbers are very impressive indeed, but it could be argued that a lot of that future growth is already priced in many of the more high-profile solar plays. On...

The Week In Cleantech (Jul 27 to Aug 2) – The Era Of Economical...

On Monday, Michael Graham Richard at TreeHugger told us that Toyota was boosting production of the Prius by 70% next year. This follows on the footsteps of Ford announcing plans to nix production of trucks in North America and retool factories to make smaller cars typically sold in Europe. The thing to note about such commitments is that they have to be anchored in pretty credible forecasts. It's one thing for pundits on CNBC to tell you where they think the price of oil is going based on a 20-day moving average. It's quite another for a global business...

The Week In Cleantech- 4/7/12

Easter Treats for Energy Focus, Solazyme, Capstone, Alstom, and Iberdrola; SemiLEDS Lays an Egg

The Week In Cleantech: Powersecure, Altair Nano, Zipcar, Waste Management, and Maxwell -Apr 27,...

Jeff Siegel and Tom Konrad April 23: Solar Grade Silicon Industry Under Pressure TK: Ed Gunther reports that the RSi (Renewable Silicon International) Easton facility has been shuttered.  Closure is attributed to pricing pressure in the solar silicon industry. April 24: Will PowerSecure (NASDAQ:POWR) Bounce Today? JS: PowerSecure International (NASDAQ:POWR) announced today that it landed $10 million worth of new orders for its smart grid power systems and LED area lights. Some of these deals are actually repeat orders, which certainly offers some confidence for the company's products....

Wind Industry Lifeline, SunPower’s Buffett Deal: The Week In Cleantech, Jan 4, 2013

Jeff Siegel PTC Extension It looks like the wind power tax credits survived the fiscal cliff deal. But I wouldn't get too excited. The credit was extended only for an additional year. Which, as we see time and time again does not allow for any real, long-term commitment by developers or manufacturers. Of course, I still don't believe subsides are the best way to transition our energy economy, anyway. The truth is, decades worth of subsidies in the energy markets has never allowed for a real free market to flourish. It's why prohibitively expensive nuclear power still exists...

Two Weeks In Cleantech, 8-31-2012

Jeff Siegel August 21: What Will Happen to Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL)? Following the hypocritical “unfair subsidy” complaint against China solar panel producers along with the 31 percent import duty placed on them by the US government, the Chinese have now responded through their Commerce Ministry by stating that the United States must cut support for six government-backed renewable energy programs or face unspecified penalties. And so continues the trade war, which was launched by the sour-grapes management of SolarWorld,(PINK SHEETS:SRWRF) and supported by those in Washington who have no clue how bad this could be for the...

The Week in Cleantech (Dec. 30 to Jan. 5) – Will The Solar Bears...

Technology Review, my favorite science publication, gave us last week a wrap-up of the year in energy. It's a recap of the main energy-related stories the magazine published in 2007, and is well-worth a read if you want to start 2008 up-to-date on where the science is on most issues of relevance to alt energy investors. On Monday, Jerome Ball at Alternative Energy Trading argued that the solar PV industry would veer into oversupply in 2008. This is one of the most cogent analysis of the solar PV market I have read in a while, and it takes...

The Big Green Apples: The Week In Cleantech, Jan 11, 2013

Jeff Siegel This Car gets 108 Miles per Gallon Although it's little more than a compliance car (which is why it's only being sold in California), the electric Fiat 500e actually offers some pretty impressive fuel economy numbers. The official EPA numbers indicate 108 MPGe. This makes it the most efficient highway car in the marketplace. The range clocks in at around 87 miles, so that means it probably gets anywhere from 60 to 90 miles, depending on driving style and conditions. With a level 2 charger, you can juice it up in about 4 hours. I-wind Although...

EV Woes at Tesla and Toyota: The Week In Cleantech, 9-28-2012

Jeff Siegel September 25: Toyota (NYSE:TM) Scraps Electric Car 2012 Toyota Prius photographed in Washington, D.C., USA.. (Photo credit: IFCAR via Wikimedia Commons) Claiming the company misread the market, Toyota (NYSE:TM) is scrapping its plans for a global roll-out of an electric mini-car called the eQ. To be honest, I'm not particularly surprised. Toyota has not been very aggressive, or interested really, in pursuing the electric vehicle (EV) market. And I get it. When it comes to delivering a superior conventional hybrid vehicle, Toyota still runs...

The Week In Cleantech (May 11 – May 17) – Coal’s Clout

On Monday, Chris Baltimore at Reuters discussed how Democratic candidates were playing up "clean coal". It's always interesting to read about politicians courting different audiences. In this case, out of convenience, both candidates are avoiding substantive debate on energy policy, during which it would certainly emerge that clean coal is more dream than reality. On Monday, Julian Murdoch at Hard Assets Investor told us that it was in the wind. An interesting piece on one of my favorite sectors, wind, with a discussion of a few good plays. Speaking of wind, T Boone Pickens was responsible for the...

Solar Installations Booming, EV Sales Soar: The Week In Cleantech, 12-15-2012

Jeff Siegel December 10: 47,500 Electric Cars Electric Car Sales Soar. . .Again In case you missed it, Todd Woody over at Forbes reported last week that electric car sales reached a record in November for the fourth consecutive month. Total sales of electric cars for 2012 are now up to 47,500. You can read the entire piece here. Chinese Win Bid for US Battery Maker Well, we thought Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI) was going to take the lead on this one. We were wrong. Wanxiang America Corporation has just picked up nearly all...

3 EVs in the News: The Week In Cleantech: 6-15-2012

Tom Konrad and Jeff Siegel June 18: Is First Wind's New Joint Venture Worth $3 Billion? JS: First Wind Holdings, LLC (First Wind) and Emera Inc. (TSX: EMA) announced today the closing of their transaction to jointly own and operate wind energy projects in the Northeast U.S. through a new company called Northeast Wind Partners.  More here. June 19: Rio Earth Summit Looks Unlikely to Mend Broken Promises TK: The optimism of 20 years ago has been replaced by disillusionment and an uncertain future.  More here. June 20: Renewable Energy Industry Pushes Back Against Bad Press TK:...

EVs are a Struggle for A123, but Aptera is Back and They Thrive in...

Jeff Siegel and Tom Konrad CFA May 14: New Flyer (TSX:NFI, OTC:NFYEF) Sees Bus Market Revival North America's largest supplier of heavy-duty transit buses sees overall demand at an "all-time high." More here. May 15: Electric Car Battery Company Struggles JS: A123 Systems (NASDAQ:AONE) has announced Q1, 2012 results. . . Revenue fell 40% from $18.1 million in Q1, 2011 to $10.9 million. Net loss came in at $90.8 million, compared to a net loss of $53.6 million last year, and as of March 31, the company has $113.1 million in...

Two Weeks In Cleantech: 8-11-2012

Jeff Siegel August 1: Siemens (NYSE:SI) Lands Major Australian Wind Turbine Deal Yesterday morning, New Jersey's Public Service Enterprise Group announced that it's now looking to invest up to $833 million for an expansion of the the utility's solar power programs. This investment seeks to facilitate the developing of an additional 233 megawatts of solar capacity. The expansion is expected to create about 300 direct jobs annually over the next five years. In 30 days, Mitsubishi Motors will launch its all-new Mirage global compact car in Japan. At a cost of between US$12,800...