Tag: ACM

Ameresco (AMRC): Clean Energy One-Stop Shop

Tom Konrad CFA Contrary to common belief, the greatest barrier to the adoption of clean energy is not the cost.  In many cases, cost is not a barrier at all: it's an advantage.  That's because energy efficiency measures are usually so cost-effective that they not only pay for themselves, they can often pay for the addition of flashier clean energy technologies such as solar and wind. For institutions in the Federal and MUSH (Municipalities, Universities, Schools, and Hospitals) sectors, the main barriers are lack of capital and expertise.  Lack of capital arises because such institutions traditionally consider...

Administration Lays the Groundwork for Hydropower Boom

Tom Konrad CFA The US Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the US Army Corps of Engineers are quietly laying the groundwork for a renewable energy boom that you might not expect.  What they've done is announce a memorandum of understanding to work together to support environmentally sustainable hydropower. They're not talking about building new dams, which have questionable environmental benefit, but rather to remove barriers to developing cost-effective hydropower at existing dams and waterworks.  Hydropower does not get much attention from investors.  In large part, that's because of the lack...

The Best Peak Oil Investments: Smart Transportation

Tom Konrad CFA What the Smart Grid will do for electricity, "Smart Transportation" will do for road-based travel.  Here are eight companies making Smart Transportation a reality. Congestion and Peak Oil In late 2005 Houston was evacuated as hurricane Rita approached.  The memory of Hurricane Katrina was still fresh in everyone's mind, and Houston, also called the Oil Capitol of the World, is extremely car-dependent.   100-mile traffic jams quickly formed on all the major routes out of the city.  Many people were stranded as their cars ran out of gas from driving for hours just...

What Does Clean Energy Cost?

Renewable Electricity cost estimates from a California transmission study and the investment implications. Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA The seemingly simple question, "How much does wind/solar/geothermal/etc. cost per kWh?" can be surprisingly difficult to answer.  Advocates often cite particularly low figures, but they are often based on particularly favorable conditions, or analyses that don't include all the costs (for instance, costs of permitting.)  Opponents do the opposite, often assuming particularly unfavorable conditions, or adding in costs which they would never consider adding in for their favored technology.  Adding to the confusion, levelized cost of generation calculations are very sensitive to...