Alternative Energy Technologies and the Origin of Specious

John Petersen Thanks to a recent comment from JLBR, I've found a new hero in Dr. Peter Z. Grossman, an economics professor from Butler University who cogently argues that government attempts to force alternative energy technologies into an R&D model that was created for the Manhattan Project and refined for the Space Program will always result in commercial disaster because "the goal of the Apollo Program was the demonstration of engineering prowess while any alternative energy technology must succeed in the marketplace." In a recent article titled "The Apollo Fallacy and its Effect on U.S. Energy Policy" Dr....

Force in Name Only

by Debra Fiakas CFA One of the companies in our novel alternative energy indices is Forcefield Energy, Inc.  (FNRG:  Nasdaq).  For a time it was listed as among alternative chemical products and now is included among waste-to-energy developers, but it could be as easily included in our data base among sellers of LED lighting products.  The identify confusion is due in part to Forcefield’s own description, which includes a laundry list of capabilities and technologies. The company lays claim to proprietary products for heat recovery and the conversion of waste heat to useful purpose.  Forcefield comes by...

Recycler Priced for Recovery

by Debra Fiakas CFA Shares of Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCI:  Nasdaq) has trended downward over the last year, despite some strong fundamental progress in the company’s position the recycling sector.  The corporate name tells at least part of the company’s story.  Besides recycling appliances such as washers, dryers and refridgerators, ARC also sells new and like-new appliances right out of the box.  The company has eighteen stores branded ApplianceSmart across the country.  Services to electric utilities and other energy companies related to energy efficiency programs provide yet another revenue source. In the twelve months ending March 2017, ARC reported...

U.S. Air Force to Purchase Initial Cyberlux LED Systems

Cyberlux Corp. (CYBL.OB) announced that the Company has completed the contract requirements associated with the advanced solid-state LED security lighting system developed by Cyberlux for the United States Air Force. Based on the demonstration results of the Portable Covert Illumination System, the Air Mobility Battlelab completed the project briefing with A7 Air Mobility Command senior leadership and successfully transitioned the Watchdog System from field trials to procurement. Cyberlux estimates that the USAF demand will exceed $1M initially and the demand from other military branches to exceed $5M for adapted versions of the BrightEye and Watchdog Systems.

Will LED Stocks Follow Solar Stocks Over the Commoditization Cliff?

Tom Konrad CFA One irony of green investing is that doing good (for the planet) does not always do well for investors.  Recently the rewards for do-gooders have been abysmal.  For years, I've been warning that the rapid price reductions we need to make solar mainstream are unlikely to be good for the profits of solar companies.  This year a combination of subsidy cuts in Europe and photovoltaic (PV) module oversupply brought those price reductions home to roost.  Recently, PV ...

The Efficiency Tango: A Deeper Look at Geothermal Heat Pump Efficiency

Tom Konrad CFA Geothermal heat pump diagram via Bigstock A couple weeks ago, I compared the efficiency of the two most advanced geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) recently launched by Waterfurnace Renewable Energy (TSX:WFI, OTC:WFIFF) and Climatemaster, as division of LSB Industries (NYSE:LXU).  Like most things in life, it turns out that heat pump efficiency is a lot more complicated than just comparing a couple numbers. Since I concluded that Waterfurnace’s 7  Series heat pumps were slightly more efficient than Climatemaster’s Trilogy 40 pumps, one of Climatemaster’s district managers pointed me...

EnerNOC: Demand Response IPO

Lunch with an Efficiency Expert Yesterday, I had lunch with Howard Geller, Ph.D., one of our nation's leading experts in energy efficiency and energy policy. Howard is the director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), former Executive Director of ACEEE, and has a Doctorate in Energy Policy from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. My first question for industry experts is which companies are doing good things in their feilds, and I was especially interested in Howard's answers because energy efficiency is so much more difficult to pin down than most other types of...

Ten Solid Clean Energy Companies to Buy on the Cheap: #9 Koninklijke Philips Electronics...

Readers of this blog are well aware that I'm a fan for energy efficiency in general and efficient lighting in particular as good investments as more and more people and companies reduce their energy use in order to lower costs and green their image.  With the exception of niche players such as Cree and Lighting Science, efficient lighting is dominated by General Electric (GE), Osram Sylvania (a division of Siemens (SI)), and Koninklijke Philips (PHG.)   I'm a fan of all three of these companies, and both GE and Siemens are honorable mentions in this series. While Siemens and GE...

LEDs: A better light bulb. Again.

by Marc Gunther.  So you remember CFLs, right? The curlicue bulbs? The time they took to go on? The harsh light? Despite their drawbacks, compact fluorescents have sold fairly well in the US. They save customers money. Utilities promoted and subsidized CFLs, particularly in California. Walmart (NYSE:WMT) pledged to sell 100 million of them. Time magazine put one on the cover. By 2012, CFLs represented 27 percent of the bulbs installed in the over 3 billion medium screw-based sockets in the United States, according to a Navigant study quoted by NRDC. Other researchers put the number lower, about 20 percent,...

Smart Metering: A Smart Investment in Energy Efficiency

Information Empowers Browsing AltEnergyStocks new CleanTech News page (I find it a good way to discover quality stories I wouldn't have come across otherwise) I came across one of the best articles I've seen yet on Smart Metering.  Smart metering is one of the biggest win-wins available when it comes to reducing our carbon footprint by providing real time feedback on our electricity use. It allows us to see how we are wasting electricity and choose to take action.  When Woodstock Hydo's customers were given this information (without any other encouragement to save electricity), their average usage fell by...

Atlantica Q1, Buying Hannon Armstrong

By Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Here are two more updates from last week on Patreon.  Also, I realize I neglected to publish the monthly performance chart for my 10 Clean Energy Stocks model portfolio here at the start of the month, so here it is as well: Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure Earnings (published May 11th) Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure (AY) released its first quarter earnings announcement and financial statements on May 6th. Atlantica is one of the higher yielding Yieldcos, 5.3% at the new quarterly dividend rate of $0.43 and a $32.50 stock price.  The dividend is safe, since most of Atlantica's debt is fixed rate,...

Money and Reduced Emissions Don’t Sell Energy Efficiency, but Comfort and Health Do

    As an expert witness in an energy efficiency ("Demand Side Management" or DSM in utility-speak) docket before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, I have been making the case that non-energy benefits of energy efficiency measures such as the increased safety and comfort of an efficiently operating home need to be included in evaluating the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency programs.  There has been much resistance to the inclusion of these benefits, mainly because they can be difficult to quantify.  Yet we omit them at our peril. Why Energy Efficiency and Health Matter     Last summer, I explored why the...

Political Developments in Energy Efficiency

This article is part of a series on the WGA Energy Efficient Buildings Workshop. Governor Ritter After arriving slightly late (a gunman had been shot by state troopers outside his office the day before.)   Bill Ritter kicked off the workshop with his thoughts on energy efficiency.  Other than the Governator, I don't know of any other state governor in the US who understands renewable energy as well as Governor Ritter.  And he's dedicated to learning more; when I attended a fundraiser early in his campaign last year, he had not yet heard about plug-in hybrids, but in a...

The Pros Pick Three Green IT Stocks For 2014

Tom Konrad CFA Green 2014 image via BigStock Being green is not all about wind turbines and solar panels.  In fact, it’s usually greener to be smarter about using what we have than to replace it with something new, no matter how green. My panel of professional green money managers understands this.  When I asked them each for their top three green stock picks for 2014, there were as many picks focused on smarter resource use as there were solar stocks. I recently gave...

Is There Life After the Bulb?

When incandescent light bulbs are phased out in the United States between 2012 to 2014, managers of utility Demand Side Management (DSM) programs will be between a rock and a hard place.  At the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project's 5th annual Energy Efficiency Workshop, this fact seemed to be the elephant in the room that most of the utility executives in attendance did not want to talk about. One Trick Pony It's not for nothing that the compact fluorescent bulb, or CFL, has become the international symbol of energy efficiency.  While it is true that we're not going to stop...

Lighting Science Group Announces First Purchase Order for Lighting Science’s Low Bay Lights for...

Lighting Science Group Corp. (LSGP.OB) announced an order for 1,000 of Lighting Science's Optimized Digital Lighting(TM) (ODL(TM)) Low Bay lighting fixtures from Amtech Lighting Services, an ABM Industries Incorporated subsidiary, which is one of the nation's largest lighting management companies. Lighting Science expects to begin shipping the products during the second quarter for installation in select garages operated by AMPCO System Parking, another ABM subsidiary, and in AMPCO client garages. The nation's estimated 40,000 garage facilities provide an excellent platform for Lighting Science to launch their low bay fixtures given the high cost of electricity and the demand...
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