Energy Trends That Matter For Investors

By Harris Roen The US is by far the world’s greatest user of energy per capita in the world. Each American uses about 87,000 kilowatt-hours per year – that is twice as much as the European Union (EU), the next closest consumer! Understanding energy trends in this country is extremely important for investors who want to understand how the energy landscape will look 10, 20 or 30 years from now. Figure 1: Global Per Capita Energy Use The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) made public an early release of its in-depth Annual Energy Outlook. This...

Increasing Risk in Renewable Energy Investing

Garey Vasey, Ph.D. at Risk Center brings us a cautionary warning from the U.K. Financial Services Authority about the increasing risks of commodity investing, largely due to greater investor interest (at all levels from individuals to banks to hedgefunds) without enough true experience in this sector. I feel this same lesson applies to Renewable Energy investing. The higher these stocks rise on a tide of investor enthusiasm (as opposed to earnings fundamentals), the greater the potential for a fall. Among his other points, he says: The best and most knowledgeable energy trading talent was picked off...

Alternative Energy & Conventional Energy: Is An Image Worth A Thousand Words?

It wasn't long ago that people still believed the price of energy commodities - and crude oil in particular - had a greater impact on alt energy stocks than did general movements in equity markets or even fundamental factors. The logic went something like this: even though oil and most of the sub-sectors that make up the broad alt energy space (e.g. solar) are not in direct competition with one-another, expensive oil is the number one driver behind governments searching for alternatives to the way we currently meet our energy needs. For a time, this theory may have...

DOE Questions the Presumption of Plenty

John Petersen     "A man's got to know his limitations ..."                 Inspector Harry Callahan                     Magnum Force, 1973 Last Thursday the Department of Energy kicked-off a new effort "to develop its first-ever strategic plan for addressing the role of rare earth and other materials in energy technologies and processes" by issuing a Request for Information on resource availability and supply chain security. The information categories covered include short- and long-term: Demand forecasts for energy applications and competing issues; Supply issues including investment trends, processing requirements and future...

Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) Tax Equity Conference Brief

I recently attended the Solar Energy Industry Association's (SEIA) Finance and Tax Seminar in New York. The subject matter in this event delved into issues related to tax equity finance.  Each panel session was moderated by a tax attorney or an accountant, and most of the content of the sessions consisted of technical tax law. To place the discipline into context, one speaker noted that the tax equity renewables investing deal volume in 2018 was $2-3B for solar and $9B for wind, and the number of tax equity participants is roughly only 25-35 large corporations.  So unless there are changes...

Ten Solid Clean Energy Companies to Buy on the Cheap: These Almost Made It

In the future, I plan to avoid doing lists of ten stocks. I've found the writing to be somewhat repetitious, and I suspect some readers feel the same way.  Look for more threes and fives. That said, there are more than enough solid companies with strong clean energy arms.  These companies are my favorite investments right now, both because I think that now is a time to play it very safe in the stock market (I'm also increasing my cash reserve), and because these companies allow me to use Cash Covered Puts. Since I do have several...

Graphene Pixie Dust

by Debra Fiakas CFA Ever since British scientists worked a little magic with some scotch tape, the world has been captivated their discovery of graphene, the single atom thick material that can conduct electricity and is at once strong and bendable.  Investors have been dreaming graphene could be sprinkled across industry like pixie dust, creating valuable new products and driving company valuations to lofty heights.  Reality has been a bit less grand. To be clear, there have been successes.  As noted in the June 9th article, “Graphene in the Oil Patch,” the wonder material has been found...

Stock Picking For Green Investors (Presentation)

Here is a short presentation on stock picking for green investors by AltEnergyStocks Editor Tom Konrad CFA, Ph.D., with a couple stock picks.  I gave this presentation as part of a workshop on divestment from fossil fuels and investment in green stocks at the third annual Climate Solutions Summit.  The Divestment part is here.

Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race?

Tom Konrad CFA Highlights from a report on Clean Energy investments from the Pew Charitable Trusts. The Pew Charitable Trusts just released their report on Clean Energy, finance, and investment in the Group of Twenty (G20) economies in 2010 . I had the opportunity to review a pre-release version of the report. Some 2010 trends they discovered were encouraging or exciting, some were disappointing. I also had the chance to speak to the director of Pew's Clean energy Program, Phyllis Cuttino, about the report. Here are the highlights from the report and our discussion. Clean Energy Sectors...

2013 Alternative Energy Stock Predictions

Will Natural Gas Crush Alternative Energy in 2013? By Jeff Siegel Swami photo via Bigstock In 2004 a hotshot Wall Street type cornered me after I spoke at a private luncheon in New York. He told me I had a lot of balls wasting his time talking about alternative energy  declaring he was an “important man” who didn't find it amusing that some tree hugger in a suit (yes, that's what he called me) would lecture him about a coming boom in solar... I never forgot that...

Sustainable Investment Opportunity In 2017

by Garvin Jabusch Lord Nicholas Stern recently said, “Strong investment in sustainable infrastructurethat’s the growth story of the future. This will set off innovation, discovery, much more creative ways of doing things. This is the story of growth, which is the only one available because any attempt at high-carbon growth would self-destruct .” More pointedly, the Investment Bank division at Morgan Stanley in 2016 advised clients that long-term investment in fossil fuels may be a bad financial decision, writing, “Investors cannot assume economic growth will continue to rely heavily on an energy sector powered predominantly by fossil fuels." What...

Introduction to Investing in Renewable Energy

UPDATE 3/4/2011: An up-to date article on selecting green mutual funds and ETFs can be found here. Why Invest in Renewable Energy? Given all the attention that renewable energy is getting in the news over the last couple years, investing in renewable energy has become a hot topic.  People are drawn to renewable energy for one of several reasons: To fight Global Warming To prepare for Peak Oil. To improve Energy Security and local economies. To cash in on the above trends. The beauty of investing in renewable energy companies is that these goals are not...

The Arizona Renewable Energy Assessment: An Investor’s Perspective

Black and Veatch Corporation (B&V) recently completed and in-depth assessment of renewable energy generation potential for three Arizona utilities (Arizona Public Service (APS), the Salt River Project (SRP), and Tucson Electric Power (TEP)) which must comply with Arizona's Renewable Energy Standard.   Nate Blair, a senior energy analyst (and fellow board member at the Colorado Renewable Energy Society) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory sent me the link.  Thanks, Nate! The Renewable Energy Standard requires that APS and TEP generate 15% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and the SRP has adopted a...

Seven Greentech “Experts” and Their Stock Picks

Tom Konrad CFA Not many self-proclaimed Greentech experts know what they're talking about, and fewer can effectively make the case of Greentech investing. When I attended the MoneyShow last week to moderate a panel, I also stayed around to see what people who held themselves out as Greentech or Cleantech experts were saying.  Since MoneyShow attendees do not pay to get in, all the revenue comes from presenters.  I was asked to moderate my panel because I made it a condition of helping them advertise the show, but many of the presenters I saw were on stage...

Why Clean Energy Investors Need to Care About Politics

Tom Konrad I believe that investments in clean energy should outperform the market as a whole for two reasons.  First, the inability of fossil fuel supplies to keep up with demand will raise prices and improve the environment for alternatives.  Second, growing awareness of the seriousness of Climate Change will lead to increased regulation of greenhouse gas pollution, which should benefit clean energy relative to conventional energy. While I am certain that at some point reality will galvanize public opinion and political action on climate change, the sooner the politicians take action, the better for the planet, and the...

Clean Tech Investing and the Democrats’ Victory

What are the implications of the Democrats' electoral victory for the clean tech industry? That probably won't become clear for a few more months. In the meantime, Red Herring, one of my favorite technology magazines, just published this short piece on the topic: "U.S. election a mixed bag for Cleantech". The early conclusion of industry insiders interviewed for the article is the same as ours - namely that the defeat of Proposition 87 won't be a signficant event in the long-run...and that the future looks overall bright. Happy reading!
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