Two Perspectives on A123, Solar’s Strong Showing in Q1: The Week In Cleantech: 6-15-2012

Jeff Siegel and Tom Konrad June 11: A trade complaint may filed against Chinese solar manufacturers in the EU TK: The EU is still a much larger market than the US, which already has countervailing duties.  China's largest panel makers, will likely shift their focus to China's domestic market while boosting production.  More here. June 12: A123 (AONE) announces battery new technology TK: A123 (NASD:AONE) says their new Nanophosphate EXT technology will allows lithium ion batteries to operate at extreme temperatures, eliminating the need for liquid cooling systems in EVs, and reducing the cost...

The Week in Cleantech (Sep. 21 to Sep. 27) – More Casulaties In The...

On Monday, Maria Surma Manka at Green Options told us how Kansas killed coal plants. This is an interesting precedent, and it certainly buttresses the argument that coal will increasingly mean uncertainty and risk in the US power gen industry. On a related note, on Tuesday, David Ehrlich at Cleantech.com reported on NY's greenhouse gas cap-and-trade plans. This is the first of the RGGI states to flesh out its plan in some detail. On Tuesday, Jim Fraser at The Energy Blog discussed the timeline for solar power parity with fossil fuels. Does this mean that there is...

Trade Wars and Patent Wars and EVs- The Week In Cleantech: June 1, 2012

Tom Konrad CFA May 29: Chinese City of Hangzou Planning Electric Leasing Program to Include EVs This article in Zhejiang Online does not mention Kandi Technologies (KNDI) by name, but it does say the city of Hangzhou is planning on adding electric cars to its electric vehicle rental system, and the price will be the same as electric bike rentals.  To keep the price and space usage down, Kandi Technologies mini-EVs and Smart Vertical Parking System (described here) seem ideal. What Goldman's $40 billion investment pledge means, and what it doesn't mean. Neste Oil's...

The Week In Cleantech: Solar Companies at Firesale Prices, and More to Come –...

Tom Konrad CFA May 7: Auction of Uni-Solar Fails to Draw a Qualified Bid As if there weren't enough bad signs for the solar industry these days, Energy Conversion Devices (OTC:ENERQ.PK) is cancelling the auction for United Solar Ovonic LLC (A.k.a. Uni-solar) as a going concern because of the failure to receive a qualified bid in the court-approved bankruptcy proceeding.  The companies have retained an auction services firm to prepare for the sale of Uni-solar's assets. May 8: Earnings Misses Hide Strong Revenue Trends at Ameresco (AMRC) and Pike Electric (PIKE) Ameresco (AMRC) and Pike Electric...

The Week In Cleantech (Apr. 27 – May 3) – Competition In Thin-film About...

On Tuesday, Jennifer Kho at Greentech Media informed us that LDK's CEO was starting up a thin-film solar firm. Given thin-film's potential and the stock market successes of one thin-film maker in particular, the emergence of competition doesn't come as much of a surprise. And who else to do better than an already-successful solar entrepreneur. On Wednesday, Craig Rubens at earth2tech featured an interview where the CEO of PG&E painted the future of utilities for us. An interesting interview on the potential and challenges of plug-in hybrids and net metering. On Wednesday, Scott Krisner at Innovation Economy...

The Week in Cleantech (Mar. 2 to Mar. 8) – King Coal Not Plentiful...

On Wednesday, David Strahan at The Guardian calculated some lump sums for us. A couple of years ago, when it became clear that we were running into serious supply problems with oil, one pundit after another told us that we would never have to worry about coal. After all, in the US alone, there was 250 years' worth of supply at current consumption rates. Well, that was then, and this is now. And if skyrocketing feedstock costs aren't enough to deter you from building a coal plant, maybe rising capital costs will. Is King Coal's reign looking shaky? It...

The Week in Cleantech (Sep. 16 to Sep. 22) – More Solar Thermal, More...

On Tuesday, Andrea Quong at Red Herring told us that investors reaped returns on clean energy. A quick look at returns in the European cleantech VC and PE spaces. On Wednesday, Emily Gertz at World Changing gave us the run-down on the legal climate on climate change. This action by NY's Attorney General formalizes what many have been saying for a while - certain power gen companies, and the investors that own them, could be exposed to serious regulatory risks related to global warming in the years ahead. Strangely, those companies and their investors often seem to favor...

The Week in Cleantech (Nov. 4 to Nov. 10) – Cellulosic Is Here!

On Monday, Richard Stuebi at Cleantech Blog highlighted the extent to which NBC is in the dark about energy efficiency. I couldn't agree more with Stuebi here - this idea is so painfully bad that it's a bit of a mystery why anyone in their right minds would agree to it. In the space of a few minutes, GE likely managed to undermine over two years of flashy press events and other publicity stunts aimed at convincing investors and the populace that "green is green." If Alt Energy Stocks awarded a prize for misplay of the week, this would...

The Week In Cleantech (June 8 – June 14) – Are Large Industrials Going...

On Tuesday, Eize de Vries at Renewable Energy World described the challenges of growth for us. A very detailed article on where the main tension points are in the global wind value chain. On Tuesday, Tate Dwinnell at Self Investors told us that wind ETFs were coming. At last North American can play wind directly. On Wednesday, Energy Tech Stocks informed us that a new FERC forecast indicates U.S. demand response firms should do well this summer. An interesting piece of insight from FERC, and noteworthy that demand response is increasingly seen as an effective peak...

Wind and Geothermal Deals; More Efficient Heat Pumps- The Week In Cleantech: 5/25/2012

Jeff Siegel and Tom Konrad May 21: Are more wind deals a sign that the bottom is in sight? TK: Western Wind Energy (WNDEF.PK) and Alterra Power (MGMXF.PK) both announced deals to acquire wind development pipelines last week.  Is the recent flurry of deals a sign that the worst may be over for wind developers?  More here. New tests conducted at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have revealed that US warplanes are capable of flying faster and carry more payload on missions, when flying with synthetic fuels, including biofuels, compared to conventional military jet fuels made...

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, July 9 to July 15

Last week, Paul Davidson at USA Today told us about how Sodium-sulfur (NaS) batteries can increase the reliability and efficiency of the grid. On Monday, Keith Johnson of The Wall Street Journal told us that Wind Turbine Makers can't keep up with demand.   Investment tip: this should be good for 2nd and 3rd-teir turbine makers who otherwise would not be able to sell their products.  I've noticed this in a flurry of turbine sales by Composite Technology Corp.  (CPTC.ob), a company I own not for their turbine business, but instead because I see great potential for their transmission...

The Week in Cleantech (Sep. 9 to Sep. 15) – TXU In, SaskPower Out!

On Tuesday, Mark Gongloff at the WSJ's Energy Roundup informed us that Alcoa couldn't wait to go geothermal. This is indeed an interesting development. Aluminum smelters are some of the most electricity-intensive industrial processes around, and, in a context of rising energy prices, there are very real incentives to explore alternatives for firms in this industry. On Wednesday, Kevin Bullis at Technology Review looked into making cheaper solar cells for us. Could Heliovolt be the next First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR)? On Wednesday, Tyler Hamilton at Clean Break warned us of the inherent limitations of so-called "clean coal". The...

The Week In Cleantech: March 24, 2012

Jeff Siegel March 20: Another Solar Stock Disappoints IBC Advanced Alloys Corp. (TSX-V:IB) (PINK SHEETS:IAALF), a beryllium alloy producer that's doing some ground-breaking work in the world of nuclear fuels, announced this morning that its advanced castings are being supplied for the European Space Agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle, which is expected to dock with the International Space Station in a little over a week. For the sake of clarification, IBC serves a variety of industries, including automotive, telecommunications and a number of industrial applications. But I actually started following this one after discovering the...

The Week in Cleantech, March 9 to March 15, 2008: CARB may Kill Your...

jcwinnie at After Gutenberg detailed the Mcgyan process which promises to convert a much array of oil feedstocks into biodiesel with a reusable catalyst and less waste. AutoblogGreen plugged us in to Zap's new Prius PHEV conversion kit, but Green Car Congress brought us a study that warned we might need to do some serious water planning before such too many people start using them. On Monday, Craig Rubens at Earth-to-Tech painted a picture of a new photovoltaic coating from Corus Colors. On Wednesday, David Erlich at Cleantech.com rolled out the story of GE's...

The Week in Cleantech: June 4 to June 8 – Is China Really Getting...

This week, we particularly liked... On Monday, Andrea Quong at Red Herring told us how China was about to take aim at global warming. This is latest move by the Chinese government only reinforces the perception already held by many industry observers that China is on its way to becoming a true global powerhouse for alternative energy. On Tuesday, Martin LaMonica at CNET Newsblog informed us that cleantech investing was surpassing telecom and medical devices. Another day, another report report pointing to exceptional and sustained growth in the cleantech sector. This is nothing to alleviate fears...
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