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Monday, 11 April 2011, 17:42 GMT
ABB Group: A Cleantech Company?
ABB Group: A Cleantech Company? Tom Konrad (AltEnergyStocks) submits:
Power and automation giant ABB, Ltd. (ABB) was named Cleantech Corporation of the Year at the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco. The company has been focused on acquiring start ups in the cleantech space for the last couple of years, with two significant ones in 2010: Ventyx, a provider of IT systems to utilities, and Baldor Electric (BEZ), the premier supplier of high-efficiency motors in the U.S.
I very much like ABB's approach to cleantech. I'd even written about Baldor as a good way to invest in energy efficiency earlier in 2010 just a couple months before the buyout announcement.
While ABB is touting its eco-sheik acquisitions in smart grid (Ventryx, Trilliant) and Electric vehicle charging (Ecototality), they seldom mention one of the best reasons for a clean energy investor to be interested in the company: ABB has long been a leading supplier of electric transformers, substations, and high-voltage DC
Complete Story »

Monday, 11 April 2011, 16:25 GMT
Vestas: Still One of the Best Green Technology Stocks
Martin Peter Roth submits:
Two-and-a-half years ago, I wrote a commentary in which I suggested that Vestas Wind Systems (VWSYF.PK) was not only the best wind energy stock, but possibly the best green technology stock of them all. As I pointed out, it was heavily represented in various green funds - it was the largest constituent of at least one of these - it was big, it enjoyed a dominant market position and it was very profitable.
Since then, the Danish company's profits and share price have tanked, its market share is being threatened by fast-rising Chinese competitors and the latest news is that it is being sued by an institutional investor who alleges it issued false and misleading statements concerning its financial outlook. Is it still the best?
The rapid rise of several Chinese wind turbine manufacturers has dented Vestas. In 2010, it only just maintained its number one position in the global
Complete Story »

Monday, 11 April 2011, 16:19 GMT
Cost, The Great Unknown in Nuclear
Greentech Media submits:
By Michael Kanellos

The nuclear plant might be one of the most advanced technologies ever invented, but their underlying budgets sound like something straight from the age of the pyramids.
"Sixty percent of the costs of building a plant in the U.S. come from labor," said Lucas Davis, a professor at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley during a session at the Commonwealth Club today.
While the nuclear industry says it will intensely scrutinize the failures of Fukushima to prevent future catastrophes, it must also grapple with one of its chronic problems -- namely, cost.
The budget for nuclear plants -- historically speaking -- exceed expectations and completing the plants often takes longer than expected. Davis, in fact, said he couldn't even think of one project that has come in on time and/or under budget. The cause of the overruns comes in part from the sprawling nature of

Complete Story »

Monday, 11 April 2011, 12:57 GMT
Areva: Expect to See Solar Thermal Deals Soon
Greentech Media submits:
By Michael Kanellos

2010 was in many ways a tough year for solar thermal power plants.
Federal and state agencies approved a number of plants and some companies such as BrightSource Energy managed to land capital, power purchase agreements and loan guarantees, but the mammoth nature of the projects continued to prevent the industry from taking flight. Stirling Energy and Tessera Solar (TSRA) gave up on trying to develop two

Complete Story »

Monday, 11 April 2011, 9:18 GMT
Increased Rare Earth Demand Bodes Well for Molycorp
Michael Bryant submits:
As China continues tightening exports of rare earths, these metals' prices, along with shares of rare earth miners, have been surging. Since these elements vital to smartphones, nuclear shields, windmills, solar panels, and defense systems, the trend higher will likely continue as long as supply stays tight.
The smartphone industry has ballooned in recent years led by Apple?s (AAPL) iPhone and Google?s (GOOG) android. Nowadays smartphones can do all the features of a computer. This trend will likely continue, meaning more rare earth demand. Microsoft?s (MSFT) Bill Gates once said if you want to give Africans technology, give them a smartphone.
Defense, missiles, and lasers are not going anywhere either. In fact, Asia has been going through an arms race. As China grows its military, surrounding nations rush to build up their military, too. In fact, the Chinese navy and Indian navy have been scrambling to protect trade routes. All
Complete Story »

Sunday, 10 April 2011, 19:39 GMT
13 Solar Stock Rockets About to Take Off
Investment Underground submits:
By Lucas Scholhamer
Are there clear skies ahead? We've identified 13 solar stock rockets about to take off.
After Japan?s nuclear power scare, safer energy sources became an instant priority of nations spanning the globe. Weeks later, the Obama administration?s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future looked to turn out the lights on foreign oil dependence, opting to exploit America?s limited reserves and subsequently catalyze the development of alternative energy sources. In the wake of these events, the solar energy industry is looking to capitalize on this rare opportunity by championing its increasingly affordable and ever-advancing technology. We take a look at 13 stocks that may help investors benefit from the sunny forecast.
Canadian Solar, Inc. (CSIQ): Manufacturing solar modules, power systems, and other specialized solar products for customers in over 30 countries, this Ontario-based solar technology giant appears poised for long-term growth. CSIQ shares traded at $10.80 upon closing
Complete Story »

Sunday, 10 April 2011, 19:30 GMT
A Mixed Forecast for Nuclear and Coal
Greentech Media submits:
By Herman K. Trabish

Has Fukushima changed the nuclear debate? Let's just say it has pushed the two sides further apart.
?What we?ll do with this,? said Michael Morris, CEO of American Electric Power (AEP), of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown during a panel at Fortune Brainstorm Green this week, ?is the same thing we did with Three Mile Island and the same thing we did with Chernobyl and really the same thing we did with 9/11. We?ll take the lessons learned and we?ll implement those best practices we can identify to see to it that we fortify beyond the designs that we?ve already got.?
AEP operates 38 gigawatts of power, including 2,200 megawatts of nuclear and 25 gigawatts of coal, as well as 255,000 miles of power lines for five million customers who get irate when they can?t find out who?s dancing with the stars.
New nuclear infrastructure will be

Complete Story »

Sunday, 10 April 2011, 18:29 GMT
Will Solar ETFs Emerge From the Shadows?
Tom Lydon submits:
Complete Story »

Sunday, 10 April 2011, 14:04 GMT
10 Global Wind Power Companies
David Hunkar submits:
Denmark is the one of the world leaders in producing electricity from wind. About 20% of the electricity produced in Denmark comes from wind power. Since the 1980s, the Danish government provided various incentives for the growth of this industry with the goal of reducing fossil fuel imports. As a results of these efforts, today Denmark is not only a world leader in wind power generation but also is a major exporter of wind power technology and expertise to other countries.
In recent years, India and China have embarked on a mission to reduce their fossil fuel imports and encourage the production of electricity from renewable energy sources. Today, India has the fifth-largest installed wind capacity in the world with more than three-times the installed capacity of Denmark. However China is much ahead of India in this industry, as shown in the chart below: (Click to enlarge)

China started installing
Complete Story »

Sunday, 10 April 2011, 12:32 GMT
5 Reasons to Buy Broadwind Energy
Martin Peter Roth submits:
Shares in Illinois wind turbine tower manufacturer Broadwind Energy (BWEN) have been sluggish over the past couple of years as the US wind energy sector has slumped. The company's sales are concentrated on the US, and it missed out on last year's stunning wind energy boom in China.
In addition, a goodwill and impairment charge of $82.2 million, relating particularly to Broadwind's RBA fabrication subsidiary, took the market by surprise, and led to a big sell-off in the shares after it was announced in March last year.
This has also led to several recent class action lawsuits against Broadwind, further denting investor confidence in the stock.
So it is easy to overlook the fact that there is actually plenty of good news swirling around the company. Here are five reasons to get excited about this stock.
1. US wind energy spending is rising again
In 2008, the country installed 8,413
Complete Story »

Sunday, 10 April 2011, 12:31 GMT
Will GE's Energy Innovation Provide Earnings Growth?
Jim Pyke submits:
Fast Company identified General Electric Co. (GE) as one of its 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2011. GE's ranking had declined to 45th from the previous year's 19th place ranking. Fast Company's rationale for including GE was its focus on finding greener energy solutions across of host of industrial challenges from railways to power production. However, while GE is clearly innovating, high level analysis shows that GE is also scrambling to feed its need to grow earnings.

has made recent headlines with several high profile acquisitions in the energy space. The most recent news includes GE?s plans to build the largest solar panel factory in the United States. GE has also been making headlines in the shale gas space with its acquisition of the Well Support division of John Wood Group PLC. Earlier this year, GE completed its acquisition of Dresser Inc. Dresser Inc. is an oil field equipment

Complete Story »

Sunday, 10 April 2011, 6:07 GMT
Wind Power Investors Get Another Reality Check
John Petersen submits:
Last Wednesday I stirred up a hornets nest with an article titled "A Reality Check for Wind Power Investors" that included two graphs from the Bonneville Power Administration, or BPA, which manages a four state, 300,000 square mile service region that's home to over 40% of the installed hydro capacity and roughly 12% of the installed wind capacity in the US.
The first graph tracks the BPA's regional load and power production from hydro, thermal and wind facilities over the last seven days and shows why the region is one of the largest power exporters in the country.

click to enlarge
The second graph provides stand-alone tracking data for wind power in the BPA region over the last seven days.

My concern was that the BPA graphs clearly contradict widely accepted notions that:
  • Wind turbines will generate on average 30% of their rated capacity;
  • The wind is always blowing somewhere

Complete Story »

Friday, 08 April 2011, 21:32 GMT
Details on SunPower's Annual Reporting and Auditor Discussions
Michael Lofing submits:
SunPower (SPWRA) trades at 10 times last 12 months earnings and at eight times 2011 projected earnings. The company?s utility and power plant business represented 70.9% of fourth quarter of 2010 revenues compared to 46.8% for the third quarter and 31.2% in the second quarter. The company?s record revenue for the fourth quarter was $937.1 million, which was within the range of expected revenue for the quarter.
The business climate continues to recover and project financing is more available. The company also executed the industry?s first publicly-rated solar project bonds of approximately 195 million euros. The company has much work to do to improve its metrics and earnings quality. Earnings for the third quarter and second quarter of 2010 were significantly improved by transactions that resulted in non-cash gains. The SunRay acquisition and expansion into the project business had a significant impact on operating cash flow.
SunPower fourth quarter of
Complete Story »

Friday, 08 April 2011, 19:36 GMT
NRG Energy Unveils Freedom Charging Network
Greentech Media submits:
By Katherine Tweed
It doesn?t matter if range anxiety is real or perceived. If it keeps people from buying electric vehicles, it?s a problem for those who have a stake in the success of this burgeoning driving revolution.
To combat that, NRG Energy (NRG) opened its first eVgo Freedom Station in Texas on Friday, which has a high-speed DC charger, to inspire range confidence. The privately funded network of high-speed 480-volt DC chargers will include 70 stations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and another 50 in Houston, with half in place by summertime
The inaugural charger at a Walgreens (WAG) in Dallas, can add up to 30 miles of range in as few as 10 minutes, and there?s also a 240-volt Level 2 charger that can add about 25 miles in an hour. Within the two cities, drivers will never be more than five miles from a charger when the
Complete Story »

Friday, 08 April 2011, 18:57 GMT
A123 Systems: So Much Promise, So Many Questions
Benzinga submits:
By Steven Ansfield

Common sense and past performance tell us that when oil spikes, alternative energy solutions companies do well. The opposite is true in the case of A123 Systems (AONE). On a day when NYMEX oil futures are hitting a 52-week high, shares of A123 Systems are hitting an all time low ($5.82).
Few companies have stoked as much euphoria as this manufacturer of lithium-ion battery cells. A123 Systems certainly has the pedigree of a tech darling: It is on the front lines of the green-tech revolution; it is the product of the world-renowned minds at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); it has been the benefactor of Department of Energy (DOE)/United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) contracts; and has heavyweight investors such as Alliance Capital, GE (GE), Motorola Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Qualcomm Ventures (just to name a few) in its back pocket. This company is a lock
Complete Story »

Friday, 08 April 2011, 14:52 GMT
Solar Energy Race Heating Up
Kent Moors submits:
Solar energy ? as an investment sector ? has long labored under the assumption that breakout prospects are dependent upon a few small start-up companies that have insufficient working capital and miniscule share prices.
That may be true in some areas of the technical advances that reduce costs, increase energy harvesting, or provide the myriad breakthroughs necessary for the development of a genuine storage apparatus.
But that is not the case when it comes to simply producing the main components of solar capture technology.
Better-known (and among the largest) players are already moving into solar energy ? and doing so both here and abroad. And every time we see new evidence of that, it's an encouraging development, both for solar energy prospects and the investment sector developing around them.
That's because no energy source can expand market presence, attract the significant investment necessary to develop as a genuine alternative source,
Complete Story »

Friday, 08 April 2011, 14:07 GMT
First Solar and Renewables Industry Plead to Save DOE Loan Program
Trefis submits:
First Solar (FSLR) has joined forces with 33 other clean power companies including rivals like SunPower (SPWRA) and Nanosolar to appeal against the Republican proposal to axe the funding for the Department of Energy?s loan-guarantee program. [1] The proposal was included in a budget bill passed in early February and was a shock to many in the renewables community as it could potentially derail the high growth in solar and wind energy adoption.

First Solar is engaged in the manufacturing and sale of solar modules with an advanced thin film semiconductor technology and competes with other international solar industry players like Suntech Power (STP) and Yingli Green Energy (YGE). We have a price estimate of $155 for First Solar?s stock, which is just slightly above the stock?s current market price.
Understanding the Proposal and Its Impact on the Industry
The increasing focus of U.S. government to develop alternatives for clean
Complete Story »

Friday, 08 April 2011, 12:34 GMT
Rare Earth Sector Sees Major Developments This Week
Jeb Handwerger submits:
There have been major developments occurring this week in the rare earth arena, which could hold significance for the expansion into Europe of Molycorp (MCP) and the development of a US domestic supply chain of rare earths (Market Vectors Rare Earth/Str Metals ETF (REMX).

Molycorp is fast becoming the Stella Polaris of the rare earth complex. It announced its takeover of a little-known Estonia-based producer called AS Silmet, purveyor of niobium and tantalum. The move involving acquisition of this unlisted production company is quite significant. It reveals the awareness on the part of the European community to secure rare earth finished products. Europe is embracing clean, carbon-free energy and independence from Middle Eastern oil. This requires an increase of fuel-efficient hybrid or electric vehicles. In fact Renault is planning four new electric vehicles to introduce to the market and expects demand will increase significantly by 2020.

Now Molycorp will increase
Complete Story »

Thursday, 07 April 2011, 18:43 GMT
Innergex Inks Another Renewable Energy Deal
Streetwise Blog submits:
With oil soaring, renewable energy is feeling the love. Again.
The same thing happened leading up to mid-2008, but the market all but died out when the crisis hit. This time around, the sector is gaining steam at what feels like a much more sustainable rate, and the deals are starting to rack up.
Innergex Renewable Energy (INGXF.PK) is behind the latest deal, buying the Stardale solar project in Ontario
Complete Story »

Thursday, 07 April 2011, 17:28 GMT
GE: Big, New Player on the Thin Film Solar Block
Greentech Media submits:
Victor Abate, GE's VP of Renewable Energy Business, announced the completed acquisition of Prime Star Solar Thursday morning along with some big news on the cadmium telluride front:
GE claims to have achieved the (independently verified) highest recorded efficiency for cadmium telluride at almost 13 percent for a full scale module. Abate claimed the best way to reduce solar cost was by improving efficiency and that each percentage point in efficiency lowers cost by 10 percent. Abate did not disclose per-watt costs.
Note that First Solar (FSLR), the clear leader in thin film solar, is in gigawatt-scale production at 11.6 percent efficiency with a $0.75 per-watt cost and a guidance of 2 gigawatts of production in 2011. Abound Solar, another CdTe aspirant, is working on builing up capacity of 840 megawatts with help from a DOE loan guarantee.
GE said that it has closed more than 100 megawatts of orders
Complete Story »

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