For a while, I thought I was on to something with the tracking portfolio (like mutual fund managers were smart, or something), but it turned out that they just put higher risk stocks in their top 5 holdings.
Archive for AES
I’ve recently said that the best way to invest in both Advanced Biofuels and Cellulosic Ethanol, and Biochar (aka terra preta) is to invest in Biomass. Here is one way to go about it: buying Forestry ETFs or Stocks.
Since then, both the stock and the ten picks have been doing well in comparison to the market, but Algonquin has entered into a couple deals, while I look into in a recent update on the Algonquin Power Income Fund.
Part of the reason the gambles have not kept up is the big drop in the price of Raser Technologies (RZ). Raser has fallen so for I now think it’s a bargain, not a gamble, and I increased my stake 3-fold.
I read a lot of Green Jobs reports over the last couple of months, and the research culminated in three articles. One is for the next issue of Smart Energy Living, and will be published in the Fall ’09 issue, but the other two are available now.
In the first, I look at the differences in the potential clean energy sectors to create jobs (they’re all a lot better than fossil fuels), while in the second I analyze the arguments against a green stimulus.
Predicting market moves is notoriouslly difficult, but I’m feeling pretty good about my recent efforts.
On October 11, 2008, I stoped being a permabear and said, “the market as a whole now seems to me to be fairly valued.” The S&P 500 closed the previous Friday just below 900; today it closed at 919.32. In the fear that abounded last October, it was a hard call to be even that bullish, bit it seems to have worked out.
Since I’m currently short-term bearish, I’ve started a series of articles not to by now, but to buy when a market decline puts them back on sale. Here are may clean enrgy shopping list articles so far:
Here is a comparison of the costs of various renewable electricity generation technologies, based on a California transmission study.
Similarly, I also recently wrote two articles comparing the costs of various grid integration strategies: Electricity Storage such as Batteries, Thermal Storage, Compressed Air, and Pumped Hydropower, as well as Demand Response, Smart Grid, and Transmission. Both have some charts allowing visual comparison of the technologies.
In May, I went to Solar 2009.
One panel I attended led to a series of articles on Solar stocks:
I also particpated, with presentations on the best incentives for solar investments, and with an analysis of large scale electricity storage, as well as alternative renewable electricity integration strategies.
Charles also attended, and took a look at the implications of the removal of the $2000 cap on the residential Investment Tax Credit.
My Ten Clean Energy Stocks for 2009 has been beating the market and the clean energy sector handily, although the riskier Ten Clean Energy Gambles for 2009 has only been performing in-line with the sector.
John Peterson’s cautious approach to the energy storage sector ("Cheap before Cool") has also been performing well.
In tough economic times, it goes to show that playing it conservative pays off, even when the clean energy sector is getting a political boost.
I recently interviewed several industry participants and research scientists about Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) and associated thermal storage.
Several articles came out of these interviews:
What the Future of Concentrated Solar Power Might Look Like (This one made the folks at Ausra uncomfortable, and so they asked to respond.)
I’ve posted an updated and more in-depth look at clean energy and renewable energy mutual funds. Also of interest may be an article on how actively managed clean and renewable energy funds compare to the passively manged/index variety.
I’ve published an updated run-down of Clean Energy Exchange Traded Funds, as well as a look at those clean energy ETFs which have Exchange Traded options on them (and why you might care.)
I went a little overboard with the top-10 lists this year (last year I only did two), but people seem to like them…
Ten Speculative Clean Energy Stocks for 2009 (forthcoming, link will be broken until 1/12/09.)
Since Obama’s election, my partent Charles and I have been looking at what Obama’s refreshing attitude towards Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, combined with the credit crunch, will do for some of our favorite stocks… here are the highlights:
Charles and I expect divened paying companies to come back into vogue. He has a few dividend paying alternative energy companies and I have a couple dividend paying energy efficiency companies to consider.
I also revisited my list of Blue Chip Alternative energy companies to see which ones might benefit from the expected stimulus package, while Charles looked at Smart Grid stocks that might benefit from a stimulus package. One technology I’m betting on is Geothermal heat pumps.
When the current crisis began with the fall of Lehman, I decided to get out of my most speculative and worst capitalized Renewable Energy companies, and I wrote a series of articles on each. Now, I’m looking exclusively at companies involved in energy efficiency technologies, and technologies which help customers shift their demand to when or where it is cheaper (smart grid and transmission.)
Here’s an index to the articles on the stocks I sold:
My partners and I received a couple angry emails because of what I consider very well reasoned arguments as to why Barack Obama would be better on Energy and Climate than John McCain. It still shocks me that anyone interested in alternative energy investing would even consider this controversial. If they support McCain, they might not like the fact that their candidate isn’t the best on energy issues, but simply consider other matters more important.
YouTube Removes Clip of McCain mocking tire inflation.
It’s a crazy world we live in. In the first draft, we had found a video where McCain was shown deriding Obama’s advocacy for energy efficiency in the form of well-inflated tires, but it had been taken down by YouTube a day later. We had to settle for a news story talking about the McCain campaign and their tire guages, not McCain himself.
On what grounds was it removed, I have to wonder? It was a public appearance of a public figure, so you would think that it would not have been removed on copyright grounds, but your guess is as good as mine. Does YouTube remove all videos of public figures making fools of themselves?
In addition to investing, I’m also a consultant for the Energy Efficiency Busisness Coalition for regulatory matters. This work has spawned a series of articles, looking into what it really takes to make an energy efficiency business work, and what constitutes progressive regulation. Here they are:
Algae is the most promising source to produce oil in the quantities needed to displace any significant amount of petroleum. Can is Petrosun (Pink Sheets: PSUD) the company to fulfill this promise? I doubt it; follow the link to find out why.
I’ve written a series of articles over the past few weeks focussing on what a green investor can do to prepare for and profit from peak oil:
We’re way behind the curve on climate change. Only after we have a new President is the US likely to take action to limit greenhouse gasses. Meanwhile the artic ice sheet is vanishing faster than any of our models predicted, and the world is emitting more carbon than even the most pessimistic IPCC projections.
Given that backdrop, it’s too late to wait for some new technology to come along and save us, be it cellulosic ethanol or carbon capture and storage. Investors should keep that in mind, too.
When the world wakes up to the urgency of Climate Change, more money will be spent on near term solutions than research into new technology.
The scale of the problem is daunting, which is why I believe there is such a temptation to invest our hopes in new technology, as opposed to investing our dollars in the technology we have today, which can take us most of the way we want to go, if only we can muster the political capital (the cost is negligible, because the efficient use of energy almost always than pays for itself and then some.)
That’s why I’m calling for a Clean Energy Marshall Plan.