Clean Energy Stocks Shopping List: Smart Grid and Strong Grid

My five favorite stocks with technology to improve grid reliability. Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Although the market has risen above where it was in early June, when I said "We're near the top," I'm still bearish.  And I'm still making lists of stocks to buy when prices seem more favorable.  Previous articles in this Clean Energy Stocks Shopping List series are listed at the end of this one. The Strong Grid I recently wrote about our list of Smart Grid Stocks, and at least two readers were prompted to ask why wasn't (1) Beacon Power (BCON) on the...

Clean Energy Stocks to Fill the Nuclear Gap

Tom Konrad, CFA If the Japanese use less nuclear power, what will take its place? I'm astounded by the resilience and discipline of the Japanese people in response to the three-pronged earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster, perhaps in large part by my cultural roots in the egocentric United States, where we seem to have forgotten the virtue of self-sacrifice for the greater good.  Yet while Japanese society has shown itself to be particularly resilient, the Japanese electric grid is much less resilient.  According to International Energy Agency statistics, Japan produced 258 TWh of electricity from...

The Light at the End of the Tunnel is Energy Efficient

The Solar Investment Tax Credit has been extended, and the market for mortgage debt "rescued," but neither renewable energy nor the rest of the economy are out of the woods.  We'll probably be feeling the effects of the financial imbalances which have built up in our economy for years to come. While the extension of the tax credit will help renewable energy technologies raise funding, the headwinds from the continued fallout of the structured finance and real estate bubble will be blowing in the other direction.  This will be a problem both for developers of new technologies, and...
Smart meter for smart grid applications

List of Smart Grid Stocks

Smart grid stocks are publicly traded companies that use or enable information technology to operate the electric grid more efficiently.  They are also included in the list of electric grid stocks. This list was last updated on 3/21/2022. Advanced Energy Industries (AEIS) AMSC (AMSC) Arrow Electronics (ARW) Digi International (DGII) Echelon Corporation (ELON) EnSync, Inc. (ESNC) ESCO Technologies, Inc. (ESE) Fluence Energy, Inc. (FLNC) Itron (ITRI) Kontrol Energy (KNR.CN, KNRLF) Landis+Gyr Group AG (LAND.SW) Schneider Electric (SU.PA, SBGSF, SBGSY) SMA Solar Technology (S92.DE) SolarEdge (SEDG) Superconducting Technologies, Inc. (SCON) Wallbox N.V. (WBX) If you know of any smart grid stock that is not listed here and should be, please let us know by leaving a comment. Also...

Will Surging Smart Grid Investments Result in Surging Electric Prices?

John Petersen The electric power system in the U.S. is dirty, antiquated, stupid, unstable, and a security nightmare. After years of discussion and debate, consensus now holds that the generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure will need hundreds of billions in new investment to reduce emissions, improve reliability, minimize waste and inefficiency, improve security, and facilitate the integration of wind, solar and other emerging alternative energy technologies. Commonly cited capital spending estimates range from $200 billion globally by 2015 to $2 trillion overall. In his November 2008 report, "The Sixth Industrial Revolution: The Coming of Cleantech," Merrill Lynch strategist...

Strong Grid Stocks Getting Stronger

Will 2012 Finally be the Year of the Strong Grid? Tom Konrad CFA Utility infrastructure companies are seeing the beginnings of the long-anticipated infrastructure boom, and have the rising revenues and backlog to prove it. Investing in electric utility infrastructure has long been one of my favored ways to invest in the growing renewable energy sector without having to take a bet on unproven technology.  The North American grid is in badly in need of an upgrade, and increasing penetration of variable and distributed resources such as solar and wind will require further upgrades in order to...

Grid-based Energy Storage: Widely Misunderstood Challenges and Opportunities

John Petersen The most widely misunderstood subject in the field of energy storage is the potential for grid-based applications. They fire the imagination because the grid is so pervasive and the need is so great. They also present immense challenges to storage technology developers because the fundamental economic value per unit of grid-based energy storage is very low. While the subject of grid-based storage provides rich fodder for media reports and political posturing, the reality bears little relation to the perception. On March 9th, Lux Research published a sorely needed reality check in a new report titled "Grid...

ABB Group – A Cleantech Company?

Tom Konrad CFA Power and automation giant ABB, Ltd. (NYSE: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, the premier supplier of high-efficiency motors in the US. 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 Ontario Green Energy Act: What Can Alt Energy Legislations Do For Investors

Dedicated legislations have been at the core of some of the most impressive regional growth stories in alternative energy, most notably in Germany with the Renewable Energy Sources Act or in California with the various legislative solar initiatives. On Monday, the Canadian province of Ontario became the latest jurisdiction to join the fray as lawmakers introduced the Green Energy and Green Economy Act. Why should investors care? Because such legislations have been at the core of some of the most impressive regional growth stories in alternative energy.  As a bit of a backgrounder on Ontario, there...

Solar PV Inverter Market Shakeout Continues With ABB and Power-One Deal

James Montgomery A pair of analyst reports issued last week came to roughly the same conclusion about the market for solar PV inverters: It's getting crowded and complicated, with top incumbents facing challenges in maintaining near-term growth in an increasingly fragmented market. Those PV inverter stalwarts will need to pursue more restructuring and mergers & acquisitions to stay atop the shifting and broadening customer base, addressing everything from tough-to-crack markets (e.g. China, Japan) and embracing newer technologies such as module-level power conversion, i.e. microinverters, say IMS Research and GTM Research. This consolidation has already started to play...

Keynes Meets Carson, And How You Can Invest It (Part 1)

I'm not sure whether John Maynard Keynes, the father of Keynesian economics and an ardent proponent of government interventionism during hard economic times, and Rachel Carson, the mother of modern environmentalism and the author whose work is credited for the eventual creation of the EPA, ever met during their lifetimes. But if current voter sentiment holds until November 4, their ideas could soon converge and form the basis of government policy for at least the next four years. Let me explain. First, John Maynard Keynes. There is no doubt that the deliberate and coordinated nationalization of financial services...

2010: The Year of the Strong Grid? Part III

Two Strong Grid Stocks in Hiding Tom Konrad, CFA A look at two transmission (or "Strong Grid") stocks I missed previously: EMCORE Group and AZZ Incorporated. In part I of this series, I made the case that 2010 might be the year that transmission stocks caught investors' attention, as smart grid stocks did in 2009.  In part II, I looked at the transmission stocks in our Electric Grid stock list, and compared their financial strength.  My initial screen, based on Current ratio, Cash on Hand, Debt, Cash from Operations, P/E ratio, and dividend yeild allowed...

Keynes Meets Carson, And How You Can Invest It (Part 2)

Two weeks ago, I brought you the first of a series of two articles on how you can play the clean infrastructure build-out that could come as a result of an Obama victory today. In that article, I made the point that the political and economic ideology that had prevailed in America over the past 30 years, economic laisser-faire, had been severely undermined by the recent credit meltdown and what now looks like it will be the worse economic shock in a generation or more. I further argued that the increasing sidelining of the "small government" discourse in...

2010: The Year of the Strong Grid? Part II

The Strongest Strong Grid Stocks Tom Konrad, CFA A comparison of the financial strength of transmission (or "Strong Grid") companies. In Part I of this article I made the case that transmission stocks, or "Strong Grid" might be a clean energy sector that takes off in 2010, as Smart Grid stocks and Battery stocks did in 2009.  If the sector does take off, the rising tide will probably float all boats, but if it doesn't, it will probably be better to be in the strongest such companies, because, as in 2009, the harsh financial climate will probably mean that...

2010: The Year of the Strong Grid?: Index

Tom Konrad CFA A somewhat delayed index to my Year of the Strong Grid series, looking into electricty transmission and distribution (T&D) or "Strong Grid" companies. Part Subject / Description Stocks mentioned I Introduction: Why Electricity Transmission and Distribution is a good investment. None II Comparing the financial strength of eletricty T&D companies ABB AMSC CPTC.OB CVT.TO BGC JST MTZ MYRG PIKE PWR RSSYF.PK SI VMI WCC III EMCORE Group (EME) and AZZ Incorporated (AZZ) ...

Is There Any Value In Stella Jones?

Value Investing A few months ago, I discussed my encounter with Warren Buffett, and promised that I would eventually analyze a stock using the value investing (VI) approach. While I can`t say that I qualify as a hardcore value investor, there are many things about the VI approach that have influenced my thinking. For instance, I tend to stay away from very high PE stocks and momentum plays. While I take positions in firms with no earnings, they are generally relatively "unknown" or are past star stocks that investors have moved on from. I like the idea...
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