Wise Energy Use Stocks Part 4: Metering and Energy Management

A look at Itron, Echelon, Woodward Governor, EnerNOC, and Energy Recovery

Geothermal Transmission 101

Paul Schwabe Among renewable resources, one of the most valuable attributes of geothermal electricity is the baseload characteristic of the energy resource. That is, geothermal electricity generators are able to deliver a stable level of power production over time. Yet for better or worse, this baseload characteristicalong with other notable factors such as size constraints and varying market segmentsreveals that interconnecting a geothermal plant to a transmission or distribution system poses unique challenges compared to other renewable energy technologies . A recent report by NREL, "Geothermal Power and Interconnection: The Economics of Getting to the Market," delves...

Is AMSC Ready to Get Back to the Future?

Last week a jury found in favor of the United States government in a suit brought in 2013 by the Obama Administration against the Chinese wind turbine producer, Sinovel Wind Group (601558:  Shanghai).  Sinovel was found guilty of stealing technology from American Superconductor (AMSC:  Nasdaq) that had supplied Sinovel with converter hardware and software solutions.  Sinovel may have to pay hefty fines when the final sentencing step is completed in June 2018. American Superconductor (now called AMSC) had already brought a private suit against Sinovel in China two years before the Justice Department filed its case.  The China court dismissed the case for lack of...

Moving Microgrids Beyond R&D

by Joe McCabe Where is the money in microgrids? My goal at this years Intersolar event was to try and answer this question; to figure out the value proposition of microgrids as they relate to distributed generation, storage, renewable energy and photovoltaics.  A microgrid is an electrical supply and use system that can operate autonomously. Although all microgrids are small relative to the electric grid as a whole, the huge size of the grid leaves a broad range of what can count as “micro.”  Microgrids can be as small as a single building, but range on...

Hammond Power Solutions: A Cheap Power Regulation Play?

We have discussed on several occasions the investment opportunities related to power regulation and renewable energy. I have also recently written about the value approach to investing. I came across a stock today that I believed fell into both categories: power regulation (transformers) and value. The stock is Hammond Power Solutions (HPS-A.TO or HMDPF.PK), a firm that makes transformers for a number of applications, including wind turbines. While revenue and earnings have been ramping up quite nicely over the past four years, the stock price has been trending mostly laterally (albeit in a volatile manner) over the...

Fending Cyber Threats with a Fortress

RuggedCom Fortifies the Smart Grid and Captures the Substation Market By Joyce Pellino Crane     I wonder how many utility executives lie awake at night worrying  about cyberthreats to their electricity substations.     If you’ve ever gone a few days without electricity in your home,  you’ll quickly realize how minimal life becomes.  Working on your computerthe speedway to higher thinking and creativity is impossible.     Watching television, charging your cell phone, keeping food frozen, and  micro-waving popcorn, can no longer be done. Every task requires  planning and, much more physical laborconsider what it would take  to wash and...

Hidden Gems? Why Green Investors Should Look at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Ener1

Part 2 of 2 Bill Paul Neither Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd., which trades OTC under the symbol DWOTF, nor Ener1 Inc., which trades on NASDAQ under the symbol HEV, is an obvious candidate for having hidden potential. Heck, Daewoo isn’t even a green energy stock. Or is it? Lost in the hubbub of Copenhagen and Congress, there’s been important news about both these companies that strongly suggests – at least to me – that each has plenty of undiscovered potential that will really start paying off over the next 18 to 24...

Transmission Stocks: Bringing Wind Power to Where it’s Needed

Last week, Charles told us to expect wind power industry suppliers to benefit from shortages in wind turbine components. Owens Corning (NYSE:OC) which I mentioned in my Blue Chip Alternative Energy Portfolio fits nicely into this category with their composites for turbine blades, as do the power converter stocks I mentioned two weeks ago. As essential to wind power as any of these is improved power transmission. The National Wind Coordinating Collaborative states, Electrical transmission facilities connecting windy areas and load centers are sometimes non-existent or minimal. Even in cases where a good wind resource has...

Digital Electrification: Less Waste, More Capacity

One potentially huge contributor to decarbonization of the economy could come from dramatic efficiency gains obtainable from digitally improving the power quality of electricity, as it is being generated, transmitted & being consumed.   The enabling technology is emerging from developments in computing that is associated with the Internet of Things (IOT). DOE estimates indicate that approximately 38.2 quads of electricity are produced, from all sources, but that 25.3 quads, or 66.2% is deemed “Rejected Energy”, so only 33.8% of generated electricity is actually being used.  Within that 66% a distinction is recognized between “Losses” & “Waste”: Loss is non-recoverable, I2R...
Enphase M-Score

Hopping Off The Short Enphase Bandwagon

by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Last week, I wrote that I'd taken a short position in Enphase Energy Inc. (ENPH). I have now closed out that position and don't intend to go short again. My decision to go short was based on four factors: I'm worried about risk in the overall market, and so am considering opportunistic short positions as a hedge. Prescience Point Capital Management released a report accusing Enphase of earnings manipulation. The report seemed well-researched from a purely accounting point of view. My favored indicator for avoiding companies which might be engaging in earnings manipulation, Beneish M-Score was...

Is Ruggedcom, Inc. as Solid as its Networks?

Tom Konrad, CFA Our recent article on Ruggedcom's (RUGGF.PK, RMC.TO) technology for a smart grid that's also robust against a number of threats such as cyberterrorism and electromagnetic pulses prompted a long-time reader to ask if we also think it's a good investment at these prices. Good question.  As outlined in the article, Ruggedcom, Inc. has a robust business providing ruggedized routers for mission-critical networks, including electric utilities growing smart grids.  But not every great business is also a great stock. What Makes a Great Stock There are several things I look for in a great stock, and a...

How to Invest in the Pickens Plan

A friend recently asked me how to invest in the Pickens Plan.  I named a stock (see below). He then surprised me by saying "You are the fifth person I've asked, and no one else knew how.  Several said it could not be done." You can invest in T. Boone Pickens's plan.  Here's how: The Plan T. Boone's plan is both simple and audacious.   We will build wind farms all over the Great Plains. Build the necessary transmission to get that electricity to cities, displacing natural gas used in electricity generation for the use in automobiles.   This will...

Two Stocks For Grid Storage – ZBB Energy and Axion Power

John Petersen On March 4, 2011 the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory published a comprehensive review of "Electrochemical Energy Storage Technologies for Green Grid" that is a must-read for serious investors who want to understand the technical and economic intricacies of the energy storage sector. It explains why storage is a key enabling technology for wind and solar power, the smart grid, efficient transportation and a legion of high-technology manufacturing and service enterprises that can't survive without reliable power. It also explains why energy storage is an investment mega-trend that will endure for decades. While I normally try to...

Tribulations of a Meter Reader

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week Badger Meter (BMI:  NYSE) joined a building fraternity:  companies reporting strong year-over-year sales growth, but delivering weaker than expected earnings.  However, the Badger Meter actually increased earnings by a greater magnitude than it grew sales.  The Company reported $83.5 million in net sales, representing 16.3% growth over the same quarter last year.  Net income grew by 59.3% year-over-year to $4.6 million or $0.32 per share.  As impressive as these results appear to be, the consensus had been for earnings per share of $0.41.  The stock declined sharply as investor registered their displeasure...

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...

The War On Net Metering

by Paula Mints Net metering and interconnection are rights afforded distributed generation (DG) residential and commercial solar system owners through the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005. The act required publically owned utilities to offer net metering and left the various policies up to the states to enact. In 2004, before that energy policy was enacted, 39 states had net metering and interconnection standards and policies. At the beginning of 2016, 43 U.S. states and three territories had net metering policies, and four states had policies similar to net metering that the Database of State Incentives for Renewables...
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