Power Integrations: Profiting from Efficient Electronics

Tom Konrad, CFA With new climate legislation or a renewable portfolio standard unlikely now that Republicans control the US House of Representatives, progress on clean energy is likely to come mostly from action at the state level, and from regulation at agencies such as the EPA, rather than national legislation.  Why Energy Efficiency Standards Make Economic Sense One type of regulation that is fairly uncontroversial is improving energy efficiency standards, that is regulation of the amount of energy an appliance or other device can consume during normal use.  In an efficient market, regulation might bring...

Energy Recovery Offers Savings to Gas Industry

by Debra Fiakas CFA In early December 2014, Energy Recovery (ERII:  Nasdaq) staged an analyst and investor event in New York City principally to introduce its most recent technology innovation, VorTeq.  The product is a hydraulic fracturing solution for the gas industry.  Unlike its other products, the VorTeq is a colossal apparatus requiring a semi-tractor to transport it into place as a replacement for the ‘missiles’ now found at natural gas well sites. VorTeq Animation In the current configuration, high pressure pumps are used to drive a blend of fracturing sand, water and chemicals down into the well hole.  Pump components,...

Zumtobel Turns LED into Dividends

by Debra Fiakas CFA Based on Austria, Zumtobel Group (ZMTBF:  OTC or ZAG:  Vienna) is a supplier of modern lighting products using Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology.  Zumtobel sells its lights and components under three international brands Thorn, Tridonic and Zumtobel and two regional brands ACDC and Reiss.  Zumtobel has a long history in lighting with its foundation in the 1950s in Dr. Zumtobel’s Electrogerate und Kunstharzpresswerk.  The Thorn brand, which was acquired in 2000, dates back to the 1920s when founder Jules Thorn set up the Electric Lamp Service Company.  Zumtobel sells lights in over...

LED Stocks Get Some Respect

Cree's Wild Ride On May 21, I noticed a big up-move in Cree, Inc. (CREE), a company I've been adding to most of my managed portfolios for the last year, at prices averaging around $18.  Checking recent news stories, I noted two articles on TheStreet.com which had recommended it over the weekend (as a beaten down stock and chart of the day.)  It turns out this was just the beginning of a feeding frenzy among the media which has gone on for the last couple weeks, bringing a lot of attention to what I call "the next compact fluorescent:"...

How to Build a Cleantech Company Without Huge Investment Capital: A Case Study

David Gold While many cleantech companies require very large amounts of capital in order to get to market, there is a quiet group of cleantech companies bucking that trend.  Companies like Heartland Biocomposites (Green Building Materials), RealTech (Water Testing) and TerraLUX  (LED Lighting) all built significant and growing businesses with compelling intellectual property and did so initially without multi-millions in capital from venture funds (let alone tens or hundreds of millions). Because TerraLUX is one of our portfolio companies and I therefore know them best, their story is one I am able to share. TerraLUX boasts...

Is There Life After the Bulb?

When incandescent light bulbs are phased out in the United States between 2012 to 2014, managers of utility Demand Side Management (DSM) programs will be between a rock and a hard place.  At the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project's 5th annual Energy Efficiency Workshop, this fact seemed to be the elephant in the room that most of the utility executives in attendance did not want to talk about. One Trick Pony It's not for nothing that the compact fluorescent bulb, or CFL, has become the international symbol of energy efficiency.  While it is true that we're not going to stop...

Money and Reduced Emissions Don’t Sell Energy Efficiency, but Comfort and Health Do

    As an expert witness in an energy efficiency ("Demand Side Management" or DSM in utility-speak) docket before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, I have been making the case that non-energy benefits of energy efficiency measures such as the increased safety and comfort of an efficiently operating home need to be included in evaluating the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency programs.  There has been much resistance to the inclusion of these benefits, mainly because they can be difficult to quantify.  Yet we omit them at our peril. Why Energy Efficiency and Health Matter     Last summer, I explored why the...

Cabot Corp. and Centerpoint LLC Agree to Produce Translucent Nanogel(R)-Filled Roofing Systems to Bring...

Cabot Corp (CBT) announced a supply and marketing agreement with Centerpoint(TM) Translucent Systems, LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of residential roofing products. The agreement provides for the use of Nanogel® translucent aerogel in energy efficient daylighting roofing systems produced by Centerpoint. The Nanogel daylighting material that combines high light transmission with energy efficiency and sound insulation will be incorporated into polycarbonate panels made specifically for translucent roofing applications. The combined product-glazing panel provides more than five times the energy efficiency when compared with glass panels typically used in residential sloped glazing. I'm going to start tracking companies...

The Spray Foam Industry: Moving to Soy?

by Scott Schnelle As an energy consultant for home retrofits, I often have customers and acquaintances ask my opinion regarding green technologies and energy efficient products. Undoubtedly, with the recent surge of the green movement and a shift toward becoming more environmentally sustainable, now is a great time to invest in these types of products. One product that has been getting more and more attention lately is spray foam. The product itself has been around for many years, but it has recently risen in popularity for a couple of reasons. Here, I’ll discuss spray foam briefly...

Can Investors Recover Faith In Energy Recovery?

by Debra Fiakas CFA Despite reporting the highest gross profit margin in Energy Recovery's (ERII:  Nasdaq) history, investors were sorely disappointed with financial results in the Company’s second quarter ending June 2017.  On the first day of trading following the earnings release the share price gapped downward and closed even lower under above average trading volume.  This is likely because there was some expectation that Energy Recovery could finally report a net profit in the quarter as sales of the Company’s flagship PX Pressure Exchanger to the desalination market had appeared to pick up in recent months.  Unfortunately the Company reported...

Hannon Armstrong’s Strong Q2 Keeps It In My Top Picks

By Jeff Siegel Hannon Armstrong (NYSE:HASI), one of my top picks for 2014, just made me very happy. Yesterday, the company announced its Q2 Core Earnings of $4.7 million or $0.22 per share. On a GAAP basis, the Company recorded net income of $2.9 million. Here are some other highlights. . . Raised approximately $70 million in April, 2014 in a follow-on offering. Increased the flexibility and expanded the capacity of its existing credit facility by $200 million. Completed more than $200 million worth of transactions, including the acquisition of a $107 million portfolio of land...

Wise Energy Use Stocks for Troubled Times

Part 1: Introduction In a financial world where there seems to be little hope, I see a bright spot in energy efficiency.  This is because energy efficiency improvements pay for themselves in a very short time, in addition to being the best thing we can do for energy security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Given the current financial crisis, I also believe that investors should focus on companies with strong balance sheets, which will be able to internally fund their investment needs for the next couple years. While I was making the above case, Energy Tech Stocks introduced their...

EE=C

Tom Konrad, CFA Apple takes on Google in Silicon Valley rivalry to save the world... first.   Recently appointed Apple (NASD:AAPL) senior VP of Energy Lester Coulson is unimpressed by Google's (GOOG) efforts to solve climate change.  "Google has been trying to make renewable energy cheaper than coal for more than three years now, and we haven't even seen a Beta version!" Coulson admonishes.  "Sure, they've made a few headlines by investing in EGS and planning to string wires up and down the Atlantic coast, but after investing $100 million, is renewable energy cheaper than...

Obama’s Next $2 Billion For Energy Efficiency: How To Take The Money And Run

By Jeff Siegel It's all about the money. I don't care how you slice it  when it comes to investing, personal politics are irrelevant. This has long been how I've approached wealth creation, and it works quite well. Even as I denounced the continued reliance on outdated and economically inferior energy and transportation systems (i.e. the internal combustion engine and tar sands production), I make no apologies for profiting from new opportunities in fossil fuels. My gains in shale over the past few years alone are reason enough to stick to this strategy. Of course, when I'm given...

Climate Change & Corporate Disclosure: Should Investors Care?

Charles Morand On Monday morning, I received an e-copy of a new research note by BofA Merrill Lynch arguing that disclosure by publicly-listed companies on the issue of climate change was becoming increasingly "important". The note claimed: "e believe smart investors and companies will recognize the edge they can gain by understanding low carbon trends." I couldn't agree more with that statement. It was no coincidence that on that same day the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a non-profit UK-based organization that surveys public companies each year on the state of their climate change awareness, was...

GE’s big bet on natural gas

Marc Gunther General Electric Co. (GE) is betting big on natural gas. The $150-billion a year company, whose power plants generate about one-fourth of the world’s electricity, today announced a new natural-gas power plant that it says is more efficient and flexible than any other in the market. By phone from Paris, where the announcement was made, Steve Bolze, president of GE Power & Water, told me:  “This is about transforming the industry over the next five or 10 years.” GE says it invested more than $500 million in the new plant development. It will be manufactured in...
Close Bitnami banner
Bitnami