Friday, January 29, 2010

Obama Renews His Commitments to Clean Energy and Small Business

In his State of the Union address, President Obama indicated that he will continue to pursue a comprehensive energy and climate bill as well as provide relief for small business.

The President showed leadership by not bowing to political expediency and playing it safe as many had predicted. Despite its unpopularity, he mentioned clean energy more than half a dozen times and he reiterated his commitment to building a new energy economy.

The President reached out to small business, a community that is vital to the ongoing recovery as it is responsible for over 97 percent of new jobs in America.

This was an important message for a beleaguered small business community who had begun to question the President's commitment. Obama has been criticized for giving federal small business funds to big corporations while bankruptcies for small businesses are up 44 percent over last year. Almost 2 years ago, then Senator Obama said, "It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants."

Before yesterday's State of the Union address, only 2 percent of the stimulus funds had been allocated to small businesses and hundreds of millions in federal contracts that by law are earmarked for small business have been diverted to Fortune 500 firms.

The President has done well to remember the support he received from the small business community. Prior to Obama's election win in 2008, Lloyd Chapman, the President of the ASBL, summarized the sentiments of many small business owners when he said, "I am so tired of being disappointed by our elected officials. For the first time in many years I am genuinely excited about this election. In my life, I have never been more excited about any politician than I am about Barack Obama. I believe that he holds the key to a new future for all Americans. I believe that with Senator Obama in the White House, Americans are going to be more proud of this country than they have ever been in their lives."

However, politics is a two way street. After being elected President, Obama received little support from small business for his clean energy initiatives and cap-and-trade proposal. Further, the scope of the crisis necessitated a top down approach which left many small businesses feeling excluded.

President Obama's State of the Union address was an attempt to reignite the mutual support he enjoyed with the small business communty during the Presidential campaign. "I am proud to have the support of the American Small Business League and their grassroots efforts to help protect American small business. Helping American small business is part of our movement for change and the end of politics as usual," Senator Obama said in 2008.

In his State of the Union address the President proposed $30 billion to assist small business, tax credits and tax cuts, time will tell if that support will be reciprocated.

Although the President repeated his commitment to clean energy, his address also included support for some contentious energy programs including nuclear, offshore drilling, bio-fuels and "clean" coal.

Vowing to sign executive orders and use his veto power, the President has indicated that although he is still interested in bipartisanship, if need be, he will use his presidential privileges.
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Excerpts from President Obama's State of the Union Address

"Despite all our disagreements, we chose to move forward as one nation and one people, again we are tested, again we must answer the call....[Americans are] tired of the pettiness and the partisanship"

"Our union is strong, we do not give up, we do not quit...It is time that Americans get a government that matches their decency and matches their strength"

"Three hundred thousand work in construction and clean energy...the plan that has made this possible is the recovery act also known as the stimulus bill...create clean energy jobs...build new generation of clean and safe power plants."

"Tonight I am proposing 30 billion to help small business. Small business tax credit...[and]tax cuts for all businesses."

"We can put America to work today building the infrastructure of tomorrow....We should put more Americans to work building clean energy facilities....rebates for making their homes more energy efficient....investing in factories that manufacture clean energy products...even if you doubt climate change: providing incentives for clean energy is good."

"The only way to move to full employment is to lay a new foundation...passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill to create incentives for business....I have been told that our political system is too gridlocked...How long should we wait, how long should we put the future on hold....countries like China, Germany, India are not waiting to revamp their economy...[they are] making serious investments in clean energy because they need those jobs."

"we need to focus on long term economic growth...Its time to get serious about fixing the problems that are hampering growth...A strong, healthy financial market."

"We need to encourage American innovation...No area is more ripe than energy...batteries...solar panels...build new generation of clean and safe power plants...Passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill...Providing incentives for clean energy and energy efficiency are the right thing to do because the nation that leads in clean energy will lead the global economy."

"We will not continue tax cuts for oil companies."

"Rather than fight the same tired battles...lets try common sense...reform how we work with one another...we can't wage a perpetual campaign...a belief that if you lose I win...obstruct every bill just because they can...Just saying no to everything might be good politics, but it is not leadership...I will not give up on trying to change the tone of our politics."

"Lets show the American people we can do it together...In the end its our ideals and our values that built America."

"I campaigned on the promise of change, change that we can believe in....Democracy can be messy and noisy...The only reason we are here is because generations of Americans...[did] what it took to keep the dream of this nation alive...lets seize this moment...to build our nation anew."
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Next: Obama Renews His Commitments to Clean Energy and Small Business

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Preview of Obama's State of the Union Address

This evening, the President of the United States will deliver his State of the Union address. In light of his declining popularity and legislative stalemate, President Obama is expected to scale back his climate change agenda and reach out to recession-hit families.

The President has much to contend with, including the panic of some Democratic members of Congress who are fearful of losing their seats in November's mid-term elections.

Obama may have inherited 2 wars and an economy on the verge of collapse, but other problems have developed on his watch. Obama is struggling under the weight of failing healthcare reform, Republican Scott Brown's surprise victory, growing estimates of stimulus spending and high unemployment.

Focusing on jobs and the economy is good politics and what could be more populist than changing Washington. If nothing else, it is safe to focus on job creation, deficit reduction and middle class families.

With Americans questioning the very existence of climate change and the unpopularity of legislation to address the problem, it may seem like downplaying global warming is the shrewdest move Obama can make. However, it could also be the worst decision he could make.

"I will not slow down in terms of going after the big problems that this country faces," Obama said to ABC News earlier this week. "The easiest thing for me to do...would be to go small bore, avoid controversy, just make sure that everybody's comfortable and we only propose things that don't threaten any special interests in Washington. If you do that, then you can get a boost in the poll numbers."

Obama was elected on a platform of change, but legislators continued with business as usual. "When I promised change, I didn't promise that somehow members of Congress weren't going to be looking to try to get a project in their district or help a hospital in their neighborhood," the President recently told Time Magazine.

"I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president," he told ABC News "You know, there is a tendency in Washington to believe our job description, of elected officials, is to get re-elected. That's not our job description," Obama said. "Our job description is to solve problems and to help people. I don't want to look back on my time here and say to myself all I was interested in was nurturing my own popularity."

This State of the Union address could be Obama's defining moment, the point in his Presidency where he delivers on his promise to lead.

If political realities succeed in estranging Obama from his ideals, his Presidency will be jeopardized alongside the green agenda. The President can either pander to the confusion of some Americans, or make climate and energy reform a priority for 2010. It is time for the President to lead the American people, not follow the polls.
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Next: Live Coverage of Obama's State of the Union Address, Obama Renews His Commitments to Clean Energy and Small Business

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Sustainable Stock Offers More than Extraordinary Returns

Sustainable investing is helping to change environmentally harmful business practices. A new breed of investors is profiting from green while benefiting the planet. There are several established financial instruments for green investments including stocks, bonds, funds, savings accounts, deposit certificates and money market accounts. All of these types of investments can help the planet and turn a handsome profit.

In preceding articles, The Green Market provided practical demonstrations of the sizable profits available to investors in green stock. In this article I address the benefits green investing offers the earth.

Green investing is a subset of socially responsible investing or ethical investing. While green investing focuses on environmentally active businesses, socially responsible investing is concerned with the environment and human welfare.

Green investing decisions are based on criteria that actively improve the health of the planet. Green investing raises and channels capital into those industries and companies which develop and introduce green technology and demonstrate environmental sensitivity through their business practices.

Green investing not only channels funds to green businesses, it siphons capital away from dirty industries. By investing in green sectors instead of environmentally destructive industries, investors are funding eco-innovation and stimulating the growth and development of sustainable companies.

Those investors who chose to ignore the irrefutable evidence on climate change will be punished in the marketplace when the value of high carbon portfolios collapses. The growing costs of global warming will cause high carbon assets to plummet in the foreseeable future.

We are on a growing carbon bubble, the longer it grows the more destructive its inevitable collapse. However, we cannot afford to wait for the carbon market to implode. Part of the present day problem we face is the fact that the owners of carbon assets have a vested interest in defending them. Their economic and political resistance to climate change solutions imperil the planet and its inhabitants.

Sustainable investing asks investors to engage a long term vision, but responsible investors must be joined by responsible governments. To expedite the needed change, governments must put a price on carbon through legislative and/or regulatory efforts.

Investors who are not motivated by social interest should still value the significant returns being offered by sustainable stock and governments who are not amenable to environmental concerns should be motivated by an increasingly informed electorate.

As illustrated by the performance of The Green Market's sustainable stock, these investments can provide great returns, but investments in sustainable stock also stimulate the growth of a low carbon economy.
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Review of The Green Market's Sustainable Stock Portfolios and Future Prospects


With the aim of helping investors see the value of sustainable stock, The Green Market has been charting the performance of stock in 3 renewable energy sectors and 2 energy efficiency sectors. The 3 renewable energy sectors are Solar, Wind and Geothermal, and the 2 energy efficiency sectors are (smart) grid and lighting. In January of last year, The Green Market posted 5 sustainable portfolios. Here are the results for The Green Market's sustainable stock in 2009.

Firms like Canadian Solar soared last year and The Green Market's solar stock portfolio outperformed the market's strong growth for much of 2009. However, Canadian Solar is not the only sustainable stock that surged in 2009. Here are 4 of the top performing sustainable stocks for 2009:

- EnerNOC gained 286 percent
- Cree Inc., averaged gained 250 percent
- Western Wind Energy gained 246 percent
- Nevada Geothermal Power gained 220 percent

The Green Market's 5 sustainable stock portfolios turned in the following performances in 2009:

- Wind stock portfolio averaged gains of 110 percent
- Energy efficient lighting stocks portfolio averaged gains of 100 percent
- Solar stock portfolio averaged gains of 64 percent
- (Smart) grid stocks portfolio averaged gains of 61 percent
- Geothermal stock portfolio averaged gains of 61 percent

As an average across all 5 portfolios, The Green Market's sustainable stock gained almost 80 percent in 2009. If we see a carbon trading bill passed in the US in 2010, the performance of sustainable stock will grow exponentially.

Even without legislation, the new EPA promises strong regulatory support, particularly with regard to air and water. Renewables and efficiency are the future, whether through legislation or regulation there is a an unavoidable logic driving the value of sustainable stock.
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Energy Efficient Lighting Stock Review and Future Prospects


Energy efficiency represents the most expedient approach to reducing energy consumption and C02 emissions. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), one dollar invested in more efficient electrical equipment avoids more than 2 dollars in investment in electricity supply.

Manufacturers of LEDs (light emitting diodes) are producing lighting that is environmentally friendlier and considerably more energy efficient than traditional lighting products. The potential savings from LEDs are truly remarkable as approximately 12.5 percent of global electricity production is used for lighting.

To help investors see the value of renewable energy, The Green Market followed the progress of Solar, Wind, and Geothermal stock in 2009. To help investors see the value of energy efficiency, The Green Market has followed the progress of (smart) grid stocks, and on January 14, 2009, The Green Market added its portfolio of energy efficient lighting stocks. Here is a review of The Green Market's lighting stock for 2009.

In 2009, Cree Inc. (NASD: CREE) gained 250 percent, Philips (NYSE:PHG) gained 42 percent. Lighting Science Group, previously known as LSCG.OB has changed to LSCG.PK and from its inception on May 21, 2009 until years end, Lighting Science Group (LSCG.PK) gained 6 percent. Together, The Green Market's energy efficient lighting portfolio gained 99.53 percent in 2009.

Koninklijke Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG): Lighting is one of the company's 3 major divisions. Philips has established itself as a leader of LED technology with the development of an (LED) bulb said to produce as much light as a 60W incandescent bulb using less than 10W, and lasting 25 times as long.

Cree, Inc. (NASD: CREE): A leader in LED lighting including chips and components. Recently, the company's shares jumped more than 17 percent after a brilliant year end 2009 earnings report. Strong sales powered Cree to quarterly revenue of $199.5 million, up 35 percent year over year and the highest total recorded by the company for a single quarter. Cree's near term focus is on factory execution and capacity expansion. They have a strong balance sheet and are in a leadership position. Cree expects revenue of $215 million to $225 million in its fiscal third quarter, ending March 28, while the Thomson Reuters estimate calls for revenue of $189.2 million. In 2010 Cree will continue to better Wall Street's expectations.

Lighting Science Group: (LSCG.PK): In May of last year, LSCG.OB was changed to LSCG.PK because they failed to file their 2008 form 10-K. Lighting Science are designers, developers, manufacturers and marketers of LED lighting solutions. On January 6 of this year, they announced their new directors.

There are significant commercial and residential applications for more efficient lighting. In the US, sixty-watt lights account for 50% of the domestic incandescent market; replacing conventional light bulbs with LED could save electricity equivalent to the energy required to power 17.4 million households.

The widespread acceptance of LED lighting will be driven by the market (ie: the need to reduce costs and enhance productivity). As we transition to more efficient forms of lighting, energy efficient lighting companies are destined to grow.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Energy Efficient (Smart) Grid Stock Review and Future Prospects

Grid companies are a crucial part of delivering renewable energy from points of production to consumers. Grid technology is essential to renewable energy and making that grid smarter enhances its efficiency. According to Carnegie Mellon University 65 percent of all the energy consumed to generate electricity in the US is lost each year. Energy efficiency initiatives are an important part of recouping that lost energy.

To help investors see the value of renewable energy, The Green Market followed the progress of Solar, Wind, and geothermal stock in 2009. On January 14, 2009 The Green Market published its portfolio of 13 energy efficient (smart) grid stocks.

The Green Market's grid stock Resin Systems (RS.TO), makers of composite utility poles for electricity transmission and distribution, gained 173 percent in 2009. The Green Market's smart grid stock EnerNOC (ENOC), designers of, amongst other things, demand response solutions for grid operators and utilities, gained 286 percent in 2009. Overall, The Green Market's grid portfolio averaged 61 percent in 2009.

Going forward, burgeoning demand should continue to encourage investors in (smart) grid stock, particularly in the US. The estimated annual cost of the outdated US grid is 206 billion per year. To make the grid more efficient, it needs to be updated and expanded. To maintain current electrical transmission and to increase the electricity feeds from renewable power sources, the US will need to massively invest in high-voltage transmission lines. Expanding transmission capacity is only part of the challenge, making the transmission infrastructure digital is what makes it smarter and more efficient.

In the US, grid investments will be considerable. The utility industry estimates it would cost about $50 billion to equip every home in the US with a smart meter and $60 billion to transport enough energy to offset 20% of its current total electricity use with renewable power. The US will need to spend up to $1.5 trillion on its electricity system over the next 20 years and about $900 billion for smart grid technology over the next two decades. An investment in cleaner energy could put the figure at $2 trillion.

According to the Electric Power Research Institute, "The benefits to society from gird modernization will exceed the costs by four to one."

Grid investments are a priority for China as that nation is losing 27 percent of its wind-generated power due to inefficient grid technology. Out of 12.2 GW of installed capacity at the end of 2008, only 8.9 GW made it to customers. This is why China is using 23% of its massive 500 billion dollar economic stimulus for their national electric grid, much of which will transport energy from renewable projects. Over $134 billion has already been allocated to create a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) network to connect wind farms to cities and to optimize that network with smart grid technology.

In the US, 6 billion dollars of federal stimulus money is being directed to the electric grid. Cisco Systems (CSCO) aims to get some of those federal funds as they have a variety of products designed for the smart grid, including energy management "EnergyWise" software and new products designed for home use.

A Cisco spokesperson made the sensational claim that the grid could end up being up to 1,000 times the size of the Internet. Cisco believes that just the communications portion represents a $100 billion opportunity, even if we only see a fraction of this sum, (smart) grid stock are going to keep gaining.
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Next: Energy Efficient Lighting Stock Review and Future Prospects

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Geothermal Stock Review and Future Prospects


Geothermal energy comes from deep within the planet and although it does not garner the attention of wind and solar, it is nonetheless one of the largest and most efficient potential sources of energy in the world today.

With geothermal's total global generating capacity 0f about 10,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity, it could match all of the energy available from coal, oil, and gas combined. According to the UN World Energy Assessment report, the geothermal resource is roughly 280,000 times the annual consumption of primary energy in the world.

To help investors see the value of renewable investments, The Green Market followed the progress of both Solar and Wind, stock in 2009. On January 15, 2009 The Green Market added 4 geothermal stocks (NGLPF.OB, LXU, WFIFF.PK and RZ) to its geothermal stock portfolio. Here is a review of the performance of these 4 stocks in 2009.

Nevada Geothermal Power (NGLPF.OB) gained 220 percent, LSB Industries (LXU) gained 69 percent and Waterfurnace Renewable Energy (WFIFF.PK) gained 24 percent. Of The Green Market's geothermal stock, Raser Technologies (RZ) was the only one to post a loss in 2009. The average gain for The Green Market's geothermal stock was 61 percent in 2009.

Despite the positive performance of The Green Market's stock, the Geothermal sector is still coming to terms with technical limitations. In December, the US geothermal company AltaRock Energy's $36 million pilot "Geysers" project in Northern California was shut down due to technical limitations. The company's drill bits were breaking as they attempted to probe caprock formations. Without penetrating that shallow stone, deeper, high-temperature structures can't be exploited. AltaRock's California operation may be closing in favor of its other endeavor in Oregon.

AltaRock and its ultra-deep (three miles) geothermal technology have also come under increased scrutiny for their potential to cause small earthquakes. Geothermal Explorers is a European firm now being prosecuted for causing tremors of up to 3.4 on the Richter scale below the Swiss city of Basel. Proper seismic risk assessment is an important part of the production process.

In Pacific Rim countries like the Philippines, geothermal is growing rapidly. Locally traded Geothermal energy company Energy Development Corp. has more than doubled in the past year. EDC has a 150 MW geothermal plant up and running near the south of Luzon, they also have significant hydropower and wind energy operations throughout the Philippines.

Britain already has 5,000 shallow earth heat pumps installed across the country and one geothermal plant operating in Southampton. Through its "Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund," the UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change is funding exploration of a second geothermal turbine plant in Cornwall. This site is being developed by Geothermal Engineering, Ltd. with 1.5 million pounds in government money. EGS Energy has drawn two million for a borehole, also in Cornwall, and £461,000 is being invested in a Newcastle University geothermal plant for the Eastgate carbon neutral village in Durham.

The Obama administration has joined other governments in their support for geothermal. The president and his energy team directed nearly $440 million into geothermal exploration projects in the US in 2009. The largest geothermal system in the world is known as the Geysers in California's North Coast region. The largest single plant is one proposed for Sarulla, North Sumatra, Indonesia.

Going forward, industry leader WaterFurnace Renewable Energy looks as though it will add to its 24 percent performance in 2009. There are several other opportunities including US Geothermal (AMEX: HTM) and Ormat Technologies (NYSE: ORA).

Geothermal plants provide energy with the smallest of footprints. Geothermal heat pumps can also produce savings of more than 60% on heating and cooling costs making them economically attractive for commercial and residential applications. With geothermal's growth capacity estimated at 9.5% per year through 2015, the future looks bright for geothermal energy.
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Next: Next: Stock Review and Future Prospects: Energy Efficient (Smart) Grid, Energy Efficient Lighting

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Wind Stock Review and Future Prospects


Wind power generation is growing rapidly around the globe. The earth's wind resources could provide five times the total energy of the world's current demand for electricity. The amount of wind power available in the US could exceed America's energy requirements by 10 times.

Wind is a mature technology that can be built and installed within 2 months. Wind powered turbines are low maintenance, durable and use less land and water than any other source of renewable energy

To help investors see the value of renewable investments, on January 12, 2009 The Green Market selected and posted 4 stocks (WNDEF, WND, MMGW and CPTC) in its wind stock portfolio. Here is a review of the performance of these 4 stocks in 2009.

Western Wind Energy (WNDEF and WND), produces energy from more than 500 wind turbine generators in the US South West, its stock values increased by 246% and 195% in 2009.

Mass Megawatts Wind Power Inc. (MMGW) develops prototype wind energy production equipment. MMGW stock grew 8% in 2009.

Composite Technology (CPTC) makes and markets renewable and energy efficient electrical products, including wind generation turbines under the brand name DeWind. CPTC lost 10% throughout the course of 2009.

When averaged as a whole, The Green Market's wind portfolio gained 110% in 2009.

Wind will continue to grow in the coming years. Around the world new centers of wind production activity have emerged or are emerging. In the US the Tehachapi region of California is producing much of the new wind-generated power.

In the last 2 years wind power has been the greatest source of increased electric power in the US. There are 22 states that now have more than 100 megawatts of installed electricity production. At present 10,000 small windmills are being installed each year in the US and that number is rapidly increasing.

In terms of total volume of electricity already being produced from wind, the US is in the first place followed by Germany , Spain and China. But this order is changing, in 2008 China was second in new capacity added and by 2010 China will be in second place overall.

Beijing has infused $14.6 billion into wind energy and there is a 10 GW turbine cluster planned for the area around the city of Jiuquan. By the end of 2010 China will be well on its way to doubling its nationwide wind capacity. By 2020 China will have 100 GW of wind power almost equaling the entire world's current capacity of 121 GW.

Brazil's goal is to derive 5% of the national electricity supply from wind generated power. Brazil's burgeoning wind energy market has a potential estimated at around 250GW, concentrated in the northeast, coastal south, and northwest of the major cities Rio, Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte. Recently 71 farms and 773 turbines were approved at auctions which generated $5.4 billion and 339 projects. This will expand to 10 GW over the next decade.

Some noteworthy wind stock in The Green Market's watchlist include Energias de Portugal (EDPFY.PK) and Alstom (AOMFF.PK). Energias de Portugal is one of Europe's largest electricity providers, and the fourth largest wind power producer in the world. Its stock value grew by 17% in 2009. Alstom is involved in various types of power segments including wind through its Spain based Ecotecnia division, which is a producer of turbines. AOMFF stock value improved 16% in 2009.

Iberdrola, Vestas Wind and CPFL are a few other wind stocks worthy of consideration. Spanish company Iberdrola Renovables (IRVDY) is the number one wind developer in the US and the recipient of considerable stimulus money earmarked for project development. They are well funded and their valuation is extremely attractive.

Vestas Wind Systems (VWDRY) is the world's largest turbine maker, this Denmark-based company has more than 39,000 wind turbines worldwide.

CPFL Energia S.A. (CPFL) is a holding company that, through its subsidiaries, distributes, generates and commercializes electricity in Brazil. In 2009 the CPFL share price nearly doubled with a dividend yield of 6.50%. For 2010, CPFL is one of the The Green Market's top energy infrastructure plays.

Brazil and other nations of the world still have a far way to go to reach Denmark's world leading wind power generation. At more than 20 percent, Denmark is first in terms of the share of electricity generated by wind. Many nations are striving to equal Denmark's great accomplishment.

While wind has provided some great returns in 2009, the success of renewable energy sources like wind depends on grid parity. There will be no stopping wind power stocks once governments help put clean energy on a level playing field with cheap and dirty energy like coal.
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Next: Stock Review and Future Prospects: Geothermal, Energy Efficient (Smart) Grid, Energy Efficient Lighting

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Solar Stock Review and Future Prospects


The solar segment has garnered considerable interest. To help investors chart solar's growth, The Green Market selected 5 equally weighted solar stocks (CSIQ, ESLR, FSLR, SPWRA and STP) and followed their progress throughout 2009.

As explained in the previous solar review, The Green Market's solar stocks outperformed the major market indices by 28 percent between January and August and 53 percent between March and August.

Canadian Solar (CSIQ) soared in 2009. For a six month period between March and August, CSIQ grew 269 percent. Between January and August of 2009 CSIQ, was up almost 200 percent. From August 11 until the end of December CSIQ, increased 57 percent.

The first 7 months of 2009 saw appreciable increases in the value of The Green Market's solar stock, followed by declines in all but CSIQ from August 11 to the end of December. Together all 5 of The Green Market's solar stock decreased an average of less than one percent over the last 5 months of 2009.

From the opening of the market on January 2 2009, until the markets closed on December 31 2009, CSIQ rose 370 percent and STP rose 41 percent. Over the course of 2009, FSLR lost 1 percent, SPWRA lost 36 percent and ESLR lost 54 percent. On average The Green Market's solar stock portfolio appreciated 64 percent in 2009.

Since the start of the New Year, all but one of The Green Market's solar stock have increased in value, averaging an increase of 6 percent. First Solar (FSLR) is the only Green Market solar stock which has declined since the start of 2010. As the largest and lowest priced solar producer in the world it continues to be a good bet for 2010. FSLR is extremely profitable and they continue to increase the efficiency of their product by reducing the cost per watt.

As predicted by The Green Market, some solar companies did not survive 2009. Last summer Applied Solar Inc.(APSO.OB) a "next-generation solar energy company" sought bankruptcy protection as part of a loan agreement with its largest investor.

The Spanish and German governments are cutting back on their generous subsidies. With subsidies being cut and an over supply of solar cells, this is a difficult period for many in the solar sector. On the upside, price declines have been less than expected and the longer term horizon looks good.

The position of most in the solar sector could be radically enhanced through government legislation or regulation. Although government action would advance solar, as we saw on Tuesday, oil and metal are amongst the factors that can adversely impact solar stock prices.

Like the Internet ten years ago, solar is on the cusp of tremendous growth, but many investors are waiting for decisions about carbon that will determine solar's trajectory. However, investors who take long positions with solar industry leaders will benefit the environment and enjoy returns that outperform the market.
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Next: Stock Review and Future Prospects: Wind, Geothermal, Energy Efficient (Smart) Grid, Energy Efficient Lighting

Solar Stock Comparative Market Review 08.11.09
Solar Stock Review and Future Prospects 08.09.09
Solar Stock: Recovery and Comparative Market Performance 04.30.09
Solar is Under-Performing Markets at Pivotal Rally Points 03.18.09
Solar Update: Ongoing Volatility 03.12.09
Solar Sector Analysis 03.06.09
Solar Stock Review: Cost vs Efficiency 03.04.09
Recession, Recovery and Renewables 02.10.09
First Solar (FSLR) 01.05.09
Solar Stock Review 01.04.09
Solar Stock Picks: Timing 01.02.09
Investing for a Sustainable Recovery 08.04.09
Making Sense of All the Economic Data 07.28.09
Sustainable Recovery 07.27.09
Time to Invest in Green 12.30.08
Solar Energy and the Credit Crisis 10.27.08

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sustainable Investing and Long Term Thinking

The biggest challenge facing sustainable investing concerns the short-term orientation of investors. This short sightedness has significant negative repercussions for the global economy.

Investors that forgo value creation in favor of short term earnings damage economic vitality, hinder innovation and discourage leadership. Sustainable investing requires long term thinking, meaning years and not months, weeks or days.

A stock should not be selected based upon its short term yield potential. A stocks value can be measured in many ways including shareholder value, risk management and competitive advantage. It should also includes benefits to the environment.

To secure these types of returns, investors must consider stock belonging to companies that are positioned for the long term.
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Next: Stock Review and Future Prospects: Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Energy Efficient (Smart) Grid, Energy Efficient Lighting

Related Articles
Time to Invest in Green
Returns on Green Investing
Making Sense of All the Economic Data
Green Investing Part 1: Objective Research and Analysis
Green Investing Part 2: The "Green Wave"
Green Investing Part 3: Finding and Assessing
Green Investing Part 4: Top Green Funds and Resources
International Investing in Alternative Energy
Investing in CleanTech: Efficiency Upgrades and Renewable Energy
Green Bubble?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sustainable Stock


With the aim of helping investors see the value of sustainable stock, The Green Market has been charting the performance of its stock portfolio. Stock trading is a daunting challenge as it requires investors to perform considerable research. Inexpensively priced and undervalued stocks often earn the best returns, but investors also need to factor risk. There is always a risk when you invest, a good stock maximizes profits and minimizes risk.

The Green Market has been a champion of sustainable investing from its inception. As the recession loomed The Green Market selected several eco-stock with a targeted focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Although many companys in the renewable energy sector are destined to grow, long term demand must be partnered with aggressive market leadership.

From the time the Green Market posted it's sustainable stock picks to the present, renewable energy and other sustainable stock have appreciated considerably. As reviewed in August of last year, The Green Market's solar stock portfolio has outperformed the market by considerable margins in the first half of 2009.

Green investments provide very attractive returns, however, investment in sustainable companies come with the all important caveat that they help reduce our adverse impact on the planet.

Technologies and business models are coming together to forge sustainable industries. These industries are destined to grow in response to the increasing global demand for cleaner energy and greater efficiency.

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Next: Sustainable Investing and Long Term Thinking, Stock Review and Future Prospects: Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Energy Efficient (Smart) Grid, Energy Efficient Lighting

Related Articles
Time to Invest in Green
Returns on Green Investing
Making Sense of All the Economic Data
Green Investing Part 1: Objective Research and Analysis
Green Investing Part 2: The "Green Wave"
Green Investing Part 3: Finding and Assessing
Green Investing Part 4: Top Green Funds and Resources
International Investing in Alternative Energy
Investing in CleanTech: Efficiency Upgrades and Renewable Energy
Green Bubble?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The EPA Proposes Cleaner Air

On Thursday January 7, 2009 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed tougher smog standards. The new proposals contain the strictest smog standards ever enacted by an American government (between 60 and 70 parts per billion measured over eight hours). The EPA also proposed a "secondary" standard designed to protect plants and trees from damaging ozone exposure.

A 60-day period for public comment has been opened and three public hearings will be held on the proposals, starting early in Februrary.

According to the EPA, if the lower level goes into effect, the savings to health care could approximate 100 billion dollars due to a reduction in respiratory illnesses.

Once the levels are set, states and the federal government will be required to outline comprehensive plans to reduce pollution. The new rule will ultimately curb emissions from industrial facilities, power plants, landfills and vehicles.

Whether through legislation or regulation, the sun is setting on unrestrained carbon emissions.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Online Consumers and E-Commerce: Holiday Season 2009 and Implications for 2010


The revolutionary power of e-commerce continued to benefit the environment in 2009. Due in part to pre-Christmas storms that raged along the US East Coast, increasing numbers of consumers bought online this past holiday season. According to a MasterCard report, online sales grew more than 4 times faster than in-store buying. This is an important trend because e-commerce reduces the number of cars driving to physical outlets and online marketing connects businesses to consumers without paper or ink.

The National Retail Federation had predicted a 1 percent decline in US spending for the season. Despite these dire predictions, retail sales numbers for the 2009 Holiday Season are all positive. Chain store sales for December 2009 were up 2.8 percent compared to last year, according to numbers released by the International Council of Shopping Center's sales index. Canadian retailers also saw a modest rise in holiday sales this season.

Further analysis of retail numbers for the 2009 holiday season suggest that American buying behaviors are changing. Not only are US retail sales up over last year, online sales grew at an even faster rate than in-store buying. According to Time, MasterCard has estimated that 2009 US holiday retail sales were up an estimated 3.6 percent compared with 2008. What is most interesting is that they also report that online shopping is up over 15 percent compared to 2008.

A spokesperson for the national retail chain, Tanger Center inc., suggested that shoppers made "practical" buying decisions this holiday season. Tanger Centers are located in 33 shopping centers in 22 states coast-to-coast, totaling approximately 10.2 million square feet.

According to a CNN Money report, Tanger gift card sales rose during the November and December Holiday Season by 10.5 percent, but Tanger's on-line sales of gift cards grew by 12 percent over the previous year.

Overall holiday consumer spending was up by nearly 5 percent for the entire Tanger Outlet Center portfolio. Tanger witnessed more people purchasing more gifts but with less cars than last year, (although some Tanger shoppers travelled over 40 miles).

A January 6, 2010 AdAge.com article reports that online retailers in the US are "back in the game," with holiday sales coming in just short of 2007 levels. Although less optimistic than the MasterCard numbers, ComScore has reported that e-commerce sales for the November and December period rose 4% to $29.1 billion, compared with $28 billion a year ago and $29.2 billion in 2007.

"It's possible that this better-than-expected end-of-year performance is a harbinger of renewed vigor and optimism for 2010 as the consumer economy seeks to rebound from one of the worst years in memory," said Gian Fulgoni, ComScore chairman.

According to Kamalesh Rao, director of economic research for SpendingPulse, “People were more comfortable doing last-minute shopping online, especially with the bad weather.”

The surge in online buying this Holiday Season may have been helped by winter storms, but this should not obscure the fact that consumers are awakening to the ease and eco-benefits of buying online.

Retailers are optimistic that this trend will continue in 2010. As reported in AdAge.com, based on a survey of 50 online retailers, Credit Suisse estimates that e-commerce will grow 10 times as fast in 2010 as it did in 2009.
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Monday, January 4, 2010

THE GREEN MARKET's Top 25 Environmental Stories of 2009


1. America's Lack of Action on Climate Change: The US Senate is not convinced about the urgency of climate change and an increasing number of Americans disbelieve that climate change exists.

Obama Needs the Senate to Succeed on Climate Change
Why We Did Not Get A Binding Agreement At COP15
Boxer-Kerry Climate Change Bill
Action on Climate Change
The US is Bound by Law to Honor Climate Change Treaty

2. Obama Strives to Lead on Climate Change Action: President Obama and his administration have worked to advance the green economy.

Obama Buoys Hopes for a Climate Change Deal
Obama's Achievements Ahead of COP15
EPA's Proposed Rule to Regulate Emissions
For Those Who Doubt: Obama’s 'Renewable Energy Revolution' Speech
Environmental Assessment of President Obama's First 100 Days
The Way Forward
Obama's Visit to Canada
Obama's Executive Orders
Excerpts of Obama's Inaugural Address

3. Copenhagen Climate Change Negotiations: Despite the overwhelming urgency, participants at COP15 were unable to produce a binding agreement.

Obama Salvages 'Meaningful' Agreement at COP15
Reaction to COP15
Post COP15
COP15: New Beginnings or Ignoring the Apocalypse?
COP15: Groups and Subgroups
Cop Out for COP15
The Cost of a Global Deal on Climate Change
COP 15 Implications for Business
The Road to Copenhagen (COP 15): Positioning Your Business
Road to Copenhagen (COP 15): Implications for Business

4. Disagreement Between Wealthier and Developing Nations: An agreement at COP15 was derailed when wealthier nations and developing countries disagreed on levels of emissions reductions and funding.

G20 and Developing World Disagree on Climate Change

5. International Cooperation: Despite disagreements between wealthier and developing nations, the financial and climate change crises spurred unprecedented levels of global cooperation in 2009.

China Showing Leadership America Must Follow
China-US Cooperation: The Way to Recovery
Global Cooperation Ahead of COP 15
Steven Chu: The Fierce Urgency of Now
Businesses Must Cooperate for Climate Change Solutions
China's Green Stimulus: US/China Cooperation and Economic Recovery

6. Wealthier Nations Assuming More Responsibility: Despite disagreements, wealthier nations are providing unprecedented levels of assistance to developing countries.

Pittsburgh's Green Economy on Display for the G20 Summit
G20 Lays the Foundation for a Better World
G8's More Aggressive GHG TargetsIMF Reforms

7. Global Green Stimulus Investment: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, along with government investments in Europe and Asia, have helped to create sustainable infrastructures and pull the global economy out of recession.

Green Stimulus and Free Markets
China's Green Stimulus, US/China Cooperation and Economic Recovery
Green Stimulus Spending and Republican Opposition
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Green Stimulus: Global Green New Deal
US Government Spending and Energy Efficiency Stock

8. Recession and Recovery: Despite the dire warnings from the doom mongers, the recession has lifted and the green economy was an important part of the recovery

Green Marketing and Recession
Recession, Recovery and Renewables Investing for a Sustainable Recovery
Making Sense of All the Economic Data
People Remain Loyal to Green Even in an Economic Downturn
Green's Bottom Line: Staying Competitive in Volatile Economic Times
Green Bubble? Sustainable Recovery Recession, Recovery and Renewables
The Green Job Market

9. Green Companies: Many companies around the world are advancing green agendas and improving their sustainability profiles.

America's Most Sustainable Businesses
Canada's Most Sustainable Businesses

10. The Price of Oil: Soaring oil prices make it clear that oil is a finite resource. The link between fossil fuel prices and renewables.

Planning a Future Without Oil
The End of Oil and the Next Energy Economy
The Price of Crude Oil
Oil and Renewables
The Business of Climate Change Deception

11. The Performance of Solar Stock: The solar sector shined this year providing significant returns for investors.

Time to Invest in Green
Solar Stock Comparative Market Review
Solar Stock Review
Making Sense of All the Economic Data
Solar Stock: Recovery and Comparative Market Performance
Solar Stocks Advance While Markets Decline
Solar is Under-Performing Markets at Pivotal Rally Points
Solar Sector Analysis
Solar Stock Review: Cost vs Efficiency
Solar Stock Picks: Timing
Solar Update: Ongoing Volatility
Solar Stock Review
SunPower News: Share Offering and Convertible Debentures
Solar Stock: Recovery and Comparative Market Performance
Solar Sector Analysis
Solar Stock Review: Cost vs Efficiency
What Makes Solar Attractive to Investors?
Solar Stocks Advance While Markets Decline

12. Other Renewable Energy Stocks Also Performed Well: Wind and geothermal, efficiency and lighting stock enjoyed impressive growth in 2009.

Investing in CleanTech: Efficiency Upgrades and Renewable Energy
Geothermal Stock Picks
Lighting Stock Review
Energy Efficiency Stock Review: The (Smart) Grid
US Government Spending and Energy Efficiency Stock
Wind Stock Review
Wind Stock

13. The Failure of the US Automotive Industry: The failure of the American big 3 and the questionable wisdom of auto industry bailouts

To Bail or Not to Bail: Financing the American Auto Industry
The Death of America's Answer to Japanese Cars
The Heartbeat of America in Cardiac Arrest
Efficiency and Auto Industry Bailouts
Financing the American Auto Industry

14. Electric Vehicles: This year a number of hybrid electric and fully electric vehicles went into production or were scheduled for production.

Beneficiaries of Chinese Government Investment in Electric Vehicles
Chinese Government Investment in Electric Vehicles
Beneficiaries of US Government Investment in Electric Vehicles
Government Investment Fuels Greener Vehicles
GM's Greener Vehicles
Ford's Greener Vehicles
European Greener Cars
Korean (Hyundai & Kia) Greener Cars
Honda's Greener Vehicles
Nissan's Greener Vehicles
Toyota's Greener Vehicles
Greener Commercial Transport Vehicles
Electric Vehicle Battery Technology Obstacles and Solutions
Renewable Energy StorageAmerican Electric Vehicle Strategy

15. Green Consumers: Increasingly sophisticated and informed consumers are making more responsible buying decisions. Individuals are organizing into groups to reward responsible retailers.

Consumer Demand for Green
Carrotmobs: Adding Incentives to the Consumer Arsenal
Eco Cyber Monday

16. New Normal: As a consequence of the recession, efficiency has become a guiding principle in our lives.

The New Normal
The New Normal and Sustainability
The New Normal and Implications for Business

17. Greener Schools: A number of educational establishments are greening their operations and offering environmental curriculums.

The Shining Stars of Green Schools
Green Schools are Cool
Sierra Magazine's Green Schools
Princeton's Green Schools Honor Role
Back to School Environmental Tool Kit
Green Curriculums
Top 10 College Environmental Programs

18. Environmental Events: This past year was marked by a number of environmental events. These events leveraged the power of social media to disseminate the green message.

Social Media and the Green Message: WWF Global Online Event
350.org Makes History: International Day of Climate Change Action
350.org: International Day of Climate Change Action Events
350.org: International Day of Climate Action
Blog Action Day 2009: The Web's Largest Climate Change Event
50 Climate Change Tools and Resources for Blog Action Day 2009
Blog Action Day 2009: What Business Can Do To Help Manage Climate Change
Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change
Climate Change Resources for Blog Action Day 2009
Blog Action Day 2009: What Business Can Do
Social Media and the Green Message: WWF Global Online Event
The Business of Earth Day
Earth Day Business Resources
Silencing Earth Day Critics
Earth Hour Makes History
Businesses Observe Earth Hour as it Ripples Around the World
Support Earth Hour
One Million Acts of Green: The Human Network Effect

19. Social Media and Digital Marketing: The revolutionary power of social media continues to benefit the environment in 2009. Social media portals connect hundreds of millions of users without paper, or the need for transportation. Companies and organizations leveraging the extraordinary reach of social media are also connecting with potential customers without paper, ink or the energy expenditure associated with traditional advertising mediums.

Social Media and ROI
Digital Marketing Will Thrive in a Downturn
Digital Marketing: Making the Most of Your Marketing in a Downturn
The Growth of Digital Marketing
The Green Market's Series on Mobile Marketing
Interactive Digital Marketing
Print Newspapers and the Growth of Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing: Making the Most of Your Marketing in a Downturn
The Growth of Digital Marketing
The Greening of Cyberspace
Twitter for Small Business
Shortening Your Sales Cycle With Social Media
Small Business Guide to Social Media
The Power of Social Media and the Importance of Market Segmentation
Social Media and Sustainability
Digital Marketing for the Young and Not so Young

20. Cap-and-Trade: America is uncertain about cap-and-trade. Yet cap-and-trade is an important way of reducing emissions by tying carbon to the free market.

Helping Small Business Accept US Cap-and-Trade
Cap-and-Trade Implications for Business
Small Business Can Save Cap-and-Trade Legislation
Small Business' Silence on US Cap-and-trade Legislation
US Cap-and-Trade: Business
US Cap-and-Trade: What and Why
US Cap-and-Trade: Solutions
US Cap-and-Trade: Obstacles and Solutions

21. Climate Change Protest: The passionate support for environmentalism meets the wanton destruction of anarchists.

The Tyranny of Protest and Climate Change Pragmatism
G20 Protestors Dilute Green Message

22. Conservative Opposition to Climate Change Management: The partisanship amongst conservatives impedes progress on climate change management strategies.

Van Jones Succumbs to Republican Pressure
What is Wrong with the Right
Green Stimulus Spending and Republican Opposition
The Business of Climate Change Deception

23. Climate-Gate: The illegal interception of emails from a couple of climate change scientists was used to debunk the entire spectrum of rigorous, independently replicated climate change science.

The Dangerous Diversion of Climategate
The Business of Climate Change Deception

24. Climate Change Science: A large and growing body of research reifies the facts about global warming and climate change.

The Effects of Global Warming
Copenhagen Diagnosis
CO2 Myths and the Science of Climate Change
Green Science
The Effects of Global Warming
Green Dissent (Part 1) Green Dissent (Part 2)
Action on Climate Change
Primer on CO2 and other GHGs
Key Messages from Climate Congress Scientists

25. Solutions to Climate Change: Despite the scope of problems we face, there are many capable solutions.

A Sustainable World Order
Green Ethics and Trade
Creative Capitalism: Market-Based Social Change
Creating a Sustainable Future
An Open Model of Innovation
Green Blueprint