Posts Tagged ‘solar power’

The Nuclear Option

The Nuclear Option

By Marin Katusa, Chief Investment Strategist, Casey’s Energy Opportunities 

Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced large new federal loan guarantees for the nuclear energy industry – totaling about $54 billion, or more than triple the current level of funding. Philosophically, we abhor government subsidies to any industry, but we also recognize that they’re a fact of life these days, with an inordinate influence on markets. So even though we’d prefer the government didn’t pick industry winners and losers, we must be mindful of what Washington is doing if we expect to reap profits as investors. 

In this instance, the ramping up of government support means boom times are coming for the nuclear energy industry, which is about to awaken from a three-decade long sleep. And if you correctly position your energy investment portfolio, you can benefit from a comeback that’s baked in the cake. 

Power is all about the numbers. Consider the illustration below, which shows how current electricity generation technologies stack up when it comes to producing energy (cost is in dollars per megawatt hour). Solar and wind generators are not cheap and don’t work when it’s dark or calm. They’re competitive only with heavy government subsidies and even then, will never contribute much juice to the grid. 

Source: EIA. Adapted from http://www.investingdaily.com/tes/17201/sell-wind-and-solar-energy-stocks.html 

Hydro, biomass, and geothermal fare much better, easily competing with more traditional technologies, and there are good investment opportunities among them that we’re following. But again, in the larger picture they’re minor players. 

In terms of bang for the buck, it still comes down to coal, gas and nuclear, and Washington realizes we’re going to need all three to meet our future energy needs, especially as electric vehicles begin to replace those that run on gasoline. 

The Obama administration is all for going as “green” as possible, but realizes that wind and solar are not going to cut it. Thus, after thirty years in the doghouse, the nuclear option has regained the respectability in America that it enjoys among nations such as China, where ten new plants per year are proposed (our last new construction project broke ground in 1977). 

Despite lingering doubts among those who remember Three Mile Island, uranium has been dusted off and presented to the public as a safe, environmentally friendly, cost-effective source of power. And the new generation of plants is all of those…
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Solar Power: Sunshine’s Cloudy Days

Solar Power: Sunshine’s Cloudy Days

By Mark Halper, courtesy of TIME

AP, posted in TIME Mike Ahearn, chairman of the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels, had every reason to party in September. That’s when his company, First Solar, based in Tempe, Ariz., was picked by China to build what promises to be the world’s biggest solar-electricity plant: a Manhattan-size facility in Inner Mongolia providing 2 gigawatts of power, about twice the size of a large coal plant or average nuclear power station. But the Chinese facility will take years to build, and the party buzz subsided pretty quickly. The next month, Wall Street analysts downgraded First Solar’s stock after the company missed its third-quarter revenue target. "I think the Wall Street perspective is pretty short-term," says Ahearn.

That’s true, but it’s also true that, while photovoltaic cells that turn sunlight into electricity may play a potentially vital role in weaning the world from fossil fuels, a transition will take decades — and the business metrics surrounding the solar-power industry currently are anything but bright. After a period of rapid expansion, panel manufacturers today are reeling from a pronounced supply surplus, falling prices and stagnating sales. In 2009, industry revenue plunged by nearly 40% to about $25 billion from $40 billion the previous year, according to BankAmerica Merrill Lynch alternative-energy analyst Steven Milunovich. Solar-panel output far outstripped demand last year; manufacturers made 66% more product than they were able to sell, estimates research firm iSuppli located in El Segundo, Calif. Some analysts believe the dismal conditions will persist into 2011, setting up marginal players worldwide for failure. "A large number of manufacturers will not survive," says Paul Semenza, an analyst with research company DisplaySearch, based in San Jose, Calif.

The global glut has been building for a number of years as hundreds of solar cell and panel start-ups, attracted by a potential boom in alternative energy as oil prices climbed and by government solar-energy-subsidy programs, swarmed into the market. Because the industry’s barriers to entry are relatively low — crystalline solar cells are rudimentary semiconductors that are comparatively easy to make — the number of solar-panel and photovoltaic suppliers mushroomed nearly tenfold from 2002, when there were about 80 manufacturers, to somewhere between 500 and 800 today, according to iSuppli. In China and Taiwan, whole solar-energy sectors sprouted almost overnight. Stefan de Haan, an analyst for iSuppli, says industry profit margins,…
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Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Market Comments

Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Market Comments
October 1, 2009

Featured Trades: (IDX), (INDONESIA), (FSLR), (STP), (YGE)
 
1) Was that nice for you, dear? Now that cash for clunkers has expired, new car sales have cratered. September is coming in at a 7 million unit run rate, lower than before the program started, and down 24% from already depressed YOY levels. It really makes you wonder what will happen when the other government stimulus programs run out. The $8,000 tax credit for first time home buyers ends November 30, and unless you have a deal in contract, the program is effectively over. That is thought to be behind the recent weakness in new home sales, the biggest beneficiaries of the program. Is this the beginning of the “square root,” or the “W.”

squareroot-1.jpg picture by madhedge         or   w3t-1.jpg picture by madhedge      ?
 

2)  If you are looking for another emerging market to add to your list of  things to buy on dips, then take a look at Indonesia. The world’s largest Muslim country offers a combination that I love, a population with great demographics that is also a major energy and commodities exporter. The archipelago is the biggest country in Southeast Asia and a huge exporter of oil and LPG to Japan on long term contracts. (An old friend of mine torched their Borneo fields at the beginning of WWII, and spent four years in a Japanese prison camp for his troubles.) Other big exports include marvelous textiles, rubber, and increasingly rare tropical hardwoods. The global financial crisis only knocked their growth rate from 6.1% to 4.5%, and now it is back above 6%. No doubt, $63 billion of direct foreign investment into the country helped. A series of tax reforms promise to keep the train moving, cutting the top corporate rate from 30% in 2008 to 28% this year, and 25% next year. Wisdom Tree had the “wisdom” to launch the country’s first ETF (IDX) in January (what timing!), which became one of the best performers this year, rocketing over 300% from the lows to $60.  Islamic inspired terrorism is still a lingering concern. I keep Indonesia in the category of highly volatile, high risk, high return frontier markets that you only want to buy on a big dip. Keep it on your…
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Balance sheet wars – US solar companies vs. the Chinese government. Who’s going to win?

Warm solar-powered welcome to Financial Hippie, the long and the short of it…

Balance sheet wars – US solar companies vs. the Chinese government. Who’s going to win?

solar powerCourtesy of Financial Hippie

We all know the foot race that is going on in the solar industry – companies are trying to achieve the lowest per megawatt cost for an installed system. Until the next leapfrogging technology comes along, the most important factor to drive down cost is scale*. Here is where the US solar companies will have serious problems competing against the Chinese solar companies because the US solar companies lack cheap, indiscriminate access to capital like their Chinese cohorts.

Let’s take First Solar (FSLR) for example. FSLR is funded by private money. Even though the US government is offering tax incentives for installing solar projects, they are not however involved in the funding of the company in any way. Why would they? FSLR has one plant in the US, the rest of the plants are mostly in "low cost locations" – ie. Malaysia. Have you ever heard of the "United Solar Workers"? I would guess a few hundred out of the 3,500 FSLR employees are Americans. My point is… if they closed shop tomorrow, there will be plenty of companies to fill the supply void. I wonder if the Malaysian government has the capacity or the desire to step up and lend.

The Chinese solar manufacturers are a different story. Remember, the number one goal of the Chinese government is to maintain social stability. Suntech Power (STP) employs close to 10k employees by itself, and these are "high quality" jobs that are looked upon favorably by the Chinese Government. If I include all of STP’s peers in China, their upstream suppliers such as LDK Solar (LDK) and the downstream system installers, I would guess the Chinese solar industry employs probably a few hundred thousand people throughout the value chain.

Now let’s look at the banking relationships. Many of these loans are unsecured and covenant lite and represent roughly on average 25% of total capital. Top 3 Chinese solar related company by market capitalization and their respective government backers are:

  • Suntech Power (STP) : China Construction Bank,  Bank of Communication.
  • Yingli Green Energy (YGE) : Export-Import Bank of China, China Development Bank
  • LDK Solar (LDK) : China Construction Bank, China Development Bank, Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of


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Zero Hedge

Visualizing Key Generation-Defining Events In US History

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Looking back at history is a necessity when trying to understand what the future may hold.

Using insights from our Generational Power Index 2021 report, along with survey data from Pew Research in 2016, Visual Capitalist's ...



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Phil's Favorites

Here's how much your personal information is worth to cybercriminals - and what they do with it

 

Here’s how much your personal information is worth to cybercriminals – and what they do with it

The black market for stolen personal information motivates most data breaches. aleksey-martynyuk/iStock via Getty Images

Courtesy of Ravi Sen, Texas A&M University

Data breaches have become common, and billions of records are stolen worldwide every year. Most of the media coverage of data brea...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Herd immunity appears unlikely for COVID-19, but CDC says vaccinated people can ditch masks in most settings

 

Herd immunity appears unlikely for COVID-19, but CDC says vaccinated people can ditch masks in most settings

A woman walks by a sign in New York City amid the coronavirus pandemic on March 30, 2021. Noam Galai/Getty Images

Courtesy of William Petri, University of Virginia

When COVID-19 first began spreading, public health and medical experts began talking about the need for the U.S. to reach herd immunity to stop the coronavirus from spreading. Experts have estimated that between 60% and 90% of people in the U.S. w...



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Digital Currencies

Dogecoin Soars After Musk Tweets "Working With Doge Developers To Improve System Efficiency"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Just when you thought things couldn't get any more surreal after the past 24 hours, moments ago Elon Musk, who last night rejected bitcoin because its mining is "bad for the environment" as it consumes a lot of electricity (just wait until Elon discovers how all those rare earth metals that are in every electric car are mined, or what those electric cars run on), moments ago Musk poked the hornets nest again, and shortly after tweeting that 'it's high time there was a carbon tax'...

It is high time there was a carbon tax!

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2021

...

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Chart School

RTT browsing latest..

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Please review a collection of WWW browsing results. The information here is delayed by a few months, members get the most recent content.



Date Found: Sunday, 22 November 2020, 05:47:49 PM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.


Comment: Bitcoin ambitions ...



Date Found: Sunday, 22 November 2020, 05:48:34 PM

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Comment: PMI juiced back up ...



Date Found: Sunday, 22 November 2020, 05:49:42 PM
...

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Politics

If China's middle class continues to thrive and grow, what will it mean for the rest of the world?

 

If China's middle class continues to thrive and grow, what will it mean for the rest of the world?

Over the past few decades, hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens have become part of the middle class. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Courtesy of Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, Rochester Institute of Technology

China’s large and impressive accomplishments over the past four decades have spurred scholars and politicians to debate whether the decline of the West – including the ...



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ValueWalk

Managing Investments As A Charity Or Nonprofit

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Maintaining financial viability is a constant challenge for charities and nonprofit organizations.

Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The past year has underscored that challenge. The pandemic has not just affected investment returns – it’s also had serious implications for charitable activities and the ability to fundraise. For some organizations, it’s even raised doubts about whether they can continue to operate.

Finding ways to generate long-term, sustainable returns for ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Will Historic Selloff In Treasury Bonds Turn Into Opportunity?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Long-dated treasury bonds have been crushed over the past year, sending ETFs like TLT (20+ Year US Treasury Bond ETF) spiraling over 20%.

Improving economy? Inflation concerns? Perhaps a combination of both… interest rates have risen sharply and thus bond prices have fallen in historic fashion.

Today’s chart looks at $TLT over the past 20 years. As you can see, the recent decline has truly been historic. $TLT’s price has swung from historically overbought highs to oversold lows.

At present, the long-dated bond ETF ($TLT) is trading 7.8% below its 200-...



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Mapping The Market

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

 

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...



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Promotions

Phil's Stock World's Weekly Webinar - March 10, 2021

Don't miss our latest weekly webinar! 

Join us at PSW for LIVE Webinars every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 PM EST.

Phil's Stock World's Weekly Webinar – March 10, 2021

 

Major Topics:

00:00:01 - EIA Petroleum Status Report
00:04:42 - Crude Oil WTI
00:12:52 - COVID-19 Update
00:22:08 - Bonds and Borrowed Funds | S&P 500
00:45:28 - COVID-19 Vaccination
00:48:32 - Trading Techniques
00:50:34 - PBR
00:50:43 - LYG
00:50:48 - More Trading Techniques
00:52:59 - Chinese Hacks Microsoft's E...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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