By Jeff Siegel
Good news for solar investors …
Another solar financing/installation company is about to go
public. And if history serves as any indicator, this could be yet
another opportunity to land some pretty solid gains.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal, Sunrun, Inc. is set work
with banks including Credit Suisse Group AG and Goldman Sachs
Group Inc. on an IPO.
No final price has be set at this time, but currently the company
is valued at more than $1.3 billion, which puts it roughly in the
same box with Vivint Solar (NYSE: VSLR).
The fastest horse in this race right now is SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY),
which is valued at just under $5 billion.
SolarCity was certainly a great opportunity for investors back in
2012, when the company first went public. At it’s highest, the
stock had climbed more than 700% since debuting. Check it out …
SolarCity is currently taking on a very aggressive growth
strategy, and with this growth has come growing pains which have
resulted in a sizable sell-off since last September. Still,
overall I like SolarCity and believe it’s a force that will
continue to eat up market share. But for investors, 2015 is going
to be a bumpy ride.
Now Vivint Solar has only been public for about six months. After
the initial enthusiasm of its debut, the stock fell a bit and
found support around the $8.00 level. However, since the start of
the year, the stock is up about 40%.
Vivint Solar is also a force and should not be taken lightly.
Of course, Sunrun is no slouch either. Solar installation and
financing companies aren’t typically valued at more than $1
billion. The company has been in the game since 2007, has more
than 60,000 customers, and is in the right business, as
residential solar installation is expected to grow by 50% this
I will be curious to see how they price this thing, though. With
so many investors so incredibly giddy over solar again, I won’t be
surprised if Sunrun gets a rather large price tag attached to it.
In which case, I’ll happily wait for the sell-off and scoop up a
few shares after the smoke has cleared.
Ormat is a successful developer of geothermal energy projects. Two former employees have brought a lawsuit alleging that Ormat made inaccurate 1603 Cash Grant submissions to obtain grants for projects that should not have qualified for such grants.
In a quiet and low-key move last week, President Obama took what may turn out to be one of the most significant steps he has ever taken to reduce gree…
Read more: Barack Obama, Epa, Climate Change, Carbon Emissions, Renewable …
Date: 3/23/2015For many years, the WINDExchange website has offered Google Maps that depict School Wind Project Locations and Education and Training Programs. Developers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently made the datasets behi…
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A new report shows that being surrounded by wood at home, work and school has real and measurable health benefits. It also shows that in a corporate environment the presence of wooden furnishings and fixtures conveys feelings of innovation, energy and …
By Jeff Siegel
Something doesn’t add up here…
A recent Energy Department report has suggested that wind power
will be cheaper than natural gas-generated power within 10 years.
And that’s without a federal tax incentive.
Sounds good. Certainly I love hearing about renewable energy
competing with fossil fuels in the absence of subsidies.
Yet here’s the weird thing…
While the DOE report states that wind can be the cheapest,
cleanest power option in all 50 states by 2050, the Obama
administration is pushing to not just renew the wind energy
production tax credit but actually make it permanent.
That’s the problem with those pesky subsidies: Once they appear,
they’re hard as hell to get rid of. Certainly that’s been the case
for the nuclear industry, fossil fuels, and farm subsidies.
I would hate for the same to happen to renewables.
A Shot of Steroids
Understand, I’m not anti-wind. In fact, I’m very much pro-wind,
as wind power has proved to be a valuable
component of our energy economy. In fact, in some states, wind is
a major player.
The state of Kansas gets 19.4% of its electricity from wind.
South Dakota gets 26%, and Iowa gets a whopping 27.4%. Also worth
noting is that Texas now boasts enough wind generation to power
more than 3 million homes.
Still, on a national level, wind only represents a little more
than 4% of our overall power generation. So if the DOE believes it
could be as high as 35% by 2050 — well, that’s some serious growth
Now, I’ll be honest…
I tend to be skeptical of DOE reports in general. Not because I
think something shady is going on (although there’s certainly an
argument to be made for that) but because the technological
progress that has launched the renewable energy industry into
mainstream status is rarely figured into the department’s
Which makes sense. Certainly you can’t quantify something that
doesn’t yet exist.
However, if we look at how quickly solar and wind technology has
advanced over the past 10 years and then look at how quickly it’s
going to advance over the next 10, I don’t think a 35% share is
out of the question — especially when you consider that coal will
provide less and less along the way. Natural gas and renewables
are certain to fill the void.
Now, while I’m not a fan of subsidies for any form of
energy — this includes nuclear and fossil fuels — I do
know that if the wind energy industry gets a bone thrown its way
this year in the form of a long-term extension of the production
tax credit, you can be sure the growth in wind will get a serious
shot of steroids.
Of course, that being said, even if the wind energy industry is
kept away from that big trough of tax dollars that feeds every
other energy industry, it will continue to gain ground —
albeit not as fast.
How to Play it
For investors, there are a few ways to play the wind energy
The most obvious is through wind turbine manufacturers. The main
publicly traded players here are:
You can also invest in wind farm developers, most of which come
in the form of yieldcos and are rarely pure plays on wind, as many
also include solar assets. Some of these include:
Say what you want about the integration of renewable energy, but
there’s no doubt that wind power is a cat that will never get back
into its bag. It’s a valuable source of power generation all
across the globe, and its growth in the U.S. will continue —
with or without government support.
To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth…