Tag Archives: investment

Solar or wind investment will produce more energy than oil or natural gas

We already knew solar and wind are better investments than nuclear or natural gas, and now we find they’re already better than oil.

In Impact Lab 18 September 2014, $100B invested in wind or solar will produce more energy than oil,

Kepler Chevreux, a French investment bank, has produced a fascinating analysis that has dramatic implications for the global oil industry. The investment bank estimates that $100 billion invested in either wind energy or solar energy — and deployed as energy for light and commercial vehicles — will produce significantly more energy than that same $100 billion invested in oil.

The implications, needless to say, are dramatic. It would signal the end of Big Oil, and the demise of an industry that has dominated the global economy and geo-politics, for the last few decades. And the need for it to reshape its business model around renewables, as we discuss here.

“If we are right, the implications would be momentous,” writes Kepler Chevreux analyst Mark Lewis.

“It would mean Continue reading

Your well-intentioned request is impractical –VSU Foundation

The VSU Foundation knows more than 98% of climate scientists, and also sneers at former divestment from tobacco and apartheid companies. Nevermind that fossil fuel divestment is going faster than either of those. Is it good fiduciary responsibility to stay invested in the stranded investments of fossil fuel stocks while solar stocks are skyrocketing? Is this really how to encourage people to give to VSU? Is that how the alumni want their investments used?

Seen today on S.A.V.E.’s facebook page, VSU Foundation’s response to S.A.V.E.’s fossil fuel divestment request:

October 29, 2013

Danielle Jordan, President
Valdosta State University

Dear Ms. Jordan,

The Investment Committee of the VSU Foundation Board of Trustees has reviewed the request from your organization that securities issued by companies engaged in the production of fossil fuel energy be excluded from the foundation’s endowment portfolios. Compliance with your well-intentioned request is impractical for a number of reasons and perhaps even a breach of the fiduciary responsibility that all of our trustees take very seriously.

The various VSU Foundation endowment portfolios are managed Continue reading

Solar vs. fossil fuel stocks

Should Harvard President Drew Faust worry that “Significantly constraining investment options risks significantly constraining investment returns”? Actually, if Harvard has been wasting investments in oil and gas for the past year, its endowment has lost a bundle. Ditto VSU.

Let’s compare stock performance of Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSE:TAN) which invests in solar stocks with the PowerShares DB Energy Fund (NYSEARCA:DBE), which invests in oil and natural gas companies. Yep, that’s 120% for TAN and 0% for DBE:

TAN solar v DBE oil and gas 1 year

Sure, if you go back farther, solar stocks continued to drop after 2009 until this year: Continue reading

China regains lead in solar and wind investment —Financial Times

Pilita Clark wrote for Financial Times 14 January 2013, China retakes renewables investment lead,

China has surged ahead of the US to regain its title as the world's biggest investor in renewable energy, new figures showed on Monday.

The article continues by trying to downplay solar and wind because of a drop in investment from other countries, while not mentioning that solar and wind deployments continue to climb. According to Todd Woddy in Forbes 22 January 2013, Chinese Solar Market Boomed In Q4, Accounting For Third Of Global Demand. China has incentive and is doing something about it, as Feifei Shen and Reed Landberg wrote for Bloomberg News 30 January 2013, China to Boost Solar Power Goal 67% as Smog Envelops Beijing.

How much are the Chinese investing? The FT story continues:

Continue reading

Nuclear is over —Jeremy Rifkin

Economist, author, and advisor to governments Jeremy Rifkin told an agent of the world's largest uranium field operator at a conference of global investors that there's no business future in nuclear power.

Jeremy Rifkin answered a question at the Wermuth Asset Management 5th Annual Investors Event 26 September 2012, Nuclear Power is Dead,

I don't spend much time on nuclear technology, unless somebody asks me about it, because frankly from a business perspective, I think it's over….

Here's the video, followed by more transcript and discussion.

Nuclear power was pretty well dead in the water in the 1980s after Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. It had a comeback. The comeback was the industry said "we are part of the solution for climate change because we don't emit CO2 with nuclear; it's polluting, but there's no CO2".

Here's the issue though,

Continue reading

28 SolarWorld panels, 5.25 kilowatts –Paul Wolff @ TVC 2012 02 17

Paul Wolff showed us his solar panels on Tybee Island:

That’s 28 panels. They’re SolarWorlds, roughly 18% efficiency rating, and it’s a 5.525 kilowatt system.

And another thing I tell people if your roof is at all questionable… right now there’s a 30% federal tax credit on the materials for an EnergyStar roof….

Here’s the video:

28 SolarWorld panels, 5.25 kilowatts –Paul Wolff
renewable energy,
Paul Wolff, The Volta Collaborative (TVC),
Tybee Island, Chatham County, Georgia, 17 February 2012.
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).


11% return on solar panel investment —Paul Wolff @ Tybee 2012 02 17

Paul Wolff told us how he came to invest in solar energy:
I did the math on it ahead of time. I had a bunch of mutual funds that hadn’t done anything in a long time. I figured out given the state and federal tax credits what the payback would be, and it came out to be about eight years. So I just divided that out, and by selling mutual funds and investing that money in solar panels on my roof it’s an eleven percent return. And in this economic climate I have nothing else yielding anywhere near that. So that’s a selling point.

Here’s the video:

11% return on solar panel investment —Paul Wolff
Tybee Island, Chatham County, Georgia, 17 February 2012.
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).


Georgia Energy Trust Fund —Dr. Sidney Smith 2012 02 17

After the ribbon cutting for a new solar installation in Bryan County, Dr. Sidney Smith talked about a distributed commodity market in solar power, plus large private investment utility-scale solar plants, and then he told LAKE about the Georgia Energy Trust Fund.

Here’s the video:

Georgia Energy Trust Fund —Dr. Sidney Smith 2012 02 17
South Eastern Pathology Associates,
Selling Power, Lower Rates for Customers LLC (LRCLLC),
Richmond Hill, Bryan County, Georgia, 17 February 2012.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

We donate 1.5% of the money we make to this trust fund for the county…. Now we invest that money in Georgia bonds for the county. And then the county only gets half of the interest So the funds we donate for these counties will grow forever as a result of what we’re doing with the trust fund…

It’s invested in us, roads, airplanes, deep water, stuff like that.

And that’s the key actually.

Continue reading

Warren Buffett thinks there’s money in solar

Cassandra Sweet wrote for the WSJ yesterday, Solar Plant Sold to Berkshire Unit,
First Solar Inc. is selling one of its large California solar farms to MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., ending the solar-panel maker’s search for a buyer.

The sale places MidAmerican Energy, a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., in the solar-power business for the first time. MidAmerican operates fleets of wind farms and conventional power plants.

The companies didn’t disclose terms of the deal Wednesday, but said the Topaz solar-power plant, in San Luis Obispo County, is worth more than $2 billion.

That’s more evidence there is private financing available for solar power.


PS: Owed to Harry DeLano.

Time to divest from private prison companies

It’s time to stop private prison profiteering by refusing to take their profit: divest private prison company stock from personal, pension, and church funds.

There’s no need to speculate that private prison companies have incentive to keep more people locked up: CCA says so. Kanya D’Almeida wrote for IPS 24 August 2011, ‘Profiteers of Misery’: The U.S. Private Prison Industrial Complex:

CCA’s 2010 annual report states categorically that, “The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws — for instance, any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.”

CCA continues, “Legislation has been proposed in numerous jurisdictions that could lower minimum sentences for some non-violent crimes and make more inmates eligible for early release based on good behaviour, (while) sentencing alternatives under consideration could put some offenders on probation who would otherwise be incarcerated. Similarly, reductions in crime rates or resources dedicated to prevent and enforce crime could lead to reductions in arrests, convictions and sentences requiring incarceration at correctional facilities.”

What’s this got to do with Georgia? Continue reading