Submitted by EnergyTechStocks.com
Lost in the torrent of recent financial news were three news stories about different alternative energy subsectors that serve to point investors in potentially profitable long-term directions.
Story #1 – The American Wind Energy Association reported that the U.S. market for small wind turbines grew 78% in 2008, equal to 17.3 megawatts of new installed capacity. Further, an AWEA poll of small wind manufacturers, whose systems reportedly are increasingly popular among farmers in particular, found that the industry believes the U.S. small wind market could grow 30-fold within as little as five years, even with a prolonged recession.
The long-term play here may be small wind manufacturer AeroVironment Inc. (Symbol AVAV), a company better known for its unmanned aircraft business. Another possible play is Juhl Wind Inc. (Symbol JUHL), the so-called “community wind” developer whose business model builds on organizing farmers and other small-scale land owners into a community-based wind generation project.
Story #2 – Noted consultancy Frost & Sullivan forecast that the European market for solar thermal systems will double by 2014 to more than 2.2 billion Euros.
Potentially significant beneficiaries include Abengoa SA (Symbol ABGOF.PK), Acciona SA (Symbol ACXIF.PK), Solar Millenium AG (Symbol SMLNF.PK), and privately-held BrightSource Energy, each of which is building large-scale solar thermal power plants in both Europe and the U.S. Solar thermal is a very long-term play if one believes a new report from the environmental group Greenpeace that solar thermal has the potential to supply 25% of the world’s power needs by the middle of the century.
Story #3 – A battle may be brewing for control of EcoSecurities Group PLC (Symbol ECGUF.PK), the London-based developer of carbon offset projects under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism scheme, with both a unit of Electricite de France (Symbol EDF SA) and EcoSecurities’ co-founder reportedly showing interest.
Could this be the first of a host of takeovers of carbon market specialists whose expertise will be needed by major energy and financial firms should, as appears increasingly likely, carbon dioxide emissions are traded globally under cap-and-trade starting around 2012?
At this stage, any bet on similar companies attracting takeover interest is entirely speculative. Nevertheless, investors might want to keep their eye on, among others: Camco International Ltd. (Symbol CAMCF.PK), CO2 Group Ltd. (Symbol COPLF.PK), and Global Green Solutions Inc. (Symbol GGRN).