Environment Forum

Federal purse reopens for solar science

October 27, 2011

 

The U.S. Department of Energy announced this week $60 million in funding for scientists to develop “revolutionary research” to lower the cost of solar power systems.

Is this the greenest office on Earth?

June 10, 2011

Every workstation has a view. Much of the lighting comes from reflected sunshine. It’s so naturally quiet that unobtrusive speakers pipe in “white noise” to preserve a level of privacy. The windows open, and they’re shaded in such a way that there’s no glare. Even with the windows closed, fresh air circulates through vents in the floor. Extreme recycling prevails, not just of bottles, cans and kitchen refuse but beetle-blighted wood.

from Reuters Investigates:

Solar energy vs wildlife

January 5, 2011

Sarah McBride reports on brewing battles between environmentalists in her special report: "With solar power, it's Green vs. Green."

Robert Kennedy Jr: solar and natural gas belong together

October 28, 2009

The solar power sector and the natural gas industry need to build an alliance to get more government support and take over the energy sector from incumbents like Big Oil and King Coal, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. said on Wednesday.

New Jersey has best payback on residential solar in U.S.

September 16, 2009

California may be the Golden State, but it’s New Jersey where U.S. residents get the best deal on their solar power systems, new research shows.

Cloudy days for green stocks

September 2, 2009

The federal stimulus bill hasn’t been a ticket to prosperity for clean energy investors.According to Environment America, a federation of state-based, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organizations, over 4 percent of the $787 billion dollar stimulus package passed in February was ear-marked for clean energy projects.Yet the Reuters Business of Green Index, a basket of 14 green stocks, has fared poorly over the last three months, down over 20 percent against the S&P 500 Index.Why isn’t the stimulus bill, which appears to be helping many stocks, not having the desired effect in the greentech and clean energy sectors?”What happens in Washington for the time being is nowhere near as relevant as you might think,” said Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov.He notes that green stocks are heavily dependent on the solar industry, 90 percent of which is outside the United States:”Even though there is a large array of clean tech stocks to invest in, the most attractive green stocks and the certainly the largest ones are in the solar stage. And solar has been doing quite poorly because there is quite simply an overcapacity in the global solar industry.”That has put pressure on prices, margins and earnings. Not surprisingly, solar stocks have fared poorly.Suntech Power Holdings, one of the 14 green companies selected by Reuters, had lost 13 percent of it’s value in August when it reported second quarter earnings. Shares of China’s Yingli Green Energy and U.S. panel maker SunPower Corp were down about 17 percent, and First Solar‘s stock was down nearly 15 percent in the same period.Not all of the news is cloudy, but Molchanov says it’s not time to put away the umbrella just yet.”The good news is that sentiment has gotten so negative that it probably doesn’t take much for it to start improving and expectations for earnings are generally pretty low. So that’s helping, but the overcapacity in the market is not going away in the foreseeable future.”

from Global Investing:

Turning to the sun

August 11, 2009

With oil prices more than doubling from Dec-Feb lows, those who are lucky enough to enjoy the sunshine are turning to the sun as alternative energy, but lingering effects of the credit crisis might be discouraging consumers from turning to this still-costly alternative energy.

Sailing around the world on sunlight

July 29, 2009

    Nearly 500 years ago, Ferdinand Magellan led the first expedition to sail around the world. With wind and sails, the journey was certainly a green one.

Solar power that pays back fast

July 28, 2009

OK, solar panels are getting cheaper, but can it be possible to get back the $1,000 you invested in home solar in 45 days?

Green Portfolio: Suzlon sizzles and Q-Cells misses

May 12, 2009

Indian wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy’s shares gained 8 percent on Tuesday, after sources told Reuters that Suzlon’s founders are looking to raise up to $48 million through the sale of a 2 percent stake in the world’s fifth-largest wind turbine maker.