alternative energy

Big Oil Taking Small Steps Toward Big Renewables Profits

The oil industry giants are embracing alternative technologies -- including biofuels, geothermal and solar. Right now, renewable sources provide only a tiny fraction of the profits they derive from oil and gas, but they'll have a real impact on the revenues of majors like BP, Exxon Mobil and Chevron in the not-so-distant future.

SunPower Holds the Lead in Solar Panel Efficiency

SunPower recently launched its SunPower E20 series of solar panels, the industry's first commercially available panels which provide a total area efficiency of more than 20%. That gives SunPower a significant competitive advantage over its competitors.

A Hot Solar Stock: SunPower's Sales Have Far to Rise

SunPower boasts of being able to manufacture the most efficient large-scale solar modules in the industry, and shipments of its residential and commercial components have been growing rapidly. Trefis predicts they'll keep growing, especially if federal policy shifts further in favor of solar.

Can You Profit from Obama's New Energy Policy?

Last week, President Obama outlined a new energy policy that aims to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil by using more natural gas, wind and solar power, and encouraging manufacturers to build more fuel-efficient cars. But how can patient investors capitalize on these trends?

The Mideast's Favorable Breeze for Wind Power

With oil prices soaring on Mideast turmoil, alternative energy sources such as wind are again drawing the public's attention. But wind technology hasn't been standing still: Its power output worldwide jumped by 22% last year. However, it's still nowhere near replacing oil.

Are Solar Stocks Finally Regaining Their Shine?

Haven't we seen this movie before? As costly oil makes solar look good, investors pile in -- only to be let down when overcapacity sets in and oil prices tumble again. But this time, solar's rebound may be on somewhat firmer ground. Investors, though, still need to be cautious.

Ethanol, the Next Generation: Corn Is Out, Cellulose Is In

It has become clear to politicians and scientists that corn-based ethanol isn't the solution for creating a home-grown fuel source. Enter "cellulosic ethanol," made from wood chips, weeds or algae: Is this the fuel of the future? A company called Mascoma is gearing up to prove it is.

Earnings for China's LDK Solar Far Outshine Estimates

The Chinese maker of solar wafers, modules and cells reported third-quarter earnings that easily beat analyst estimates on strong demand and improved pricing environment. The company also raised its outlook much above expectations.

Under the Radar: A Possible Ten-Bagger Stock

Looking for companies that are growing fast but still ignored by Wall Street? Hilary Kramer talks about two stocks here with great upside potential. One of them, she says, could even be a ten-bagger.

New Solar Panel Factory Will Rise in Oregon

Oregon is the latest state to notch a big win in the effort to attract green jobs: Silicon Valley solar company Solexant has announced plans to build a large factory to produce thin-film solar panels near Portland. Oregon gets jobs; Solexant gets a $25 million loan and $18.75 million in tax credits.

Really Green Energy: Could Algae Fuel Our Cars?

As oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's damaged well, the federal government is pouring a bit more money into alternative energy sources with a grant to groups working on turning algae into a commercially viable fuel.

More Solar Power to Heat Up New York's Economy?

New York lawmakers are considering legislation to boost the state's solar power generation to 2.5% of overall electricity sales by 2025. This is part of a nationwide renewable energy trend driven by the new jobs and other economic benefits the switch will likely bring.

Making the Most of an Ecological Disaster

The Rocky Mountain West is trying to take a devastating insect infestation and turn it around to its economic advantage -- in fields as diverse as alternative energy and fine woodworking.

Why GT Solar Could Outshine
the Pack

The solar play on Wall Street has dimmed quite a bit after the group's initial glow several years ago. But some big investors are again warming up to selected stocks in the industry, in particular GT Solar, a global provider of production equipment and process technology to the industry.

Spring: The Season to Rethink Fuel

It's spring, the season of baseball, warmer temperatures and rising gasoline prices -- along with the perennial push for alternative fuels. When will the United States find a better way to power its cars?

It's Show-Time for Bloom Energy's Supersecret Fuel Cells

After a long period of ever-escalating anticipation, the startup California cleantech company is finally unveiling its technology. Will the claims of breakthroughs in terms of efficiency, affordability and scalability (and don't forget cost) get borne out at last?

An IPO Parade in Cleantech

Two cleantech start-ups, biofuel maker Codexis and solar-energy firm Solyndra, recently filed for IPOs, and others are rumored to be contemplating them, among them sexy electric car company Tesla Motors and smart grid integrated-technology maker Silver Spring Networks.

Smart Money Bets on the Smart Grid

The emphasis in alternative energy used to be on finding better ways to generate power. Now, it's on finding better ways to conserve energy and make the power grid more efficient. The so-called "smart grid" is key to that goal, and fortunes will be spent -- and made -- on making it a reality.

A Chat with a CEO on the Front Lines of Solar Power

Now the third largest independent solar-energy producer, Solar Power Partners has succeeded in completing projects in difficult funding environments. CEO Bob Powell says the Holy Grail -- achieving the same price for solar power generation as for coal or gas-fired -- is near.

A Promising Future for Tiny Windmills

Larger government subsidies, rising electricity costs, fewer regulatory burdens and lower prices for these small systems are all converging to generate demand. More access to favorable financing may create the most powerful tailwind.