Article Index

Alternative Energy

Obama Looks to Restart U.S. Nuclear Industry With $8 Billion Federal Loan Guarantee

U.S. President Barack Obama gave the long-suffering U.S. nuclear industry a solid boost this week when he announced $8 billion in government loan guarantees in support of a new nuclear power plant in Georgia.

The move is intended to reduce usage of fossil fuels and meet America's future energy needs. It could also provide new profit opportunities for energy-sector investors.

"I know it has long been assumed that those who champion the environment are opposed to nuclear power," President Obama said in remarks made during a speaking engagement in Lanham, Md. "But the fact is, even though we have not broken ground on a new nuclear power plant in 30 years, nuclear energy remains our largest source of fuel that produces no carbon emissions."

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How to Profit From the Geothermal Energy Push

Geothermal energy isn't a new concept in the United States.

It's actually been around for some time, with numerous geothermal power plants in California, Nevada and a few other western states. There are new plants on the drawing board, too. Unfortunately, the recession has stifled the construction progress on many of them.

But all that's about to change. Thanks to a few key technological developments - and a big cash infusion from the government - the stars are aligning to produce the perfect storm for this super-green energy source.

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Profit From the First Biofuel Winner – Before it Goes Public

Weeds are hardly my favorite flora. My hay fever doesn't like them and neither does my lawn. But a flax called camelina - needing little nitrogen and water - may just be the first big winner in renewable biofuels.

It is going to provide investors with a whole new way to play the renewable energy market. And its impact will be, quite literally, up in the air.

Anybody who flies has been feeling the pinch of exploding ticket prices. Having jetted over a quarter of a million miles in the last 18 months, I can attest to the connection between rising fuel prices and ticket hikes. And without a major change in how we source jet fuel, this problem will simply get worse - especially with ridership slowly returning as the crisis bottoms out.

Jet fuel is already imported in greater volume, and the refineries that can provide it reliably worldwide are limited. That's because refining puts jet fuel (which is really high-level kerosene) among the so-called "middle distillates" - along with diesel and low-sulfur heating oil. But prioritizing the need for high-octane gasoline ("light distillates") has taken up more of the available refinery capacity.

They're producing less diesel and jet fuel than the market requires, pushing up the price.  
And jet biofuel may be an answer.

It's hardly theoretical.

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Seven Ways to Profit From the Obama Administration's New "Clean Energy Economy" Push

After Wednesday night's State of the Union address, the Obama administration has added a new mantra to its lexicon.

Welcome to the "Clean Energy Economy."

In a speech in which embattled U.S. President Barack Obama badly needed to reinvent himself, the nation's chief executive focused on initiatives designed to add value to the U.S. economy and create jobs. Clean energy technology was front-and-center as one of those initiatives.

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The Real Story Behind Solar Energy in 2010

By the time 2009 is in the books, the record will show that solar energy stocks endured a tough year. That's hardly a surprise, given that so many Wall Street analysts (yours truly not among them) lambasted the sector for much of the year.

Analysts also expect the carnage to continue into 2010, and are predicting losses for as many as half of the world's solar companies.

The "thought process" of a Wall Street analyst - and I use that title loosely - goes something like this:

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Exxon Deal For XTO Energy May Set Off Wave of Energy Mergers and Acquisitions

In a deal that may set off a wave of mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity in the energy sector, Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), the biggest U.S. oil company, agreed to buy XTO Energy Inc. (NYSE: XTO), the largest U.S. natural gas producer, in an all-stock deal valued at $31 billion.

Exxon, which hasn't made a major acquisition since it bought Mobil ten years ago, is taking advantage of the low gas prices pressuring smaller, debt-laden gas exploration companies. The economic downturn and discoveries of vast pools of North American natural gas have kept a lid on gas prices, leaving companies in the industry strapped for operating cash.

The deal announced yesterday (Monday) values XTO at $51.69 a share, 25% higher than Friday's closing price. XTO holders will get 0.7098 share of Exxon for each share of XTO. The Texas-based oil giant will also assume $10 billion in debt.

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Copenhagen Climate Summit Could Reshape the Investment Landscape

Leaders and policymakers from nearly 200 nations yesterday (Monday) commenced an 11-day summit in which they will attempt to hammer out some details of a carbon treaty that could have significant impact on businesses and investment.

The Copenhagen summit aims to put finer points on what, up to this point, have been dull notions about how to respond to global climate change. World leaders from both wealthy and developing countries will attempt to set new carbon emissions goals, outline a timetable for achieving those goals, and detail on how they will be financed.

Some analysts are skeptical that such an immense undertaking will be met with success. Emerging and developed nations have clashed in the past, as poorer nations contend that climate change is a problem wrought by industrialized countries. Industrialized nations, they argue, should therefore be held to higher standards and offer financing to emerging markets that are ill equipped to deal with reform.

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Former Oilman T. Boone Pickens Taps Wind Power, Natural Gas to Replace Foreign Oil

By Jennifer YousfiManaging Editor He made his fortune as an oilman, but yesterday (Tuesday) legendary investor T. Boone Pickens unveiled a plan to cut U.S. dependence on foreign oil through the power of alternatives such as wind and natural gas. "We're paying $700 billion a year for foreign oil. It's breaking us as a nation, […]

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Former Oilman T. Boone Pickens Makes a $2 Billion Bet on Alternative Wind Energy

By Jennifer Yousfi Managing Editor T. Boone Pickens made his fortune in oil. But now the Dallas oilman and famed former corporate raider is betting $2 billion that he can have the same success with a new source of energy – wind. Pickens' Mesa Power LLP yesterday (Thursday) unveiled the first phase of an eventual […]

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Ethanol's a Farce and We're Our Own Worst Enemy When It Comes To Energy Alternatives

By Keith Fitz-Gerald Contributing Editor For months we've heard nothing but great things about ethanol. And true to form, the experts here at Money Morning have ignored most of the resultant investor buzz. The truth is that ethanol's a farce and we're our own worst enemy when it comes to refining the technology anyway – […]

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General Motors Shifts into Growth Mode by Driving a Cleanup Effort in China

By Jason Simpkins Associate Editor Most experts view the pollution problem in China as one of the world's biggest problems. But General Motors Corp. (GM) Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner views it as one of the world's biggest business opportunities. With incomes soaring and a new wave of middle-class consumers emerging across China, car and […]

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Two "CanRoy" Investments for the Oil and Gas Boom

By Keith Fitz-Gerald Contributing Editor Many investors are convinced that it takes sophisticated investment strategies to rack up big returns. That's just flat out wrong. In fact, the simplest strategies are often the best, and can produce major returns – especially if you align yourself with powerful global trends, such as energy. Among the best […]

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The One Russian Emerging Market With the Most Profit Promise

By Martin Hutchinson Director of Global Investing Research Readers may well have missed the news that Ukraine is currently putting together a new coalition government led by reformist Julia Tymoshenko. “So what?” you may ask. “I can’t know everything. And besides, how do you ever expect me to make a buck out of Ukrainian politics, […]

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Recording Demonstrates Confusion About LDK Solar Inventory Quality, WSJ Reports

From Staff Reports Officials at solar-cell-maker LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (LDK) were apparently confused about the quality of the silicon in the firm's inventory- just as an ex-finance official has alleged- according to an audio recording of an internal conference call obtained by The Wall Street Journal, the newspaper reported yesterday. LDK, based in southern […]

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LDK Shares Plunge Another 26% Due to Worries, Barron's Report

From Staff Reports Shares of high-flying LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (LDK) plunged 26.4% to close at $37.50 yesterday (Monday) – extending losses from last week – based on continued concerns that the China-based maker of solar wafers has serious production problems. The shares of the Jiangxi, China-based LDK are now trading at less than half […]

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