Renewable Energy Incentives
Capitalizing on Cleantech's Coming Advantage
Governments around the world have committed more than $200 billion toward technologies to cut dependence on fossil fuels, which should help keep green development moving despite the global economic crunch, an analyst for Deutsche Bank said...
Sooner or later you're going to have to face it. Renewable energy must be a part of your portfolio.
That Reuters article went on to reveal that "Governments in the United States, Europe and Asia have also developed more than 250 policies since July last year that support alternative energy such as solar and wind power and climate-change mitigation."
250 policies! The strongest governments in the world are guaranteeing this industry's success. And in doing so they're also offering you guaranteed profits.
In the U.S. alone, 14% of the recently-passed stimulus has been set aside for renewable energy initiatives—a total of $106 billion. And the EU has dedicated $60 billion to give the industry a boost.
I'm not here to tell you whether it's right or wrong because that's actually quite irrelevant. I'm here to tell you how to prepare your portfolio for drastic changes in the energy market, and even turn a nice profit in the process.
In order to do that you'll have to identify the main areas slated for benefit and, by default, the easiest areas from which to reap profits.
Congress & Cleantech, Sittin' in a Tree. . .
Incentives are coming, just wait and see.
Most important, perhaps, are the new tax incentive rules for solar energy, which I described to Green Chip Review readers like this:
Investors are now able to take a 30% federal refund on the value of a new installation before deducting any state incentives. So a theoretical $100.00 dollar solar system in North Carolina (35% state credit) now only costs the investor $35.00-because both federal and state incentives are calculated from the full price. Best part is, those federal incentives have no cap and the project need only be finished by 2017 to qualify.
In a separate provision, the stimulus allocates $6 billion to pay the fees on $60 billion worth of guaranteed bank loans aimed at getting credit flowing to the sector once again.
And that's before mentioning the $6.3 billion for energy efficiency grants, the $5.5 billion to put solar and other clean technology in federal buildings, or the $6 billion for improvements to drinking water systems.
There's plenty more, but you get the idea.
But even better than what's been included in the stimulus is what is coming down the Congressional pipeline.
Obama recently said plain as day that "we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy." He called for national cap-and-trade legislation in the same breath.
That would make burning coal much more expensive and renewables all the more competitive, spurring cleantech demand in the process.
And Congress' love affair with the industry doesn't end there.
They're also in the midst of enacting a national renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that would require all utilities in the country to generate a certain percentage of their electricity with renewable resources, thereby creating a guaranteed market.
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) has already introduced legislation that would require utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from wind, solar and other renewable energy sources by 2025.
28 states already have such a provision.
For those in favor of these types of policies, years of waiting is now paying off and a fundamental change in the energy market is at hand.
For those opposed, you're worst fears are perhaps being realized.
Either way, there's money to be made. And you'll have to adapt your energy investment strategy to take advantage.
Capitalizing on Cleantech's Coming Advantage
What we're about to witness is a sea change.
The floodgates of demand are about to opened for cleantech companies of all kinds as utilities scramble not only to reduce emissions, but also to increase their use of renewables.
Stalwart American solar stocks are sure to be prime beneficiaries as incentives and mandates spur utility-scale and rooftop installations. Leaders like First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) and SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWRA) will be ones to watch as the money starts flowing—perhaps as soon as March 3rd. And their ~60% skid in light of global economic turmoil presents the perfect buying opportunity.
The wind industry will also benefit, but most of the major players are based abroad. Getting a hold of them via an exchange traded fund like Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy (NYSE: GEX) or the First Trust Global Wind Energy (NYSE: FAN) is probably a smart idea.
Green infrastructure and smart grid companies are also a good place to start looking. The stimulus sets aside well over $5 billion for energy efficiency and smart grid measures and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has already announced he will introduce a new bill aimed at "making it easier to carry renewable energy from often remote locations to urban centers in need of power."
That, too, will create lucrative investment opportunities.
To that end, I've compiled a report that outlines 10 stocks that are about to benefit not only from the billions dedicated to cleantech in the stimulus, but from coming legislation as well.
From smart grid to transmission to clean water, this investment strategy will help you capitalize on nearly all aspects of the coming cleantech awakening and leverage Washington's taxpayer-supported strategies into profits.
Call it like you see it,
Energy Demand will Increase 58% Over the Next 25 Years
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