Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Alternative Energy Stocks Continue to Decline

In the last few months, shares in the alternative energy sector have declined. In the U.S. it has been a quarter since May. For the rest of the world it is even sharper.

This seems curious since we continually read articles that suggest the entire world is going to move towards at least a small offering of alternative energy resources.

AtaHolding wants to carry out project of alternative energy sources
He said that the project on alternative energy source requires investment of $1.1bn and Azerbaijan enjoys very favorable wind and sun energy.

Bay set to power ahead with alternative energy
THE Nelson Mandela Bay municipality has announced plans to take the lead in providing alternative energy sources in the country by initiating an innovative process to provide renewable energy for residents.

Companies and projects chosen for the R9-billion initiative are Lereko Energy Consortium (wind turbines, solar heating, electricity generation from waste), Thermo-Rec (electricity generation from solid waste), and Enercon India (large-scale wind farm), being a 100% subsidiary of EIL South Africa Power Development (Pty) Ltd.

In this op-ed piece a citizen states his support for alternative energy subsidies if it would actually lead the country to getting off of the huge dependence on foreign oil. Of course we have oil we could tap, but have not. However, Cuba has now started up operations just 60 miles off of our coast. We would not touch it for environmental reasons but other countries do not have the same concerns and we might be the better choice due to technology and the fact that we have citizens who are concerned about such things.

Now for the original article that I read:
Alternative energy
The trouble is that, with much of the potential payoff in the distant future, valuations of alternative energy stocks are heavily exposed to mood swings in broader markets. During turbulence, that lends an edge to companies running other businesses too, such as Archer Daniels Midland, the leading US ethanol producer. But unless oil prices stay at current levels, fuels such as bio-diesel will continue to require US government support to be viable.

Another strategy championed by several smaller US companies is to focus on finding new, cleaner ways to extract energy from traditional sources. Converting coal into a gas for use in power plants has lately re-emerged as a favourite. It is potentially competitive with oil and gas at crude prices well below current levels. It would also benefit from the US's large coal reserves and allow carbon emissions to be captured more easily. But storing these emissions underground still looks challenging, while the economics will depend heavily on government subsidies.

It comes down to how much are we willing to sacrifice to make the change? How much is too much? What about those who cannot afford the new technology? Should it be phased in and left to chance it will be continually delayed such as other projects in the US? Will other countries make the commitment to alternative energy?

technorati tags: , ,