Investing in Geothermal Power Companies

Utilities Burn...and We Get Paid!

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted August 2, 2006

It was around 5:45 a.m. on Saturday. I was in Idaho, taking a morning run near my hotel.

The sun was still hiding behind the magnificent mountain ranges…the air was clean and not yet oppressive…and I was thoroughly enjoying my two-day respite from the city.

Idaho has a way of doing that.

In fact, had I not had to return to Baltimore, I’d probably be waist-deep in the Teton River right now, fly fishing with the locals.

Nonetheless, I can assure you my trip to Idaho was all business.

Last Saturday I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Idaho’s first geothermal power plant. And not only was it an honor to be invited…it was also a reminder as to just how important this one geothermal field in the middle of nowhere is.

You see, on that morning I caught a glimpse of the local newspaper that sat outside my front door. The headline was screaming about potential brown outs and stressed electrical grids due to a 28,000-acre fire in Hell’s Canyon that was threatening two of Idaho Power’s main transmission lines.

If the lines were struck by flames, rotation outages were probable.


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In other words, power would be turned off to blocks of customers on an hourly basis before the lights would come back on. This allows the utility to balance supply and demand when part of the grid is down.

Of course, this has more to do with transmission lines than actual power generation. But it’s also a grim reminder as to just how dependent we are on the utilities’ ability to provide a consistent transmission of electricity.

And as the nation sweats out another heat wave – grids all over the country are being stressed to new levels…leaving many to wonder how much longer the utilities will be able to give us that consistent transmission of electricity.

U.S. Utilities Feel the Burn!

According to the Edison Electric Institute’s weekly survey of electric demand, the U.S. demand for electricity reached an all-time record during part one of our punishing heat wave a couple of weeks ago.

U.S. utilities delivered 96,314 gigawatt hours of electricity for the week ending July 22.

That’s more than 1 percent higher than last year’s record of 95,259 gigawatt hours.

On Monday, the Edison Electric Institute released a press release pledging its support of a new National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency.

The plan, facilitated by the DOE, EPA, PUCs, energy consumers and non-governmental groups, is essentially a blueprint of options that will encourage greater energy efficiency investment in the U.S.

It will emphasize:

Helping foster more energy-efficient buildings.

Promoting the development and deployment of more energy-efficient electric appliances, consumer electronics and other electronic technologies.

Accelerating the development of innovative electric ratemaking and rate designs that promote efficiency and allows customers to control their electricity bills.

Accelerating the development and use of “smart,” or advanced, electric meters.

Helping commercialize plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that will improve transportation efficiency, reduce fuel costs, improve the environment and help reduce dependence on foreign oil.

Of course, while the Northeast gets pummeled again by 100+ degree temperatures today, the concern is more immediate – and that requires a concept most Americans still can’t seem to grasp...



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Conserve This! We're Investing in Geothermal Power Companies...

Certainly we spend a lot of time around here talking up renewables.

How can we not?!!

This cat’s out of the bag – and there’s no turning back.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day – and neither are concentrating solar fields, wind farms and geothermal power company plants.

The fact is, the kind of renewable integration we need to seriously reduce today’s energy strains won’t be realized for at least a few more years.

That means, for consumers looking to save a few bucks and to help do their part to keep the lights on – conservation is the key.

I know, I know. How dare I even suggest it!

We’re here to make money – not to be reminded to turn our lights off when we’re not using them or to turn up the temperature on our air conditioning systems a few degrees to save energy.

Well, sarcasm aside, anyone who isn’t conserving today is throwing money right out the window.

But rest assured – we’ll be there to catch it!

It may not be the most politically-correct attitude to take, but the simple fact is most Americans will NOT take conservation methods into consideration during this heat wave. No matter how many warnings from the utilities and how much more it costs the individual consumer.

We certainly haven’t stopped driving our cars with gas going for well over $3.00 a gallon! And we definitely haven’t gone out of our way to reduce our energy consumption this summer – even as some local utilities jack up their rates as much as 25%.

So that means grids will continue to get pushed to the limit – and the demand for renewable integration will continue to get stronger.


The global community often likes to take cheap shots at our gluttonous behavior.

But we’re going to profit from it!

In fact, our most recent geothermal energy play is up 55.8% since we first recommended it last week. And this thing hasn’t even begun to deliver its full potential yet. Not even close!!!

And if you don’t believe it, check it out yourself here .

By the end of the summer, this thing could easily be up another 10 to 15 percent.

But in the meantime, let’s hope our wasteful habits continue – and push our geothermal stocks to new heights!

(And for those of you getting ready to draft your hate e-mails, take a step back and realize the joys of sarcasm)

Until next time…

Jeff Siegel

Managing Editor, Green Chip Stocks