Solar -- Cheaper than Coal and Natural Gas?

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted August 30, 2006

On August 29, 2005, New Orleans…the city with a world-renowned reputation for its spicy gumbo, Dixieland jazz and one of the biggest parties on the planet, quickly drowned in its own filth – only to expose, days later the granddaddy of bureaucratic buffoonery and an avalanche of scandal and deceit.

Experts had warned for years that the levees protecting New Orleans were inadequate. Even up to the very day before Katrina hit, officials were sounding the alarms – but to a deaf crowd.

And as you’re well aware, the results of this indifference were catastrophic. But, the damage caused by Katrina was only intensified by the darker side of human nature.

Whether it was the predictable looting of high-end electronics stores, government officials stealing donations intended for hurricane victims or the city’s manipulative mayor looking to score points with black voters by declaring the city would once again be chocolate – Mother Nature’s wrath spawned more than hepatitis outbreaks and mosquitoes – it spawned a treasure trove of opportunities.

Though not all were conceived maliciously.


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Laissez le Bons Temps Rouler

The residual rains of Katrina’s grand exit hadn’t even subsided before Americans got a hefty dose of reality.

One minute, soccer moms are throwing fill-ups on their bonus miles credit cards without thinking twice – the next, local filling stations are taking a stab at a bit of gouging and price-manipulation…hoping no one would catch on.

Of course, that wasn’t the case. We did catch on. But to much more than just the actions of a few unethical gas station owners.

In the blink of an eye, oil production and refinery shut-downs in the Gulf of Mexico launched peak oil from segmented theory to headlines news.

Environmentalists were no longer tree-huggers…but survivalists.

Conservation became a national security issue.

And while all of this smacked our sensibilities into a world often left for conspirators and reclusive scientists – the renewable energies industry flooded the information supply chain with every press release and photo-op it could muster up.

It was the kind of opportunity that doesn’t come along too often.

- Solar power systems were being provided by the DOE’s National Renewable Laboratory.

- World Water & Power Corporation (WWAT.OB), a manufacturer of off-grid solar installations delivered a solar water pumping and purification system to aid Katrina victims.

- Canadian-based, Carmanah Technologies (CMH.TO) set up the U.S. Coast Guard with solar-powered marine navigation lights (which were also used for railroad bridges and helicopter landing pads)

- The Naples City Council in Florida transported 13,000 gallons of biodiesel to help Katrina victims.

These guys were using any and every opportunity they had to showcase their technology and further validate the budding renewable energies industry. Because it was now front-page news.

And the market was responding!


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The Next Big Pay-Off

Following August 29, 2005 – renewable energy stocks got a shot of steroids. Solar, wind, ethanol…all the stuff that was once considered laughable by Wall Street, quickly became the hottest market in town.

Certainly our Green Chip Stocks portfolio soared in the weeks and months following.

Of course, this type of reaction wasn’t necessarily unexpected either.

In 2003, after a summer blackout shut off electricity to a sizeable portion of the Midwest and East Coast, renewable energy stocks spiked. Though most fell back down a few months later.

But in 2005, there was a factor present that wasn’t present in the summer of 2003. And that was $60 oil.

Today, it’s $70 oil.

And don’t be fooled by the recent dip in oil prices. It was only a month ago when we hit $80 a barrel.

Listen. Since Katrina…renewable energy stocks have continued to perform.

The fact is, with the inevitable and continuous rise in oil prices…we no longer require acts of God to push our stocks forward. Acts of war, depleting oil reserves and good old fashioned stubbornness and corporate incompetence will continue to fill the hollowing energy trough with renewable dollars.

In fact, right now we’re only 5 days away from our next big renewable energy payoff. It’s a solar play that’ll soon have the industry by its short hairs.

Its annual revenue is already $8.5 billion. That’s more than 3 of the top solar players combined. Evergreen Solar, SunTech and SunPower have combined annual revenue of about $950 million.

And the best part is – this company has $2.83 billion in cash, sitting in the bank. Again, more than the other 3 solar companies combined.

The company's quarterly sales growth is a staggering 56%. Its quarterly earnings growth is 38%. And they've just barely scratched the surface in the booming solar industry.

But that’s all going to change on September 5…when the company shows the world how it plans to transform the industry – and finally make solar competitive with coal and natural gas!

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And mark my words – it’s not going to take long for this story to get out. In fact, I suspect we’re not the only renewable energy investors tapping this one right now.

Take a look at the company’s chart in just the last few days…

Something’s definitely going on here . And we’re a part of it!