Saturday, February 24, 2007

alternative energy at a glance

SunPower (SPWR) has emerged as the strongest of the US companies, the "blue chip" if you will. The market will rally around it precisely because it will symbolize hope for the future of US economy. It's parent company, Cypress Semiconductor (CY) is slowly reaping benefits by association.

The Chinese factor: with the 2008 Olympics around the corner, China is trying very hard to not only show the world its economic power, but also that it is developing "green" technology. I say this is a good thing. If China and the US have a solar duel, it is good for both countries.

That being said, SunTech Power (STP) is their SPWR.

In both the US and China, upstarts are scrambling to become "the competition". Over here, it looks like First Solar (FSLR) is well-positioned, and in China, Trina (TSL) currently holds the number two spot.

Then there are numerous smaller companies that may or may not rise with the tide: Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar (ESLR), upstate New York-based DayStar Technologies (DSTI), Hawaii-based Hoku Scientific (HOKU), Chinese-based SolarFun (SOLF) and many, many others.

If wind energy is your thing, look into Zoltek (ZOLT). Also interesting is ENER, the Michigan-based company featured in "Who Killed the Electric Car" that both perfected batteries for EV's and hybrids AND develops solar systems.

Monday, February 19, 2007

mainstream media digests the fringe

So we've reached that point in human history where a Buzzcocks song ("Everybody's Happy Nowadays") is used for an AARP commercial.

This is the most significant development since an Iggy Pop song ("Lust for Life") was used for a cruise commercial.

There was once a time, many years ago, when the mere mention of Iggy Pop inspired trepidation in the bourgeoisie.

Given enough time, the mainstream media will always digest the fringe.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

two suggestions

Rather than continually attack the policies of George W. Bush, it would be more productive for critics to provide concrete suggestions for improving the mess that we as a nation currently find ourselves in. Here are two:

Now that the President recognizes the existence of global warming, he should lose no time in signing the Kyoto Protocol. Not that signing that imperfect treaty will solve the problem of global warming, but it will solve the problem of U.S. isolation on the issue. Once the whole world is on board -- U.S. and non-U.S. alike -- it will be easier to move forward and make progress on this very important issue.

Similarly, now that time has shown the President's claim about WMD's in Iraq to be mistaken, he should apologize publicly to Hans Blix, whose assessment time has proven to be correct.

These two actions will go a long way to improve the U.S.'s standing in the world.