The clean technology and renewable energy sector appear to have regained momentum. With an estimated $7 Trillion in investments and 5 Million jobs estimated by 2020, this industry is back on investors’ radar screens.
During the most recent quarter (3Q 2009) the SeaCrest Global Clean Energy Index increased 12.5%. The index had substantial performance momentum among its top 27 companies, which had double digit positive returns.
Two of the top performers, Exide Technologies (XIDE:NASDAQ), up 113.7%, and Nalco (NLC:NYSE), up 21.7%, contributed 0.28% and 2.31%, respectively, to the overall performance of the index.
The SeaCrest Global Clean Energy Index, a market capitalization-weighted equity index, is principally composed of companies from the bio-energy, clean power, energy efficiency and storage, solar power, water management and wind power sectors. The Index is powered by SmartView, a platform owned by CRD Analytics that screens over 3,000 global corporations based on more than 100 metrics, ranking them on traditional fundamental and technical investment criteria as well as environmental, social and governance information.
About The Top Two Performers
Exide is a global leader in stored electrical-energy solutions for both transportation and industrial applications, placing the firm in the energy efficiency and storage sector, which saw performance jump 68.2% for the third quarter. Energy efficiency and storage falls under the $2.4 billion funding being awarded under the American Recover and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Exide was awarded $34.3 million of these funds for its proposal for the domestic manufacturing of affordable lead-acid batteries. The firm—known for its recycling of plastic, lead and other hazardous materials for use in new batteries—is one of the only companies in the world able to provide Total Battery Management in its own facilities.
The second top performer, Nalco, has three business segments: industrial and institutional services, energy services and paper services. The company’s products include technologies that reduce energy, water and other natural resource consumption, while at the same time enhancing air quality, minimizing environmental releases and improving productivity. These changes contribute to companies boosting their bottom lines and expanding their green and sustainable branding. Nalco's TRASAR cooling water units has saved global customers more than 238 million cubic meters of water per year. In 2008, Nalco won a United States Presidential Green Chemistry Award, given annually for “innovations in cleaner, cheaper, smarter chemistry,” for its design of the TRASAR system. Nalco also offers UNISOLV Water and Energy Audits, which identify ways to save money and resources by reducing water, energy and wastewater.
Government Plays Key Role In Growth
Increased U.S. government support for clean tech certainly has helped to heighten interest in this sector. On Oct. 27, President Obama announced the largest single electric grid modernization investment in U.S. history.
According to the Department of Energy, $3.4 billion in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act will be tapped to fund for 100 projects. These funds will be matched by $4.7 billion in private investments. The grants will range from $400,000 to $200 million, and will reach every state except Alaska. The projects will include investment in smart meters, energy management technologies, smart grid technologies to integrate renewable energy sources, and upgrades to the utility power grid. This will benefit the energy efficiency and storage, and clean power sectors immediately since within these sectors exist the production capabilities to handle the sharp increase in both private and public sector demand.
In general, these sectors also are less dependent on private equity financing and tax based project finance since they have a more broad and diverse set of global clients and partners. With the current climate bill in the Senate and the upcoming global talks at Copenhagen in December looming, clean technology and renewable energy will continue to be pushed to the forefront of the investor agenda.
For more information on SeaCrest Investment Management and the SeaCrest Global Clean Energy Index, visit www.seacrestim.com
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