Monday, July 23, 2007

Future Energy That Generates Profits Today

If you missed it the NYT had an article Saturday on one of the better actively managed alt-energy mutual funds.

...But for shareholders of a specialist mutual fund, it has been an easy way to generate smart returns. Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy has returned close to 40 percent so far this year, better than all conventional energy funds in the database of the research firm Morningstar.

...Mr. Guinness, whose firm also runs much larger portfolios focusing on traditional forms of energy, favors three segments of the renewable sector: wind, solar and geothermal. The business model for the last one resembles the oil industry a century ago: invest money upfront, stick a hole in the ground and bank the profits as the earth’s heat is transferred, usually through steam or superheated saltwater, to electricity generators.

The fund owns stocks of two companies that do this on an industrial scale, Ormat in the United States and Geodynamics in Australia. A third holding is W.F.I. Industries, a Canadian company that amounts to a geothermal boutique, supplying pumps and pipes that are buried in backyards to power individual homes.

From the New York Times