Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Making money in renewable energy (FSLR; AMSC;ZOLT; VSE; CREE)

Experts say to stay away from solar, which saw a huge run up in 2007, and focus on wind, efficiency or the battered biofuels sector.

From CNN Money:

Despite the astronomical stock jumps in 2007, clean energy investors say 2008 will still be good for most stocks in emerging energy technology.

Driven by record oil prices that lifted the broader energy sector in general, and perhaps investor enthusiasm stoked by global warming fears - 2007 was a fantastic year to own renewable energy stocks.

The WilderHill clean energy index - an index of 48 larger U.S. stocks in the renewable energy sector - rose over 58 percent. That compared to an 8 percent gain in 2006 and an anemic 5 percent rise in 2005.

Solar was the big winner in 2007. Most solar stocks in the index rose over 100 percent. First Solar, a maker of thin-film solar panels half-owned by the estate of Wal-Mart founder Jim Walton, surged a staggering 795 percent last year alone. It's stock hit nearly $300 a share.

But after a big runup in solar stocks, experts say to look for wind and efficiency companies for market-leading performance in 2008, and perhaps a rebound for biofuels, which took a beating last year.

Here's what the experts say, sector by sector:...MORE