The Global Renewable Energy Index is crashing

This is interesting, after watching the collapse in the last two years of entities like the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), which ended trading with a bag of charcoal briquettes being worth more than a ton of carbon futures, we have some clear evidence that the promised “green technology revolution” is headed for the scrap heap of history.

Ironically, it might be related to Mann’s hockey stick.

More on that later. First, here’s a description from the RENIXX website of what it is:

The RENIXX® (Renewable Energy Industrial Index) World is the first global stock index, which comprises the performance of the world´s 30 largest companies of the renewable energy industry whose weighting in the index is based on the market capitalization (free float).

“Free floating”, has just become “free falling”:

Since 2008, the index has lost about 90% of its value. In the last month, the nosedive seems to be accelerating: 

Starting around May 10th, it seems the index has taken a steep drop, like an inverse hockey stick. Compare that to the graph they offer in their prospectus presentation:

The 2006 index got a boost, probably from from Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth, released on May 24, 2006. 2007 was a banner year, and 2008 held the high ground, but look what happened in late 2009, coinciding with Climategate. I’m not saying that Climategate was the sole cause of that crash, as correlation isn’t causation, but it is most interesting. They haven’t updated the prospectus because as Steve McIntyre points out in his latest post on Schmidt’s “Conspiracy Theory”:

In the mining exploration business, investors who trade mining stocks know that “late” results are almost never “good” results. The reason is human nature. In public stocks, you’re legally obligated to report results promptly, but there is some play in timing. If promoters have “bad” results in the first part of the program, there is a great temptation to delay the bad news in the hope that later results will bail out the program. The best and only way to deal with temptations to delay bad results is to establish an announcement schedule ahead of time and stick to it.

That probably explains why they have not updated their online prospectus brochure, hoping that later results will “bail out the program”. I think that ship has sailed.

I found it also amazing that in their prospectus, they use Michael Mann’s IPCC hockey stick as a reference graph:

It would seem to me that any organization that would use such bad science as a reference for investors is destined to fail, and here, it seems that betting on Mann’s hockey stick isn’t working out.

Maybe investors read WUWT and Climate Audit. I wonder if it is too soon to use this cartoon:

h/t to The Hockey Schtick, who points out the number of dead and dying green companies:

Filed Bankruptcy:

Solyndra
Beacon Power
Ener1
Range Fuels
Solar Trust of America
Spectrawatt
Evergreen Solar
Eastern Energy
Unisolar
Bright Automotive
Olson’s Crop Service
Energy Conversion Devices
Sovello
Siag
Solon
Q-Cells
Mountain Plaza

Teetering on the Brink:

Abound Solar
A123 Systems
Brightsource Energy
Fisker Automotive
First Solar
Nevada Geothermal
SunPower
Nordex
The Bard Group
Amonix
NRG Energy
Alterra Power
Enel Green Power
Sunpower Corp

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123 thoughts on “The Global Renewable Energy Index is crashing

  1. Just spent the last week starting an organisation in Scotland called the Scottish Climate and Energy Forum (scef.org.uk)

    Now I’m seriously worried! … is this going to be a bit like the US in WWII? Arrive at the battle just when the war is was almost over?

  2. I suspect it has more to do with this…..
    ..and Spain, Italy, France, etcetc

    May 16, 2012

    Greek banks may be nearing complete collapse

    Money Watch) There are indicators that the run on Greek banks is already over, leaving many institutions near complete collapse. Depositors have pulled out a record amount of money in the last 10 days and there are reports that the ECB is no longer willing to lend to either them or the Greek central bank, which is also in a precarious situation.

    Since May 6, depositors fearful over a Greek exit from the Euro have taken more than $6.42 billion out of the nation’s banks, with $898 million coming on Monday alone. May 6 was the day of the last round of Greek elections where anti-bailout parties received most of the votes cast. Monday was the deadline for Greece’s political parties to form a government. Their failure to do that means a new round of elections will be held on June 17.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57435327/greek-banks-may-be-nearing-complete-collapse/

  3. If enough people lose enough money, some of them are bound to take legal action. I have no idea if former VP Al Gore has anything to do with the RENIXX@ World Market trend, but he is prominent in the financial markets associated with Global Warming. My advice to big Al is to hire a law firm that has experience in defending civil lawsuits–either that, or declare bankruptcy.

  4. Too bad, Ross Perot ran as 3rd independent candidate for that election. Clinton would have not won and Al Gore would have not brought up CO2 scam…

  5. To push those slopes back to positive territory (if that’s what is desired) it looks like we need a nationwide RES. And per Sec Chu- “Money is at the root of all renewables. Once they were the high-priced alternative to coal and natural gas in terms of electricity generation. Since then they have come down about 80 percent in price during the last five years and are due to come down potentially another 50 percent by the end of the decade, they are closer to being at cost, Chu said.” http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/business/2012/05/doe-secretary-steven-chu-sees-arizona.html?ana=yfcpc

  6. Sadly, with our government being so eager to throw our money at any cause labeled “green”, it is the poor old taxpayer who will ultimately bear the brunt of these losses.

    Most of the private investors who would have deserved to lose their shirts had more sense than to invest in these follies.

  7. Lol, we’ll sit patiently waiting for apologies from the lunatics.

    When many of us stated that these toys won’t work in a real world environment we got called all sorts of nasty things. ……

  8. By my reading of the graph, it doesn’t even cover the Climategate period because it goes up through September 2009 and Climategate happened in November 2009.

  9. Re: Latitude
    Since 2008 share values have dropped by an average of 16 to 20%. RENIXX has dropped by 90% over the same time period so whilst a small part of it might be due to Greece, Spain, Italy etc. the vast majority of the free-fall can not blamed on the Euro.

  10. Scottish Sceptic says on May 17, 2012 at 9:00 am:

    Now I’m seriously worried! … is this going to be a bit like the US in WWII? Arrive at the battle just when the war is was almost over?

    One might be tempted to ask at this point – where it was you studied history?

    (Unless you meant that Germany had all but completely overrun Europe successfully …)

    .

  11. As an unfortunate aside, the bankrupcy of Government-sponsered firms like Solyndra is being used by politicians as an argument against continuing the attempts to create a private sector spaceflight capability (SpaceX, etc) with money from NASA.

    It would be the ultimate horrible irony if one of the denouements of the AGW policy nonsense was to end the hopes of spaceflight freeing itself from government-monopoly porkbarrel cost-plus-contract FAR-retarded agencies. But this seems to be the way things are going in Congress at the moment.

    PS: As a non-US taxpayer, my opinions are backed by sending over money to pro-space groups.

  12. Oh yes please – a massive civil lawsuit on Al Gore for the AGW lies [Inconvenient Truths!] he knew were lies and the money he made by telling those untruths.

  13. Is it too much to hope that Algore and a lot of his cronies kept most of their assets in these 30 “renewables” star companies???

    ok, it is too much to hope, as a lot of the “greens” probably invest in diverse portfolios including lots of oil and gas stocks etc.

    I know an avid green who always touts Algore’s line, and when I asked her how should could be invested in such evilll companies as Exxon etc. she just smiled and said “I have to do my best for my family.” Yes, and all of us should do better by our families by ending the run of green lunacies in politics and economics.

  14. Scottish skeptic has it wrong. America may have done a last little bit of mopping up after the Scots and the Brits stopped bickering long enough to defeat the Nazis, but now that the Scots are on the climate scene, I sense that the big victories are still to come. Welcome to the fight Scottish Climate and Energy Forum!

  15. Scottish Sceptic wrote:

    Now I’m seriously worried! … is this going to be a bit like the US in WWII? Arrive at the battle just when the war is was almost over?

    Excuse me, but if you look at history other than what Mountbatten might have written, WWI and WWII turned out the way they did because the Americans came in with their almost unlimited industrial power and and massive military presence just as Britain and Russia were being drained to nothing. And prior to WWII, the “lease-lend” of American ships to Britain was crucial to Britain’s initial survival, much to Germany’s anger.

    I’m a Brit myself, son of a WWII naval CPO. I’ve heard the same from my relatives. The facts are as inconvenient as Gore’s.

  16. Well being that this green bull[snip ;-)] is based on handouts it’s no wonder the stock dive when the world has real problems to solve, like it has now.

  17. The BBC must have some very sad pension holders. They have been lead right up the Global Warming garden path. All their hard over support for the CAGW myth must raise some internal questions by some very angry employees.

  18. Here is a review of PV power installation in the EU:http://www.solardaily.com/reports/European_Union_PV_market_largest_worldwide_999.html

    There is a link to a larger report at the bottom.

    Customers are benefiting from the unexpected rapid declines in production costs. Owners of the more expensive means of production are taking a bath, as the saying goes. Current buyers (of shares, that is) now are figuring future profit margins to be lower than past buyers of shares anticipated.

    So you have something not unheard of in other markets at other times: a weighted average of share prices is falling as actual production costs are falling and actual production is increasing. How low will production costs go? We debated that before.

  19. Scottish Sceptic says:
    May 17, 2012 at 9:00 am
    “… is this going to be a bit like the US in WWII? Arrive at the battle just when the war is was almost over?”

    If we’re lucky!

    Lived in the U.K. from 1986-88 and returned many times there after. I’ve heard this before and would tell you I have found the Americans that were not late, They are here in Cambridgeshire at the American cemetery.

  20. Horizontal is date, vertical is chocolate buttons? /sarc

    Luckily I have invested all my money in my waist line the last few years, it’s gone up 2″ in 2 years.

  21. TerryS says:
    May 17, 2012 at 9:33 am
    ============================
    You mean like speculators with oil and gas, etc

  22. _Jim says:
    May 17, 2012 at 9:33 am

    He studied in modern times. That kind of revisionist history is taught all over the world nowadays in all subjects. It is what has allowed the whole Gore-bull warming scam to come into existence in the first place and allows them to constantly change the name (from AGW to Climate Change to Climate Disruption to whatever is next). It’s sad, but he (and many others around the world) probably believes his statement about the US involvement in WWII to be true the same way they believe AGW is real. Or, more hopefully, he just forgot to add “/sarc off” at the end of his comment.

  23. Ouch.

    I mean, really…ouch.

    I’ll be in the UK in July and plan to discretely try ask about to see what the average Brit (or Scot!) thinks about all of this. It’ll be fun, a little informal survey of the common folk. It’ll be at least as valid as some of the climate “science” coming out, right?

  24. You can add Electronic Materials, Inc. NYSE:WFR to the teetering list.
    They’re circling the drain, down another 20% today. They own Sun Edison and make every component for solar farms. They may have some other silicon business, but I think the solar parts are what is bringing them down.

  25. This is an industry and an index that is 100% dependent on government subsidies for its survival. Since governments around the world are cutting back on stupid, wasteful pet projects, the first area to feel the pinch was bound to be so-called ‘Green Energy’ (‘Subsidised Energy’). How much money do you think Greece or Spain can put into renewables today?

    This crash was 100% predictable to anyone in the real rational world – while the Greenie-fantasists continue to believe that the Emperor is still wearing clothes.

    .

  26. Looking out across the investment and policy wasteland we can blame German subsidy gyration that could and would have lowered subsidies in a more orderly fashion alongside tech and efficiency gains. The Germans are the root cause of this with plans to shot down nuclear and solar in tandem while propping up the Greeks so they can retire early and pretend they can have all the benefits as long as someone else pays for them. So end the end it was socialists that killed renewable energy as part of their mile long list of stupid, unsustainable notions. BTW, I hear Al Gore is available as the new Greek leader.

  27. I am certainly glad I didn’t take the advice of my former broker and become involved in this sector. My portfolio includes coal, oil, and natural gas through Canadian stocks (dividends and MLPs).
    But I am diversified across the board in “tangibles” and hard commodities.
    On a different note, perhaps what Scottish Sceptic meant was “in the nick of time”.

  28. and 2008 held the high ground, but look what happened in late 2009, coinciding with Climategate

    Well, Christmas 2007 held the high ground, a drop in Jan 2008, and the crash in 2008 Q4, a year before Climategate. We don’t see late 2009.

  29. Resourceguy says:
    May 17, 2012 at 10:04 am
    “So end the end it was socialists that killed renewable energy as part of their mile long list of stupid, unsustainable notions.”

    It was socialism that gave birth to it – Schröder’s red-green government in 1999; creating the mother of all Feed In Tariff laws.

  30. It’s sort of like natural selection in action. “Green” companies just can’t survive in the real world.

  31. The 2006 index got a boost, probably from from Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth, released on May 24, 2006. 2007 was a banner year, and 2008 held the high ground, but look what happened in late 2009, coinciding with Climategate.

    The title of the graph seems to indicate that September 2009 is the end, so I take the 2009 vertical line to indicate January 2009 and the big plummet to be in second half 2008, coinciding with worldwide market plunges rather than climategate. Not that that makes any difference for the companies selling unicorn dust or whatever they’re pushing.

  32. @Scottish Skeptic: is this going to be a bit like the US in WWII? Arrive at the battle just when the war is was almost over?

    Yes, it probably is like WWII. But adjust your clock. Churchill said in Nov. 1942.
    “Now this is not the End. It is not even the beginning of the End.
    But it is, perhaps, the end of the Beginning.”

  33. I’m from Kansas and;
    Wicked Witch of the West: You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! melting! Oh, what a world! What a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness? Oooooh, look out! I’m going! Oooooh! Ooooooh!

  34. This is very unfortunate – since it is always good to have cost effective “non-polluting” energy supply, whether or not AGW is true. But the problem was not the motivation, it was partly economics and partly science. For example, when Chinese companies can dump the toxic byproduct silicon tetrachloride in the ground, when in the West it has to be recycled (justifiably so) at a much higher cost, thus making the Western solar cell industry non-competitive. If we can find a new cost effective way of treating/handling SiCl4, then it would be different. The government has invested too much money too fast before the technology was even ready, and as a result it got a bad name. But there are many exceptions, Bloom energy is doing very well, for example. Hopefully the ITER will perfect the fusion reactor in not too distant future. But I find the situation as an unfortunate one – this is no a victory for anyone.

  35. This could be where it finally ends. When people start watching their hard earned money going down the trash shoot, they start paying attention.

  36. So long as green energy is driven by politics instead of technology and market forces, it will continue to be an economic dead weight as flawed, untested or unready technologies are rushed out the door. The inevitable is never surprising to those who are paying attention.

  37. _Jim says:
    May 17, 2012 at 9:33 am
    (Unless you meant that Germany had all but completely overrun Europe successfully …)
    ===================================================================
    I am going to give the Scot the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant WWI (in which case he would be correct.

  38. Scottish Sceptic says:
    May 17, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I’ll give you the Battle of Britain, but that victory was made possible in part due to Hitler’s limited understanding of military strategy. It is absolutely true if your heroic RAF pilots had not persisted in the face of terrible losses, the battle would have been lost. At the same time, if it were not for Lend-Lease, you’d be speaking German now. We lost many heroic merchant marine sailors keeping your people armed.

    http://www.usmm.org/casualty.html

    Furthermore, our supplies kept the Russians in the battle. If Guderian’s operation Barbarossa had been successful (http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/heinz_guderian.htm) the Russians would not have drawn the huge mass of the German Wehrmacht East, and Western Europe never would have been retaken.

    The US 8th Air Force, for example, lost thousands of men and aircraft in daylight bombing raids, easy to spot by AA gunners and enemy fighters. The RAF flew at night, and were heroes as well.

    http://www.taphilo.com/history/8thaf/8aflosses.shtml

    http://www.angelfire.com/ct/ww2europe/stats.html

    The US fought the bulk of the Pacific War. Without our sacrifices, Aussies and Kiwis would have been enslaved by the Emperor of Japan.

    There are more troubles in this world just waiting for a chance to do us harm. It is far far better that we work together to oppose them, even if we have the occasional disagreement.

    D. King says:
    May 17, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Thank you.

  39. Latitude: You might be right about some of the drop being atrtributable to the Greek situation. However, considering that no other singe GROUP of related stocks has taken a similar hit, I suspect it is more than just greece, et.al Euro-Zoners

  40. DirkH

    Thanks for the link! The quote attributed to Peter Heller is notable:

    “However, having no technical understanding is a disadvantage when political intentions get poured into legislation without taking physical science and laws into consideration. “

  41. Please note the heading on that hockey graph; not a global phenomenon at all; just a local northern hemisphere anomaly.

  42. Green companies can’t survive in the real world, governments can’t anymore and taxpayers won’t waste money forever, failed predictions cannot be hidden and fear-mongering not upheld for a long time, so it’s the stupid economy now that kicks in, finally.
    Slowly returning to reality and common sense after billions have been wasted and people have even died. Now some alarmists will face the end of a comfortable career, or worse. Can’t wait to see this happen.

  43. To the Scotish Sceptic: I find your comment about the timing of the USA’s entry into the second world war to be insulting to the vast amount of dead and injured and those who fought and lived through the carnage of pulling europes’ hopes out of the fires of defeat. You, in my humbel opinion, have expressed a despicable statement and should be treated with contempt.

  44. Well at the just concluded Las Vegas LightFair International, one of the strangest exhibits, was an LED “Downlight” to sit on top of a pole, in your parking lot, car dealership, or wherever. It came with a built in umbrella to protect it from the rain, sun, cats and dogs, or falling frogs. The umbrella served double duty, since it was a silicon solar cell panel.

    What’s Up With This picture ?

  45. I think you may be misreading the chart a bit. The runup from 2005 is due in all likelihood to the 2005 Energy Bill, which had some pretty heavy-duty renewable subsidies in it, I think. The crash comes in the fourth quarter of 2008, not 2009, which coincides with the financial meltdown.

  46. This is what happens when political agendas collide with market realities; a green train wreck.

    Markets are perfectly suited and capable of determining the type and timing of energy development and implementation.

    Government subsidies, loan guarantees, tax incentives, alternative energy projects, etc., merely cause distortions and malivestments in the market and wastes and misallocates limited land, labor and capital and taxpayers foot the bill for these mistakes in: higher taxes, higher energy costs, higher national bebt and rolling brownouts….

    Governments are necessary evils, as Thomas Jefferson once said.

  47. This time, a REAL Hockey Stick…. just that it’s financial, and it’s going down instead of up.
    This one IS actually driven by CO2,,,, the fear of.

    Wouldn’t it have been a lot cheaper, and just as effective to sacrifice a few virgins?

  48. This is the real reason why Stevie Zwick is desirous of taking out retribution on ‘deniers’ upto and including torching their houses. This climate economy BS is (or was) his baby.

  49. If you want to see why this index is crashing look no further than First Solar, which is significantly weighted in this assemblage of turkeys. From a high of $317 a share in 2008 to today’s price of $13.75 you took a real bath if you stayed around thinking it would come back (and I’m sure many did – like pension funds, hedge funds and mutual funds). I’d say “Look out below” but zero really isn’t too far off from here.

  50. Is there any bubble that’s not popping or that’ll pop at the end of the year? And no matters about who is elected.

    I’m almost entirely out of everything

  51. Can all the American’s stop getting so wound up by Scottish Sceptics comments.
    Complaining about you guys turning up late is like calling you Septics (Yanks -> Septic Tanks), ie leg pulling good natured ‘banter’.

    Britain wouldn’t have won the war without American involvement, and couldn’t have survived without Lend-Lease. You could have given us better rates though, we only managed the final payment in 2006…..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lend-Lease#Repayment

  52. Nial says:
    Britain wouldn’t have won the war without American involvement, and couldn’t have survived without Lend-Lease. You could have given us better rates though, we only managed the final payment in 2006…..

    You are correct good sir. But look at the size of the loan. A billion dollars! To fight a World War.

    Today that be be sufficient to fund two Solyndra’s.

    That is NOT funny!

  53. @Scottish Skeptic: is this going to be a bit like the US in WWII? Arrive at the battle just when the war is was almost over?
    ———————————————————————————————————————————–

    http://dailybayonet.com/2012/01/global-warming-weekly-round-up-jan-26th-2012/

    “Apparently, WWIV has already started. I’m not sure what happened in WWIII, though based on form, its a safe bet the French surrendered, Italy changed its mind and America showed up late and got all the girls.”

    Link to get context of the above snark

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/big-oils-civilization-ending-pollution-push-2012-01-24?link=MW_home_latest_news

    I miss the bayonet……come back soon.

  54. It would be a nice touch if Al Gore were to lose a huge chunk of that $100 million+ that he made via carbon trading schemes.

  55. DJ says:
    May 17, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Wouldn’t it have been a lot cheaper, and just as effective to sacrifice a few virgins?
    _______________________
    They thought of that, but there weren’t enough virgins to go around.

  56. I’m a Scot and a skeptic.

    12 years before I was born, an uncle of mine went down with convoy escort HMS Curacoa

    October 2 1942. 10,000 Amercan troops aboard RMS Queen Mary.

  57. Scottish Sceptic

    Great Britain’s disaster at Dunkirk in May 1940 and the immediate fall of France was followed by the fall of Singapore in February 1942 in only seven days, resulting in the the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history. By then the United States was fully engaged in two wars. Just a few months after Britain’s ignominious defeat at Singapore, the United States created the turning point in the Pacific theater of operations by inflicting a massive defeat of Japan’s naval finest in the Battle of Midway. Military historian John Keegan has called it “the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare.”

    I was stationed at RAF Bentwaters and Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK, in the US Air Force 81st Tactical Fighter Wing, from 1970 to 1975. Our British neighbors and co-workers were the finest people its has been my pleasure to be among. The signs of war and US involvement were all over the Suffolk countryside. During World War II Suffolk was carpeted with bomber and fighter bases, and I found artifacts such as pieces of flak jackets and spent cartridges in the forests near the bases. None of the good people of Suffolk who experienced the war thought the United States had come on the scene when the flighting was almost over.

    I visited the American Memorial Cemetery at Cambridge, with about 4,000 Yanks buried there, plus a record of an additional over 5,000 missing in action. Unfortunately, there are about 20 other very large American cemeteries in Europe.

    I had heard that the once fine British education system had deteriorated significantly since I left in 1975. Apparently you are proof positive of that decline. With such ignorance of history, it’s no wonder Scots are such fools over wind power.

  58. @ Shevva says:
    May 17, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Horizontal is date, vertical is chocolate buttons? /sarc

    Luckily I have invested all my money in my waist line the last few years, it’s gone up 2″ in 2 years.
    **********************************************************************************
    I’d suggest diversifying into guns and ammo, given the recent news out of the Middle East and other parts of the world. Including California, Vermont and some other states.

  59. As ever the smart boys got in made a ton of cash then got out , and stuff the planet .
    Sadly St Gore was probable amongst them

  60. Skiphil says: May 17, 2012 at 9:36 am
    “Is it too much to hope that Algore and a lot of his cronies kept most of their assets in these 30 “renewables” star companies???”

    Looked it up for you at the SEC, via Edgar:

    http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1375534/000117266112000509/0001172661-12-000509.txt

    Generation Investment Management holdings report, per 3-31-2012:
    FIRST SOLAR INC 28 mln dollars

    Total fundsize is 3 billon dollars… It probably won’t hurt.

  61. Renewable energy such as solar or wind is ineffective on any scale. It can only be done as a vanity project, which requires wealth. On a sufficient scale that wealth will disappear. AGW plus renewables is, whether intentional or not, anti-industrial. Given the lack of credible science supporting AGW then any politician backing renewables is an anti-industrialist.

    The best example is Germany which has spent 100 billion Euros on solar, with annual subsidies of 7 billion Euros a year. This provides only 0.3% of Germany’s power requirements, but on short overcast Winter days it is more like 0.0%. Solar is a vanity project aimed more at the middle classes to put a few panels on their roofs and feel smug about ‘saving the planet’.

    Germany’s renewable energy is mostly wind, whose variability is already threatening to destabilise the power grid. To replace the phasing out of nuclear reactors over the next 8 years Germany plans to add another 20% of national energy requirements using renewable energy, pretty much guaranteeing blackouts and damage to the infrastructure of the grid. Not an environment for industry….or business…or people. It will be interesting to see if Germany manages to destroy its’ industrial base over the next few years. It certainly looks probable at the moment.

    Renewables have been most successful in Europe where it has been a major factor in the near bankruptcy of most governments. As this turns in to actual bankruptcies the main market for renewables will disappear so I am not surprised this index is tanking.

    Markets elsewhere are looking poor. China has given up any pretense of expanding solar or wind and is concentrating on things that work. Canada seems to be opting out but Australia is intent on following Europe’s shining example.

    The Obama administration would like to follow the European model, but frakking changes everything. For natural gas Europe pays around 16 dollars per million BTU, but in America it is down to 2 dollars.

    In a single oil shale formation in the US it is estimated that the recoverable oil is equivalent to more than the proven oil reserves on the rest of the planet!

    Renewables are dependent on the idea of peak oil and subsequent scarcity causing escalating prices. Frakking not only removes that support but digs a hole in the ground for renewables! Vanity projects using renewables may persist but will die out either through lack of money or plentiful, cheap natural gas and oil.

  62. anticlimactic says:
    May 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm
    “It will be interesting to see if Germany manages to destroy its’ industrial base over the next few years. It certainly looks probable at the moment. ”

    Watch Merkel do the U-turn after the U-turn. She stops on a dime. Röttgen’s fired. This practically begs for a Downfall parody.

  63. Anticlimatic —“In a single oil shale formation in the US it is estimated that the recoverable oil is equivalent to more than the proven oil reserves on the rest of the planet! ”
    I’m not doubting your word , but could you please elaborate on this comment or link to more information. I’d be very interested in learning more.

  64. Matthew R Marler said @ May 17, 2012 at 9:44 am

    We debated that before.

    And I almost believed you when the quote I received for solar PV indicated a time to payback of 7 years. The vendor has still not got back to me about how come their quote was based on the panels outputting 138% of their maximum under ideal, cloudless conditions.

  65. To those Americans who objected to the Scottish Sceptics pig ignorant comments I am with you.

    I was a child in the UK and remember well what the USA did for Britain and the allies, and I also object to Scottish Sceptics offensiveness.

    It might help him if he read the history cited and then visited that piece of England that is USA territory just outside Cambridge. Its a War Memorial where many brave USA lads are now buried.

    We should never forget.

    Adelaide
    Australia

    PS The same goes for the war in the Pacific. But then it goes without saying that Australians are universally very grateful.

  66. I too find Scottish Sceptics comments at best uninformed and at worst down right insulting.

    One of my uncles was shot down 5/19/1944 in a B-17G 730th BS, 452d BG on a bombing mission over Berlin flying out of Deopham Green England. He survived the experience and spent the remainder of the war in POW camp. Without listing a dozen others, almost every adult I knew growing up was directly touched by WWII and many of them paid for the experience for the rest of their lives. Many of them then answered the call again a few years later in Korea.

    It was not cheap or easy and a lot of people paid dearly to help Europe get through the war.
    In the early phase of bombing by the 8th Air Force (1942-43) only 1 in 5 of the air crew completed their full tour of duty.

    Larry

  67. The Pompous Git: The vendor has still not got back to me about how come their quote was based on the panels outputting 138% of their maximum under ideal, cloudless conditions.

    I priced a system the other day at a fair near my house. The installed cost of a 2kw system is now $12,000 (before deducting the credits.) Over a 30 year lifetime, that works out to about $0.10/kwh, depending of course on how well it works during that time (or $0.07/kwh if I take the 30% credit.) I seldom use 2kw, so I would never pay back the cost of the system out of my “savings”. It might work out differently if I owned a strip mall, where I could sell the customers reduced rate electricity in the daytime, and cut their SDG&E bills.

  68. Details still to be provided. But this glorified Hockey Stick looks all the world like a Monte Carlo model analysis with 3000 realizations. Set up the model with ranges of your parameters and turn the handle 3000 times. But it doesn’t mean it is correct if the model is assumed to have CO2 as the primary driving mechanism.

    Same old invalid assumptions and manipulated data. Just in time to support the Ozzie government carbon tax next month.

    In summary (an apologies for any I might offend but it cannot be said any other way) just old fashion mathematical masturbation.

  69. Scottish Sceptic says:
    May 17, 2012 at 9:00 am

    “… is this going to be a bit like the US in WWII? Arrive at the battle just when the war is was almost over?”

    Americans’ reluctance to enter WW2 was due to their correct feeling that France and Britain had brought it on themselves by over-riding Wilson at Versailles and imposing a victor’s peace.

  70. @Frank K. mathematical mast….
    Oh, I beg to differ. When it is done via press release and for money, other less polite words are far more appropriate.

  71. cui bono says:
    May 17, 2012 at 9:35 am

    As an unfortunate aside, the bankrupcy of Government-sponsered firms like Solyndra is being used by politicians as an argument against continuing the attempts to create a private sector spaceflight capability (SpaceX, etc) with money from NASA.

    The difference between both Tesla and SpaceX (and, for that matter, SolarCity) and the losers Obama has been pouring funds into is owner Elon Musk. Brilliant, detail-oriented, hyper-workaholic, and a very devil on cost-control (with specialization in vertical integration, making stuff in-house), he has out-performed both competition and parallel government efforts by factors of 2 – 10.

    Keep your eyes on his prizes. It’s going to be quite a ride.

  72. Matthew R Marler says:
    May 17, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Here is a review of PV power installation in the EU:http://www.solardaily.com/reports/European_Union_PV_market_largest_worldwide_999.html

    There is a link to a larger report at the bottom.

    Customers are benefiting from the unexpected rapid declines in production costs. Owners of the more expensive means of production are taking a bath, as the saying goes. Current buyers (of shares, that is) now are figuring future profit margins to be lower than past buyers of shares anticipated.

    So you have something not unheard of in other markets at other times: a weighted average of share prices is falling as actual production costs are falling and actual production is increasing. How low will production costs go? We debated that before.

    This is a bit of prestidigitation commonly used by renewafools. For solar and wind, especially, production costs could fall to zero and they STILL would be too expensive to use. Dilute and variable and remote power sources are the devil for power grids. Fuggedaboudit.

  73. Matthew R Marler says:
    May 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm
    “I priced a system the other day at a fair near my house. The installed cost of a 2kw system is now $12,000 (before deducting the credits.) Over a 30 year lifetime, that works out to about $0.10/kwh”

    Under an interest rate of 0% that means you produce 120,000 kWh in 30 years or 4,000 kWh per year with a 2 kWpeak system, this means that you assume 2,000 sun hours per year.

    Ok – well, zero capital cost, don’t you think that’s ridiculous? But ignoring that, where do we find 2,000 sun hours per year. That’s 5.47 sunhours per day.
    Ok, it works in the Southwest of the US and in the Sahara:

    http://solarjourneyusa.com/solarvsgas.php

    BTW, the map shows very beautifully how ESPECIALLY unsuited Germany of all places is for solar. Even for its latitude it is an extremely unsunny place…

  74. I know “Scottish Skeptic” had his tongue firmly in cheek and intended that crack only as a slightly humorous little gibe. Some people sure went overboard reacting to it. That’s the problem with using irony, sarcasm, or other devices where the intended meaning is skewed from the literal meaning: Some chowderheads always take it serious. Oh well.

    For the record: My father-in-law flew B-17’s off the world’s largest slowest aircraft carrier. My father spent the same period of time sitting on a Cat D-7 on a succession of Pacific islands trying to fill in bomb craters in runways faster than they got blown open. And I have a son who thought he looked good in marine dress blues and didn’t make it to 30.

  75. Rob G. says:
    May 17, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Hopefully the ITER will perfect the fusion reactor in not too distant future. But I find the situation as an unfortunate one – this is no a victory for anyone.

    Forget ITER. A multinational century-long jobs program. Far better results at fractions of 1% of the cost: LPPhysics.com . NO government funding (a blessing in disguise).

  76. James Ard says:
    May 17, 2012 at 10:35 am

    This could be where it finally ends. When people start watching their hard earned money going down the trash shoot [chute], they start paying attention.

    Only now is it obvious enough that public and investors are able to perceive it. It’s been pyramided and covered and fiddled previously, so they kept hoping it would work.

    But the Invisible Hand puts on brass knucks when necessary. You don’t want to be on the receiving end of one of those uppercuts!

  77. Scottish Sceptic says:
    May 17, 2012 at 9:00 am
    Just spent the last week starting an organisation in Scotland called the Scottish Climate and Energy Forum (scef.org.uk)

    Now I’m seriously worried! … is this going to be a bit like the US in WWII? Arrive at the battle just when the war is was almost over?

    I’m with those who have suggested that Scottish Sceptic meant to type WWI rather than WWII. Let’s cut him some slack and give him a chance to respond. One lousy typo shouldn’t be construed as an insult.

  78. I know that the Solyndra loan was set up so that the creditors got their money before the taxpayers did. The California Democratic Committee was listed as a creditor. So they got taxpayer money and the taxpayers didn’t. How or why a state political party of either side would be a “creditor” of such a venture I’ve never heard anyone explain. Was a political party a “creditor” of any of these other companies? Did stimulus money go into stimulating them?

    @Scottish Skeptic
    I don’t know how you meant that statement but, we were Allies then, we’re Allies now. I’m glad you were there to stem the tide. Be glad we were there to help stop it.
    PS 1 uncle 82nd Airborn, 1 uncle artillary in Indochina (rumors he was OSS), Dad Army medical corp in Philippines in ’46 (the A-Bomb meant the war was over before he saw active duty), my Mom’s uncle was one of Patton’s translators, a friend of Dad’s and my optomotrist when I was a kid survived the Battaan Death March, I worked closely with a man that survived Dachau (He was an Italian POW) … “We”, meaning our nations and families and friends, were all in it together.
    I hope what you said didn’t communicate what you really meant.
    Either way, we’re all in it together now.

  79. Ill Tempered Klavier says:
    May 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm
    I know “Scottish Skeptic” had his tongue firmly in cheek and intended that crack only as a slightly humorous little gibe. Some people sure went overboard reacting to it. That’s the problem with using irony, sarcasm, or other devices where the intended meaning is skewed from the literal meaning: Some chowderheads always take it serious. Oh well.

    For the record: My father-in-law flew B-17′s off the world’s largest slowest aircraft carrier. My father spent the same period of time sitting on a Cat D-7 on a succession of Pacific islands trying to fill in bomb craters in runways faster than they got blown open. And I have a son who thought he looked good in marine dress blues and didn’t make it to 30.
    ============================================================
    Figures of speech can be tricky. B-17’s off an aircraft carrier!? Of course you meant England in WW2.
    I re-read Scottish Skeptic’s comment after seeing your (and making mine). He meant to be taking a crack at himself for being late starting his own group in the UK. I guess he just hit a nerve he wasn’t aiming for to begin with. But, as I said at end of my comment, “Either way, we’re all in it together now.”
    If I understood what you said, I’m at the same time sorry and thankful for your son.

  80. The fall continued in the last three years. Chart of 1/2008 to today for First Solar FSLR and several “alternative energy” exchange traded funds ETFs: GEX, KWT, ICLN, TAN.

    It shows a consistent upper left to lower right pattern. While the rest of the market recovered from the crash in 2008, these guys kept on going down.

    BTW, I agree with the guy who said we’re rolled over headed down right now. Probably not a full on crash, but down for a ‘correction’ at least. (Usually 10-20% in a ‘correction’ – could be more).

  81. >>>Hoser says: May 17, 2012 at 10:54 am
    >>>At the same time, if it were not for Lend-Lease, you’d be speaking German now.

    I would rather be speaking German than Urdu.

    .

  82. Al Gore seems to be rather quiet at the moment. Is it possible that he is terrified that his scams, that have led tens of thousands of investors to invest millions of private and commercial dollars in ‘green’ companies based on his bogus advice, are now being seen for what they are? The chickens are coming home to roost I fear and he can’t feel too happy at the smell they are making. Let us hope that he had faith in his own advocasy (which I doubt) and put his money where his mouth is. My guess is that he is too shrewed an operator to invest any of his considerable wealth in such straw based companies.He is far more likely to have made $millions from them.

  83. Enough surely by now of the victims squabbling over who was most injured..

    Get back to the cause for a common enemy to unite you – these wars were created by the bwanking cartel.

    A snippet from the real history:

    http://bigeye.com/bankers_make_war.htm

    “By digging into the treaty leak in New York, the Committee shed light on an attempt to end the sovereignty of at least fifteen nations: America through political disenfranchisement and those in Europe through economic dictatorship. The reader can judge for themselves how far this plan came to fruition.”

  84. You Americans were a little bit late for WW11 but thank god you came and any Brit with half a brain still thanks you from the bottom of our hearts for the sacrifices you made. The fact you stole our women still makes us a little bit grumpy!

    “Overpaid, oversexed and over here” was the saying at the time I believe.
    Respect!

  85. As several posters have pointed out, the big fall occurred a year before Climategate, and it actually coincides with the banking crisis. It would be interesting to plot as a ratio compared with, say, the S&P. Compared to the broader market, this fantasy green market will still show a dramatic fall.
    .
    There’s an amusing piece in today’s printed Daily Telegraph. A council erected two wind turbines on the roof of one of their buildings, partly in order to inform the people about renewables. Unfortunately they generated just £2000 worth of electricity in one year, while costing around £6000 in repair and maintenance costs in the same period. They are now going to be removed.
    As the editorial pointed out, this was a perfect public information exercise on the ‘benefits’ of renewables.
    Chris

  86. Re:

    “Overpaid, oversexed and over here” was the saying at the time I believe.

    Now just “overweight”.

  87. WRT my “overweight” comment above, this is probably unfair. My Dad was a pilot instructor during WWII, and he and his contemeporaries deserve respect for what they did. After the war he was a successful teacher and school administrator. But as retirement neared, the banes of a prosperous nation … t.v., soda pop, bad eating habits … all these things took a toll. Actually, my generation behaves worse than they did.

  88. As late as last year, Yahoo was promoting these companies. In April, 2011, they published a compilation of alternative energy exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which they call
    The Top 10 Exchange Traded Funds for Investing in Alternative Energy Here’s their pitch.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Alternative-Energy-ETFs-The-wscheats-1447372332.html?x=0&.v=1

    Unless you’re an agoraphobic shut-in, you’ve probably noticed that gas prices have skyrocketed in the last few months. Alternative energy stocks are gaining in response to increasing oil prices as people look for cheaper fuel sources. We’ve identified some major exchange traded funds in alternative energy for you to keep watch closely whenever the next major energy news hits the market… (Yahoo Finance Article, Friday, May 6, 2011)

    Your Cheat Sheet to Alternative Energy Exchange Traded Funds and Notes

    1) PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy (NYSE:PBW)
    2) First Trust Global Wind Energy (NYSE:FAN
    3) First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge (NASDAQ:GRID)
    4) PowerShares Global Wind Energy PortfoETF (NASDAQ:PWND
    5) Claymore/MAC Global Solar Index (NYSE:TAN

    I checked the value of these stocks a few weeks ago. At that time, an investor who had created a portfolio of these alternative energy stocks when Obama took office in 2008 would have lost around 72% of his investment by now. Here is a sample portfolio with one hundred shares of each of the five top recommendations from the 2011 Yahoo article. I’ll show the values of each stock: 1) at the date of stock’s inception 2) In May, 2011 (date of recommendation by Yahoo); 3) April, 2012:

    STOCK @ Inception May 2011 April 2012
    PBW $1,997 $964 $504
    FAN $2,900 $1,100 $715
    GRID $2,933 $3,360 $2,685
    PWND $2,324 $1,046 $637
    TAN $26,584 $8,100 $2,214
    TTL $36,734 $14,570 $6,755

    The investor would have 18% of his original equity investment remaining. His loss would be 72%.

    • you’ve probably noticed that gas prices have skyrocketed in the last few months
      gasoline has gone up, but natural gas has gone through the floor. The price of coal isn’t doing too well either, but that is due to government (EPA) constraining demand for coal-fired electricity.

  89. And how does the Solar Industry feel about the Anti-Dumping (PV) Decision-

    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/solar-industry-reacton-to-the-anti-dumping-decision/

    …………”Tom Gutierrez, CEO of GT Advanced Technologies, with another 500 solar jobs in the United States, stated, “Today’s Department of Commerce decision subsidizes a German-owned company to the tune of an average 31% tax on its competitors and potentially harms U.S.-headquartered companies like GT Advanced Technologies, Dow Chemical, REC Silicon and MEMC. Ultimately, protectionism fosters dependence and high-cost business models, rather than the innovation and agile approaches required for companies to succeed in the global marketplace. Now is the time for the U.S. solar industry to move forward with the development of advanced technologies that create jobs and enhance our energy security—in spite of this new barrier. American solar manufacturing can compete without special protections.”………..

  90. DirkH: Ok, it works in the Southwest of the US

    That’s where I live, so that’s where my figures apply. For the time being I ignore capital costs. If, as I anticipate, the cost gets down to $0.05/kwh, then I’ll start including capital costs.

  91. DirkH: Ok – well, zero capital cost, don’t you think that’s ridiculous?

    As I wrote, I’ll come back to that at some time. But meanwhile, does everybody here think that the cost of electricity from natural gas will not increase in the upcoming 30 years? My bet is that the cost of natural gas, and hence of electricity from it, will rise as the US starts exporting more LNG. If you are thinking of installing an electricity power supply now, you have to make some guess about the cost of natural gas in the upcoming 30 years. If you think it will increase, then the capital cost of solar is probably not the determining factor in the decision. And some people think that the uncertainty is worth some cost to avoid.

  92. In the 1990’s they told me to invest in tech stocks, and I got wiped out.

    In the 2000’s they told me to invest in financial stocks, and I got wiped out.

    In the 2010’s they told to invest in green energy stocks…

    I’m starting to suspect these financial advisers don’t have my interests at heart.

  93. In the Netherlands the production cost of electricity using solar panels is approx 0.12 €/kWh (and becoming cheaper every year) and you can sell it to the grid at € 0.22/kWh. Yoy are really crazy if you don’t install solar panels. Therefore I really don’t understand the very negative attitude here at WUWT.

    • the sun does not shine when you need it. Like at the end of Corrie
      only ever half time hand much less in the Netherlands.
      The only reason to install solar panels is the subsidy unless you are warming water that you store

  94. Marinus says:
    May 19, 2012 at 10:50 am

    In the Netherlands the production cost of electricity using solar panels is approx 0.12 €/kWh (and becoming cheaper every year) and you can sell it to the grid at € 0.22/kWh. Yoy are really crazy if you don’t install solar panels. Therefore I really don’t understand the very negative attitude here at WUWT.

    So you rip off your fellow rate- and tax-payers for € 0.10 for every kWh you produce. Nice!

    So the more like you there are, the poorer the country gets. And you’re proud of it!

  95. € 0.10/kWh corresponds with a maximum of approx. € 350 per year per house. When you buy an averaged price house your tax benefit is at least € 5000 per year. That will probably make Holland one of the poorest nations in the world :-).
    It will only take a few years to make PV power competitive with fossil fuel based electricity in the Netherlands. It is already competitive in the Mediterranean, unless the EU will impose import tariffs on cheap Chinese solar panels.
    The 25000 MW PV power production in Germany (and still increasing) already has a lowering impact on the wholesale price.

    • Marinus

      Electricity costs in Europe are double US ($0.11/1kWh); Germany ($0.3648/1kWh) is more than triple US, and the Netherlands ($0.2889/1kWh) are not far behind Germany. Denmark ($0.4038/1kWh) is the highest in the world, followed by Italy. Spain, land of sunshine and huge solar installations, is not far behind Italy at $0.2708/1kWh. France with its abundant nuclear power generation is the lowest in Europe at $0.1939/1kWh.

      Solar, with its high cost of maintenance and installation, and full back-up from conventional power units, doesn’t make economic sense even if the PV panels were given away.

  96. Wake up Greenie !!!! The sun only shines less than half the time at all usefully and a lot less than that in Northern europe

  97. And when it shines (in Holland 1500 hours per year, mediterranean 3000 hours) it can provide cheap energy!!

  98. Marinus- doesn’t Holland have some of the highest electricity rates in Europe? Isn’t the rate in Germany about 35 cents per kwh? Why would anyone in friendly economic competition with you drive up their own rates for this basic cost input? I understand (somewhat) why Germany is doing what it is doing but cannot fathom why we should follow suit in the US. I hope that the current situation is providing a “teachable moment” for Euro-fantasists such as youself. Best.

  99. HIgh Electricity costs in NWE are caused by energy tax and VAT. Excluding taxes the retail price in Holland is € 0.07/kWh. Consumption exceding 10.000 kWh is taxed much lower resulting in a cost for the additional consumption of € 0.13/kWh.
    It is the goverment’s aim to make installation of solar panels attractive for households. I am not going to discuss if that is a wise decision but it is a fact for already a couple of years. Three years ago the subsidy was even as high as € 0.30/kWh (for a limited number of households because of budget constraints).
    As you now only pay for your nett consumption it is very attractive to buy solar panels. Pay out time (taking into account all costs including installation, maintenance and finance cost) is less than 10 years.
    It might well be that the government will raise energy tax in the future to compensate for the loss in tax revenue when too many households install solar panels. That would make it even more attractive to install solar panels right now as it is pure economic decision. If you don’t install those panels you will eventually pay the energy tax of your neighbours!
    That all means that solar panel business is growing here, however in Holland not as fast as in Germany. Unfortunately those panels are not produced locally as we can’t compete with China.

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