Three Things Obama Will Do to Advance Alternative Energy

by: Kelvin Schulle

On Monday, President-elect Barack Obama announced one of his most important cabinet figures - energy secretary. Obama has been drawing a green picture for US citizens, and says he will use green energy revaluation to create at least 2.5M jobs. People around the country have been asking the same question: how does he do it? Well, by appointing Steven Chu, a renewable energy/environment pioneer and Nobel Prize winner.

"We can spark the dynamism of our economy through a long-term investment in renewable energy that will give life to new businesses and industries with good jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced," he said, adding, "We'll make public buildings more efficient, modernize our electricity grid, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while protecting and preserving our natural resources. We must also recognize that the solution to global climate change must be global."

It is clear now that the new administration will do the following three things right after January 20th:

  1. Install solar panels/vinyl on all government/military buildings. The companies who can provide products are Suntech Power (NYSE:STP), Energy Conversion Devices (NASDAQ:ENER), Sunpower (SPWRA), First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), Evergreen Solar (ESLR), JA Solar (NASDAQ:JASO), and Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ). Based on the U.S. Department of Energy is leading The Solar America Initiative (SAI). By 2015 SAI will provide 5-10 GW of new electric capacity from decentralized sources of clean power to the electric grid in the United States, SAI will also boost our economy by promoting a U.S. based solar industry. With new administration takes office in Jan., we will see this program kickoff quickly. Companies who have domestic production should benefit, including FSLR, STP SPWR, ENER.
  2. Modernize our electricity grid. Obama wants to run the country’s economy on renewable energies, such as solar and wind. The problem is that the existing power grid is too out of date to transport new energy across the nation. Steven Chu’s expertise is a great fit here. He has long been promoting new power grid to carry electricity from one part of the nation the other. Companies such as American Superconductor (NASDAQ:AMSC) can provide next generation power grid system - a secure super grid technology. More details can be found on the company website.
  3. Promote wind energy. Wind energy has been proven cheaper than solar and has achieved grid parity to some extent. Many companies are developing wind turbines or parts for wind energy market, including Trinity (NYSE:TRN), American Superconductor, and Vestas (OTCPK:VWDRY).
Disclosure: Long FSLR, STP.