Recent Posts:

Is VeraSun the Next to Fold?

Daniel Englander: September 18, 2008, 3:39 PM
And the hits just keep on coming. Pure-play ethanol company VeraSun sent out a press release late Thursday night announcing they retained Morgan Stanley to help "evaluate strategic alternatives." That's pennies-on-the-dollar talk if I've ever heard it. VeraSun's stock price dropped 75 percent on Wednesday on news the company will post losses of $63 million to $103 million dollars this quarter because of its failed corn purchasing strategy. The beleaguered ethanol company exited its short positions after corn jumped from $6 per bushel in May to over $8 per bushel in July, and started buying up contracts at the then-market price. VeraSun got caught with overpriced contracts when corn...

Warren Buffet Scoops Up an Energy Casualty

Daniel Englander: September 18, 2008, 1:56 PM
The financial crisis has claimed its first major energy casualty. Warren Buffet beat out French energy giant EDF to buy cash-strapped Constellation Energy for a pittance this evening. The utility and power trading company's stock dove 58 percent over three days this week, pushed down by liquidity fears and a downgraded credit rating. Sound familiar? Buffet's MidAmerican Energy will buy Constellation for $4.7 billion after Constellation's board rejected an offer from EDF, which owns 9 percent of the power trader, for a $500 million cash infusion. Though Constellation owned a physical asset base of roughly 9,000 MW they marketed closer to 32,000 MW to commercial and industrial...

Tesla Kills Its Gas-Electric Hybrid

Michael Kanellos: September 18, 2008, 11:27 AM
Well, that didn't take long. Back in Feburary, Tesla Motors CEO Ze'ev Drori and chairman Elon Musk said that the electric-car company would come out with a version of its Model S sedan that would be based around a series hybrid architecture. In a series hybrid or REV (for range-extended electric vehicle), the car runs on an electric motor powered by batteries. The batteries in turn are recharged while driving by an onboard gas generator. It's the secret sauce behind the Chevy Volt, coming in 2010. "It is more than research. We intend to have it as part of the offering," Drori told me then. "The Whitestar (the code-name for the Model S.) can be all-electric or it can be an...

The Next Smart Grid Technology: WiMax

Michael Kanellos: September 18, 2008, 8:03 AM
Utilities have already begun to adopt wireless technologies like WiFi, ZigBee, Z-Wave and some proprietary protocols as a way to curb power consumption. Next, you're going to see WiMax make a bigger splash in greentech, a well-connected source in the electronics world told me. Expect to see companies fleshing out WiMax energy efficiency strategies in the relatively near future and some start-up activity. Grid Net is already touting WiMax and is collaborating with Intel and General Electric. WiMax, for those of you that haven't been in an airport in two years and thus haven't had to relieve your boredom by buying a copy of BusinessWeek, is a long range, high-bandwidth wireless...