Tidal Energy Investing: An Incomplete Guide

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08:37:16 pm on August 25, 2009

There’s a nice article over at Seeking Alpha (albeit with some inaccuracies which I discuss below) discussing the ins and outs of investing in tidal energy.  It’s certainly less developed than just about all other forms of renewable energy, but offers great potential FAR down the road.  I thought I’d provide a few updates and expand on the article.  Feel free to expand upon and provide updates yourself in the comments section and I’ll add it.  More details on the private companies to come..

Here are some highlights:

- fewer than 12 MW of tidal energy capacity installed worldwide but investments increasing rapidly
- tidal energy could produce 40 – 70 kW per meter along the Pacific Northwest coastline

Tidal Energy Companies:

It should be noted that the article is a bit inaccurate in that Finavera is no longer pursuing its tidal energy project in California (with Pacific Gas & Electric) due to lack of funding.  In fact, it appears that Finavera is abandoning its tidal energy projects completely and focusing its efforts on wind energy.

Public

Siemens (SI) is a joint venture partner of Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation which owns Wavegen, Scotland’s first tidal energy company.

Ocean Power Technologies (OPTT) is the only pure play on tidal energy on a major US exchange that I’m aware of.  In fact, it’s a stock chart I was going to highlight soon, so I’ll just go ahead and do it now!  For the first time since its IPO in April 07, OPTT is trading above both the 50 and 200 day moving averages for more than a few days after a big buy spike on May 27th.  I don’t see any news  that would account for that spike so maybe the news is coming.  I may enter on a breakout of this recent consolidation just above 7. (note: chart and analysis dated June 8th, 2009)

6809_oceanpowertechnologies_optt

Endesa (ELEZF), a Spanish utility, was discussed in the article as working with privately held Pelamis Wave Power (see below) to continue to develop the worlds first full scale commercial tidal energy farm in Portugal (Agucadoura), generating 2.25MW of energy and powering 1500 homes.  However, it appears Endesa is no longer involved and Babcock and Brown are the majority owners of this project.  To make matters a bit more messy, Babcock is in financial disarray.

RWE AG (REWEOY) is a German holding company that will build (in partnership with WaveGen) the world’s largest tidal energy farm off the shore of Siadar Bay in Scotland and produce 4MW.  It received approval on Jan 22nd 09 and is planned to open in about two years.

Alstom (AOMFF) is a French company that recently announced plans to enter the tidal energy industry by signing a licensing deal with privately held Clean Current Power Systems.

Privately Held Tidal Energy Companies
I’ll have more on the private companies soon!

Pelamis Wave Power

Clean Current Power Systems
    * Recently named to BusinessWeek’s Top 25 Private Clean Energy Companies to Watch

Pacific Hydro

Ocean Renewable Power

More on this topic (What's this?) Read more on Energy, How To Invest at Wikinvest
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