SunPower pairs Solar Installations with lithium ion batteries SunPower (SPWR) plans to add storage options to its solar energy installations, most probably lithium ion batteries. The company has experience with advanced lead acid and zinc bromide batteries as it has already pilot run such energy storage projects in recent years. Lithium ion batteries are however believed to be a [...]

BYD is China’s biggest producer of Electric Vehicles and Lithium Ion batteries.The Company was made famous when Warren Buffet bought a 10% stake in the company,one of his biggest Foreign Investments.China has become the dominant leader in Solar Manufacturing from being an nobody in a short span of 5 years.Chinese producers are going to produce about 60% of the global supply this year led by companies like Solarfun,Trina Solar,Yingli Green and Suntech.BYD too has decided to throw its hat into the ring with a big bang investment.There remain little details about the $3.3 Billion Solar Investment over 5 years for which it has already gotten the financing.The company is planning to spend 22.5 Billion Yuan on Solar Energy over the next 5 years for which it has already secured financing.The company has started a 100 MW cell plant in the Shaanxi province and plans to expand to 5000 MW by 2015.BYD signed a $300 million polysilicon supply contract with LDK Solar (another Chinese solar producer).This is a huge supply contract considering the 2 year time frame.Though wafer and polysilicon prices have recently become slightly constrained recently,there is no scope for the massive shortages seen in 2008.

Solar Carports are a relatively new Solar Energy Product compared to other Solar Products like Solar Heaters and Solar Cooking.Solar Carports are fast catching on as their dual use of protecting,shading a car as well as providing electricity to nearby offices and buildings.It makes use of real estate that would go waste so it provides a lot of value add besides helping in protecting the environment as well.

Van Eck Global has come out with a Rare Earth Metals ETF (REMX) which offers investors an opportunity to get a diversified exposure to this commodity sector .Rare Earth has become a “geopolitical problem” rather than a demand/supply problem with Chinese monopoly over the mining and production of REE.Note materials for Green Industries have become a hot investment sector in recent days with current and future shortages fueling a strong price rally.Global X had launched a Lithium (LIT) ETF which is an investment vehicle into Lithium and Battery/EV producers.Like LIT which can hardly be called a pure play Lithium play,REMX is also not a pure investment into the REE sector.Rather it offers an investment into a wide variety of strategic ores and metals such as titanium,zirconium etc.REMX analysis shows that it is very well diversified geographically and across companies.This is a good in my opinion since many of the rare earth companies that have recently seen their stock prices shooting up are very risky.Most of these companies will take anywhere between 1-5 years to start production and the quality of their reserves,management,environment permitting etc. is highly uncertain.Note mining of rare earths is very environment unfriendly which is ironic since they are mainly used in Green Industry.Here is a list of the features of this new ETF

BYD the Chinese battery and electric vehicle producer made famous after Warren Buffet made an investment has been facing rough times recently.Its falling auto growth,problems with land acquisitions in China and an incoherent strategy has hurt its profits and stock price in 2010.The Company has put on too many hats with investment in various green technologies besides its bread and butter car business.The most ambitious plans of BYD undoubtedly lies in the Solar Energy Business though little details have been revealed.The company is planning to spend 22.5 Billion Yuan on Solar Energy over the next 5 years for which it has already secured financing.The company has started a 100 MW cell plant in the Shaanxi province and plans to expand to 5000 MW by 2015.However its recent travails had made one think that they would have put their aside Solar ambitions .However that does not appear so.

Hitachi has been running large losses at its Lithium Batter Division due the the severe global competition in the international Lithium Battery Market.With huge growth expected in the Green Automobile Industry in the future,everyone is trying to establish a strong foothold in this emerging segment.Hitachi is one of the lesser known names in the Battery Industry and the company does not expect profits in the next 3 years.However the company’s fortunes in the Green Industry might change as it has teamed up with Automobile Parts Giant Johnson Controls.JCI is a multi billion US company with leadership position in the Energy Efficiency,Lead Batteries and Automobile Parts.The company has shown increasing profits and revenues in all of its division in the last quarter.It would suit both companies to design,develop and market batteries for the Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Segments.