The Cons of Geothermal Power are winning over the Pros in the last few years due to a number of factors.The main reasons are the long gestation time in building the geothermal energy plants,small developers,financing and regulation problems.Despite geothermal having huge potential these drawbacks have resulted in only 10 GW of geothermal energy being installed worldwide despite almost 30 years of commercial development.Most of the geothermal companies which are small developers have been devastated by the above problems.Canadian companies which are the leaders in consolidating the fragmented industry like Ram Power and Magma Power are facing huge problems.While Ram Power saw its CEO go,Magma is now looking at other renewable energy opportunities.Magma Power has decided to merge with Plutonic Power which is a small hydro and wind company as geothermal energy looks more or less a dead end.

Coal M&A is picking up at a feverish pace as the demand and price of coal shoot through the roof.Note Coal is the cheapest fossil fuel and powers most of the world’s power plants despite its disadvantages.The abundance and cheapness of coal has managed to hide its deleterious effects.Indian and Chinese companies are gobbling up coal mines and companies globally as they rush to secure raw material for the growing thermal power plant capacity.The Adani Group is one of the leading Indian private power companies setting up gigawatts of new thermal power plant capacity.Mundhra Port the Adani Flagship has been buying up coal plants,ports and building power plants to vertically integrate itself in the whole coal supply chain.It recently bought the Australian Linnc Energy’s Gaililee coal project for USD 2.7 billion.It has followed it up by buying Abbot Point Coal Terminal from the Queensland state of Australia for 1.8 billion Australian dollars.

India’s Central Bank has been steadily raising interest rates in 25 bps increments as inflation has raged at more the double digits for more than a year.However it has not stopped the inflation from coming down as high commodity prices keep the inflation at 9% which is much more than the target of 3-5% inflation rates.With Bernake money printing fueling oil and food prices globally,it looked unlikely that RBI’s timid measure would bring the inflation down anytime soon.So this time the Central Bank has thrown the kitchen sink at the problem raising the interest rates by 50 bps to 7.25% which is much more than what the market was expecting.The Central Bank also raised the interest rate on savings rate from 3.25% to 4% which was not expected by anyone.Note the low interest rate on savings bank had been a huge money spinner to top Indian banks which have large deposits of this low interest rate savings deposits.

Indian government seems not to have learned much from the Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown which has thrown millions of Japanese lives out of gear and caused massive disruption to the economy.The Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant to be built by NPCIL using Areva’s experimental nuclear reactors has got the federal government’s environmental clearance.Note the protests against the plant had got a political color with local opposition parties getting involved.A number of villagers have already been killed by police firing and further protests are expected.Note India’s activist environment minister Jairam Ramesh has proven to be selectively biased towards large industrial projects in Congress ruled states.After appearing to be hero stopping the Niyamgiri project from Vedanta,Ramesh has given the go ahead to politically favored projects.Not a surprise given the endemic corruption present in the ruling coalition which has given birth to a number of corruption scams and scandals.Like everything,even a project of this criticality has acquired a political cover with everyone sounding their party positions without worrying about the possibility of a nuclear meltdown in India.

Arch Coal is the 3rd largest Coal Company in the USA. During the year ended December 31, 2009, the Company sold approximately 126.1 million tons of coal and operated 19 active mines at 11 mining complexes located in the United States. On October 1, 2009, the Company acquired Rio Tinto’s Jacobs Ranch mine with 345 million tons of coal reserves and integrated it into the Black Thunder mine.International Coal on the other hand is a small producer with a market cap of $2.2 billion previously which has managed a nearly 50% premium.Market Cap of $2.2 Billion is a producer of coal in Northern and Central Appalachia .As of December 31, 2009, the Company operated a total of 11 surface and 11 underground coal mines located in Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Illinois.The Company’s mines in Central Appalachia produced 10.1 million tons of coal in 2009, and the mines in Northern Appalachia produced 3.9 million tons of coal in 2009.

Solar Panels have grown exponentially in the last few years driven by declining costs and growing energy prices.The advent of the low cost manufacturers of silicon solar panels from China,falling raw material polysilicon costs,subsidies from governements fighting climate change have all contributed to the more than 150% increase in world solar demand in 2010.Solar Panels are not only being used on roofs and giant rooftop ground plants,but also are being integrated in buildings known as BIPV applications.Solar Panels are also available in flexible forms which can be used in backpacks and other innovative ways.Now there is another niche for solar panels that is growing.Note most of these companies are using the Concentrated Photovoltaic Technology (CPV).The traditional CPV suffers from heating problems as high concentration of sun power leads to high temperature.Building the CPV systems on water will help them solve their problems according to these companies.