On their first trading day, shares of Tesla Motor Co. rocketed $6.89, or 40.5%, to $23.89. The gain was all the more impressive because it came as the overall stock market plummeted
The Dow Jones industrial average slumped 268.22 points, or 2.7%, to 9,870.30.
Most analysts said the electric car company’s strong debut was to be expected, though many also cautioned that Palo Alto-based Tesla has a long way to go before becoming profitable and stable. The company must first successfully produce and market its $57,000 Model S sedan.
“This was probably as good as Tesla could have hoped,” said Mike Omotoso, senior manager of global powertrain at J.D. Power & Associates. “But a lot is riding on the Model S. If that one model isn’t successful, it puts Tesla’s other plans into question.”
Continuing its long-term emphasis on alternative energy business prospects, General Electric (GE: 14.5, 0, 0%) announced a long-term partnership with an Idaho wind farm worth nearly $500 million.
Under the terms of the deal, GE’s Energy Financial Services unit will partner with Exergy Development Group and operator Reunion Power to install 122 GE 1.5-megawatt wind turbines that are expected to provide power to 39,700 Idaho homes once fully constructed. That power will be then sold to Idaho Power Company, a subsidiary of Idacorp (IDA: 33.65, 0, 0%), in a 20-year agreement.
The project is expected to create 175 construction jobs along with 25 permanent jobs once the project is completed.
“Through our investment in Idaho’s largest wind power portfolio, GE Energy Financial Services is putting millions of dollars to work to bring jobs and clean energy to Idaho and help the country meet growing demand for domestic, renewable sources of energy,” said GM Energy executive Kevin Walsh in a statement.
Environmental energy company Raser Technologies and Korean truck maker Hyundai Heavy Industries said Tuesday they are teaming up to develop renewable energy projects and electric vehicles.
Using Provo, Utah-based Raser’s resources and Hyundai’s manufacturing capability, the companies plan to develop renewable energy in the western U.S. One project would use solar panels built by Hyundai next to a Raser geothermal power plant in Utah to demonstrate blended renewable power. Wind power also could be added, as Hyundai also makes turbines and other wind power equipment.
The agreement also sets forth a plan to produce three electric trucks for use by government and commercial fleets in the U.S. The companies expect to deliver the first electric trucks to California utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co. within a few months.
“We are committed to meeting the challenges of global climate change in the two key industries that can reduce fossil fuel emissions the most, renewable energy and electric vehicles,” Hyundai Heavy Industries Chairman Dr. K.S. Min said in a statement.
In a partnership that illustrates the powerful currents at work in today’s environmental movement, the United Steel Workers labor union has joined with the American Wind Energy Association and BlueGreen Alliance, an organization that includes other labor unions, the Sierra Club and the National Resources Defense Council, to produce a blueprint for new green jobs in the wind power industry.
In pushing hard for green jobs, this diverse labor-industry-environmental group puts itself squarely on the side of the U.S. military’s push for alternative energy in the interests of a strong national defense. It also joins a growing number of leading U.S companies calling for national climate legislation and green jobs, in yet another sign that the dominance of fossil fuels is rapidly coming to a close.
In the midst of the BP oil spill, alternative energy companies and supporters are looking for love on Capitol Hill, aggressively promoting electric vehicles and other alternatives to oil.
While lawmakers remain reluctant to choose one technology over another, many are particularly receptive to the idea of creating an infrastructure for electric vehicles, specifically a network of stations where people can plug in and charge car batteries.
Under the bills introduced in the House and Senate last month, five to 15 “deployment communities” would be established across the country to begin creating an “electric vehicle infrastructure.”
The legislation would set up a program run by the Energy Department to award select communities up to $1 billion each to establish accessible charging spots “” in parking garages, shopping malls and city streets.
The bill also would subsidize consumer purchases of electric vehicles by granting tax credits or by setting up a grant that would allow each community to establish its own rebate program for purchasers.
Federal regulators on Tuesday denied a request by the Obama administration to withdraw an application for the first national nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
A three-judge Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel said that Energy Secretary Steven Chu doesn’t have the power to withdraw the application because 1982 law “does not give the secretary the discretion to substitute his policy for the one established by Congress.”
The administration said in March that it would withdraw the application. The move marked a victory for Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D., Nev.), who has made killing the Yucca Mountain project a priority. Mr. Reid is running for re-election this year in a tough race.
The Energy Department’s application to develop Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository has been pending with the NRC since June 2008, when the Bush administration applied for the license.
Utility operators had expressed concern at the Energy Department’s decision to withdraw the permit application, saying that without progress toward developing a permanent nuclear-waste storage facility some states could refuse to permit new nuclear power plants.
The nuclear industry has contributed about $10 billion to a fund to develop a permanent national waste facility.
The U.N.’s top economic officials called for less global dependence on the U.S. dollar in a report Tuesday that urges broad changes to the world’s financial policies and markets.
A major economic and social survey says the global financial crises have exposed systemic weaknesses, including its reliance on the dollar. One of the drawbacks of making the dollar the global reserve currency, it says, is that the global economy becomes tied to U.S. monetary policy, which is ”based only on the state of the United States economy.”
Instead, Jomo Kwame Sundaram, U.N. assistant secretary-general for economic development, and other senior U.N. economic officials recommend greater reliance on an alternative to the U.S. dollar known as special drawing rights, or SDRs.
”Obviously there’s going to be resistance because in the whole post-war period we’ve had essentially a dollar-based system,” said Jomo, a prominent Malaysian economist and author. ”But this kind of transition can be achieved through a gradual process of SDR emissions. And this would not be disruptive.”
The U.S. has pledged $136 million to environment and climate change programs in Indonesia over the next three years.
The funding is part of a larger “comprehensive partnership” to broaden relations between the two companies, according to a White House press release.
The White House said the funding is in response to Indonesian President Yudhoyono’s early pledge at the G-20 in Pittsburgh to reduce Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 41% below business as usual by 2020, as well as Indonesia’s support for the G-20 to pledge to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.
President Obama committed the funds to “support these pledges, the Copenhagen Accord, and our shared goals on climate change,” according to the release.
$119 million will go to a program called the SOLUSI partnership, which represents the major areas of Environment and Climate engagement–Science, Oceans, Land Use, Society and Innovation–and means “Solution” in Indonesian.
Britain needs a green bank to meet its 2020 goals to slash carbon emissions and curb use of fossil fuels, a report commissioned by the Conservative Party said on Tuesday.
Britain is lagging European Union targets to cut carbon emissions and deploy renewable energy, and it also wants to upgrade its grid infrastructure and help roll out electric cars.
A “green bank” funded by new consumer levies; the sale of emissions permits to industry; and institutional and retail interest in new investment products will help plug the gap, according to the Green Investment Bank Commission.
“The scale of the investment required to meet UK climate change and renewable energy targets is unprecedented,” said the report, called “Unlocking investment to deliver Britain’s low carbon future.”
The report is an independent, not a government, study that was commissioned by the Conservative Party when they were in opposition. They are now the larger party in a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats.
“Low carbon investment is a vital part of our economic recovery, and the Green Investment Bank is part of ensuring that UK PLC (business) can lead the world,” said Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker, responding to the report.
Under new laws brought in by the previous Labour Government, the UK is committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 34 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020.
However, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), set up to advise ministers on progress against the target, today warns that at the moment, the country is on course to fail.
The Committee’s chairman Lord Turner said the recession had created the “illusion” that the UK was tackling climate change, when in fact the substantial declines in emissions were almost entirely the result of lower economic activity in the last year.
While greenhouse gases fell by 8.6% last year, only a fraction of that was the result of measures to tackle climate change such as renewable energy or making homes more energy efficient.
In order to carry on cutting carbon as the economy recovers, Lord Turner is recommending a number of radical new policies including plans to ban polluting power stations, a crackdown on air travel and a tax on farmers for using fertiliser.