« ABI Research forecasts nearly 203M Software-Over-the-Air-enabled cars to ship by 2022 | Main | America Makes and ANSI launch additive manufacturing standardization collaborative » In order to make clean vehicles more accessible to a greater number of California drivers, especially in communities that are highly impacted by air pollution, the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) is implementing increased incentive levels for low- and moderate-income consumers and high-income eligibility caps. The California Air Resources Board approved the changes in June 2015, as directed by the Charge Ahead California Initiative established by Senate Bill 1275 (De León). They will apply statewide to vehicle purchases or leases effective 29 March 2016. Since 2010, the CVRP has issued more than $291 million in rebates for more than 137,200 vehicles, according to the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), which administers the ARB program. Rebates cover a range of battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles. For low- and moderate-income consumers, CVRP rebates for all types of eligible light-duty passenger vehicles are being increased by $1,500. When combined with the $7,500 federal tax credit for battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, the California rebates provide savings of up to $11,500. To qualify for the increased rebates, applicants must have household incomes less than or equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty level. For an individual, the gross annual income limit is $35,640, and for a household of four, it is $72,900. Higher income consumers will not be eligible for CVRP rebates if their gross annual income exceeds $250,000 for single tax filers, $340,000 for head of household filers and $500,000 for joint filers. Income levels will be determined by the amount reported on the applicant’s federal tax return. The caps do not apply to fuel-cell electric vehicles, which represent less than 1 percent of CVRP’s applications and qualify for rebates of $5,000. Applicants may be required to provide proof of income. Additional clean vehicle rebates based on income eligibility are available in disadvantaged communities in the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. ARB’s Drive Clean website offers a guide for clean vehicle incentives at DriveClean.CA.gov. The incentives, and this project, are part of California Climate Investments, which use proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing a variety of additional benefits to California communities.
PARIS (Reuters) - French renewables lobby SER said on Thursday it plans to argue for a major boost to offshore wind power targets at a review of government energy policy on Friday. On Friday the French government will submit a renewable energy investment plan to the Conseil Superieur de l'Energie (CSE), a consultative industry body. The government will then incorporate some or all of the CSE's recommendations into a long-awaited decree that will implement the broad outlines of France's energy transition law, which was voted through last summer. The Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables (SER), France's main renewables lobby, said it was generally satisfied with targets set for renewables capacity in the years ahead but the government was not ambitious enough for offshore wind. The government aims to have 3,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore capacity installed by 2023 and wants to have up to 3,000 MW of new projects by then. SER president Jean-Louis Bal said the government should quadruple that post-2023 target to up to 12,000 MW. "The government wants lower costs for offshore wind but lower costs can only come with higher volume," Bal told reporters. France lags other EU nations on offshore wind power, despite its long coastlines. It has accepted two tenders to build a combined 3,000 MW from consortiums led by EDF and Engie but the first turbines are not expected to be installed before 2020. At the end of 2015 Europe had a combined installed offshore wind power capacity of 11,000 MW, of which more than 5,000 MW is in British waters, 3,300 in Germany and 1,300 in Denmark, according to data from the EU industry's lobby group EWEA. France's transition law specifies that 40 percent of the country's electricity production should come from renewables by 2030, while the share of nuclear in power production should fall from the current 75 percent to 50 percent. But the government has made no actual move towards closing any nuclear plants and Energy Minister Segolene Royal has said she is not ready to submit a multi-year investment plan for the nuclear industry, which is operated by state-controlled EDF. Critics say that adding renewables capacity while maintaining nuclear output at current levels will only swell the already large overcapacity in French and EU power generation. "Looking out to 2023, we think renewables and nuclear can co-exist," Bal said, adding that the government had not yet decided on the future level of nuclear output.
News Article | November 1, 2015
Delhi on Sunday introduced a toll for all trucks and commercial vehicles in an attempt to improve air quality in the world's most polluted capital ahead of Diwali celebrations. Trucks are banned from entering the Indian capital during the day, but every night after 8pm more than 50,000 pour in, according to the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). The independent centre says lorries account for nearly a third of the pollution in Delhi, adding to a toxic mix of industrial fumes and dust from construction sites to produce hazardous levels of smog.
Compared to the peak of the Yieldco bubble in May, many Yieldcos have dropped by more than half, and most by more than a third.Some of this decline is because rapid dividend growth depends on an endless supply of cheap investor capital-- which is another way of saying that we can have rapid dividend growth or high dividend yields, but not both. Part of the decline was due to the realization that many Yeildcos (most notably Terraform Power ( TERP ), Terraform Global ( GLBL ), and Abengoa Yield ( ABY )) were not immune to the financial problems at their sponsors, and so they were far more risky than many investors previously thought.These problems affect different Yieldcos differently. NextEra Partners ( NEP ) has a strong sponsor, others (Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners ( BEP ) and Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure ( HASI )) develop projects internally, while Pattern Energy Group ( PEGI ) has a private sponsor, with very strong investor protections in place to protect investors from conflicts of interest. While these Yieldcos have fallen as investors began to demand higher current yield instead of only the promise of rapid future yield growth, they are much less vulnerable financial difficulties at their sponsors.These effects can be seen in the following chart, which shows that Yieldcos with high expected growth, and/or public sponsors have fallen the farthest since the peak of the Yieldco bubble in May.With Yieldcos having declined so much, there is likely opportunity, but is it in the giant declines of the riskiest Yieldcos, or the smaller declines of the safer ones?The answer lies in valuation. For income stocks like Yieldcos, the dividend discount model (DDM) is by far the best valuation method. DDM valuation requires us to estimate future dividends, and also choose a required rate of return (discount rate) which should be higher for riskier Yieldcos. If we choose our discount rate to accurately reflect the likely risks, we can use DDM to compare valuations of Yieldcos with entirely different risk profiles.Below are my estimates of Yieldcos' dividend growth rates going forward:When these are combined with the current dividend, we get estimated dividends for future years:Given future dividends, the dividend discount model gives us stock valuations for any required rate of return. I show these below (as a fraction of the closing market price on December 11th) for ranges of discount rates that reflect my estimation of the relative riskiness of each Yieldco.You can click on any of these charts to see a larger version.For investors who accept my dividend and discount rate estimates, it's clear that almost all Yieldcos are currently trading below their inherent worth. The only exceptions are(NEP), and(TSX: CSE or MCQPF.)NEP seems to be trading at a relative premium because it is widely seen to have the strongest sponsor, NextEra ( NEE ) with the largest list of right of first offer ("ROFO") projects that can be dropped down to its Yieldco, and minimal risk of financial instability at the sponsor. I personally feel that ROFOs are greatly overvalued in the current climate. Few Yieldcos have any cash to invest in new projects, and those that do can easily buy project from any number of developers.Capstone Infrastructure is the only other fairly valued Yieldco in my list. It is one of the few Yieldcos I owned before the recent decline, and the only one showing a gain since May. This gain is in part due to the recent announcement that Capstone has retained investment banks to help it "review and consider various alternatives." This is investment banker speak for the company being available for sale if a sufficiently attractive offer should emerge. TERP ) is also trading near fair value, at least at the high discount rates that reflect the financial strains at its sponsor, SunEdison ( SUNE ), and SunEdison's recent moves in taking control of the boards at Terraform Power and its sister Yieldco, GLBL ). TERP recently advanced when it received news that SUNE had revised the terms of its much-criticized deal with Vivint ( VSLR ), and the Yieldco emerged as the biggest beneficiary of the new deal, likely because of the attentions of activist investor David Tepper.While Terraform Global's share price also benefited from the news, it did not appreciate nearly as much, because Tepper has not disclosed any position in GLBL and it was not a direct beneficiary of the revised Vivint deal. Terraform Global remains one of the best-valued Yieldcos, even at discount rates that reflect the very real risks of owning this company.By far, the best valued Yieldco is PEGI ). Pattern combines a high (8%) current yield with continued prospects for modest yield growth and strong protections for investors. By my estimate, PEGI is trading at a 50% discount to its true value even at a 9% required rate of return.The next best values are still very attractive and trade around 60% of fair value. They are NYLD and NYLD/A ), HASI ), GLBL ), CAFD ), BEP ),(TSX:INE or INGXF ),(TSX: RNW or TRSWF), EVA ), and(GPP).One quick note of caution on wood pellet and ethanol producers Enviva and Green Plains is that these two are Master Limited Partnerships, and are generally not appropriate to own inside a retirement account such as an IRA. In addition, my research into the newly listed Green Plains has so far been cursory, so I do not have a lot of confidence in the numbers used to produce my estimate of its fair value.Another way to look at these estimates is to calculate the required rate of return needed to justify the current price from expected cash flows. I calculated the internal rates of return in the above chart under the assumption that the shares would be held until 2037, at which point they would be sold at the current market price.While nearly all Yieldcos are excellent values and good additions to any value or income-oriented portfolio, some are far better than others. Investors looking to add just a few Yieldcos to their portfolios should focus on(especially for risk-averse investors),(in taxable accounts), and(for investors willing to accept a high degree of risk in return for extremely high (25%) expected annual returns.)The Green Global Income Portfolio, which I manage, owns all of these except NEP (because of valuation) and GPP (pending further research.) It has recently been increasing its stakes in the ones with the best valuations by this analysis. DISCLAIMER: Past performance is not a guarantee or a reliable indicator of future results. This article contains the current opinions of the author and such opinions are subject to change without notice. This article has been distributed for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed.
In a report to parliament, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) said the breach was unintentional and had been discovered internally in 2013. A CSE official blamed a software flaw that resulted in sharing of metadata, used to identify, manage or route communications over networks that could identify Canadians. The agency said the likelihood of this leading to any abuses was "low." But as a precaution, the CSE suspended its sharing of metadata with its Five Eyes intelligence partners—Australia, Britain, New Zealand, and the United States—until it finds a fix to the problem. Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said he was satisfied that any data that had already been shared with the intelligence alliance before the software glitch was discovered "did not contain names or enough information on its own to identify individuals." He also said he accepted an investigation's conclusion that the breach of Canadian privacy and national security laws was "unintentional." It was unclear what, if any, impact the metadata sharing stoppage has had on Five Eyes intelligence gathering. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Canada's allies have been "very supportive" while the CSE told AFP it continues to have "strong and collaborative relationships" with its allies in other areas. In another report also released Thursday, Canada's spy agency watchdog raised concerns about efforts by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to counter "insider threats." The Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) said it identified "a number of deficiencies" in the way CSIS prevents and investigates classified document leaks, following the high-profile leaks by Edward Snowden in the United States and the 2012 arrest of Canadian navy officer Jeffrey Paul Delisle for selling state secrets to Russia. It highlighted "one situation in particular (in which) SIRC found that CSIS had failed to give a case the appropriate level of attention and to take follow-up action," but provided no details. SIRC also raised a potential legal concern with respect to CSIS's use of paid Al-Qaeda or Taliban informants, saying it was in conflict with United Nations Al-Qaeda and Taliban Regulations that prohibit association with or funding of these two jihadist groups. The release of both reports was delayed by October's legislative elections, and comes as the new Liberal government undertakes a complete review of Canada's security intelligence framework.