Small Cap Strategist is published by Crystal Equity Research an independent research resource on small capitalization stocks. Follow along as we discuss the most recent trends in the small-cap sector, investigate interesting companies and pan a few not-so-promising stocks.
turn of a new year begins with resolutions and predictions.I have personally resolved not to make any
predictions. However, permit me the
opportunity to ask a question:how much longer
will we have to wait for alternatives to fossil fuels to become the norm and
not just the technical eccentricities of odd-balls panicked over a little bit
of warming ice?Let’s take a cue from
the adoption of the automobile.After
all, has been cars and trucks powered by gas and diesel that have gushed out a
good share of the greenhouse gases thought responsible for the warming planet.
horse and buggy was the principal means of personal transportation during much
of the 1800s.A single good horse with a
two- or four-seat buggy could be driven along even crudely graded paths.Longer trips or delivery of goods could be
accomplished in horse drawn stage or lorry. We all know the horse and buggy was
unceremoniously replaced by the automobile.
Could the adoption
of the automobile with its internal combustion engine provide us with some
clues about adoption of alternative energy sources?
first car had been produced in 1886, by a German inventor named Karl Benz.Then in 1908, the Ford Motor Company began
mass producing the Model T.Henry Ford
must have been very when by 1910, the number of automobiles surpassed the
number of buggies in use in the U.S. and Canada.Granted buggies remained in use for some
years in rural areas.In the 1930s when
gasoline prices increased, buggies were dusted off and put back into use, at
least temporarily.However, the fate of
Old Nellie and her buggy had been sealed.
four years.It took twenty four years
from the development of the first automobile to the point that it began to
dominate its market.
have been much slower to embrace alternative energy than they were slip behind
the wheel of a car.Bell Labs invented
the first silicon solar cell in the mid 1950’s.It has taken six decades, butGranted those first Bell Labs cells were only about 6% efficient, but by
the end of the first decade of this century solar cell efficiency has reached
30% and the cost per watt has reached as low as $1.25 in China.Worldwide total installed solar power
generation capacity reached 136,697 megawatts.
is the most abundant element on the planet and it offers significant energy
potential.The first fuel cells were
developed in the early 1800s but it was not used commercially until over a
century later when NASA started using fuel cells to power space capsules and
satellites.The first hydrogen fuel cell
power car was introduced in the 1990s, but the first commercially available
fuel cell powered car will not be available for purchase until later in 2015.
power generation has been even slower to win popularity.Total world installed capacity was about
318,105 megawatts at the end of 2013.It
cannot be the matter of technology challenge.Wind mills have been traced back to the first century AD when a Greek
engineer used wind to power a machine attached to wheel.In the twelfth century the Europeans began
perfecting the vertical wind mill that ultimately inspired the tower wind mills
in use today.
than providing clues about the pace of adoption of alternative energy sources,
the automobile as a replacement for the horse and buggy my provide some insight
into why solar, wind and hydrogen alternatives have taken so long.All three technologies were known long before
gas and diesel found widespread use for transport fuel in the early 1900s.However, each required further refinement to
achieve large scale energy production.The
gas powered automobile with its seductive convenience and simplicity came along
at a pivotal point.
may be that crucial element that has been missing in alternative energy.Perhaps what alternative energy needs today
is the Henry Ford of the last century.Ford was quoted as saying, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin
again, this time more intelligently.”
Neither the author
of the Small
Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity
Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies