This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

IBM and Your Changing Energy World

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If I had a technology that could cut the cost of solar energy production to as little as 10 cents per kilowatt-hour (KwH), I'd be dropping everything to get it to market.

But I'm not IBM (IBM - Get Report).

IBM announced last week it will spend a $2.4 million grant from Switzerland studying a solar energy technology called High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal (HCPVT). 

HCPVT combines the concentrated solar energy system used in the newly opened Ivanpah plant in California, where mirrors direct sunlight to a central point and produce heat, with conventional photovoltaics, the technology that turns sunlight directly into electricity on a rooftop near you.

HCPVT uses a parabolic dish of mirror facets and a sun tracking system to concentrate power on a collection of liquid-cooled photovoltaic chips. The system collects electricity through the chips and heat through the chip-cooling system. IBM's press release says it can produce energy for less than 10 cents per KwH.

That's the same price as coal. The efficiency is nearly twice that of a recently-announced solar cell produced by the Fraunhofer Institute

How excited is IBM by this? Not much. A spokesman wrote that IBM hopes to partner with other companies to make the chips, partner with construction firms to develop the systems, but that "compared with the key IBM growth areas of Cloud, Big Data, Analytics, Security and Mobile, this technology is not at the same scale."

I don't think the company is being disingenuous or that it is wrong about the potential of this new system in relation to other corporate efforts. I think the rest of us are missing the point.

Renewable technology is marching forward at warp speed.

Solar panels erected in 2010 may become obsolete long before their useful life is over. Wind technology is moving from simple, large windmill structures to more complex systems that are far more efficient. Biofuel start-ups are having a tough time keeping up

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
IBM $145.94 0.00%
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%
TSLA $240.76 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs