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Is Green Already In Trouble Despite Obama?

Posted by Bob Warfield on January 29, 2009

I read a very surprising story in JJ Cramer’s investment newsletter today (sorry, I’d link, but it’s inaccessible paid content, but there is more here too).  Trinity is a company that builds wind power systems.  At one point it was vying with GE for dominance of the space.  I remember reading about them at the peak of oil prices and wondering whether I shouldn’t add some to my portfolio.  The announcement is that they’re actually taking some wind capacity offline and laying people off.  As Cramer points out, this is saying that the company couldn’t even wait to see what stimulus our new President would put in place.  The economics of the business were bad enough they had to take immediate action.

It’s going to be hard for Green to get it’s feet under it if energy economics make the success of these technologies so fickle that they’re our entire future one moment, and the next they can’t even afford to keep operating at capacity.  Does it bother anyone else as much as me that Trinity is actually pulling capacity offline that was built and working?  If the economics are that tenuous, the government can’t afford enough stimulus to make it go, even with all the billions being talked about.  Worse, the idea that the right infrastructure investment makes us more efficient is also suspect if the investment goes to areas that are ultimately not economic.

This story was a shock to me.

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