Could This Chromebook Maker Be a Real Threat to Global Utilities?

There is a growing movement of technology companies crossing over into the world of energy and Toshiba is a name quietly fllexing its muscle with next generation cleantech moves that investors should be focusing on.

Jan 19, 2014 at 12:49PM

A lot of hype around product innovation and electronic gadgetry came out of the recent 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but despite Japanese technology company Toshiba (NASDAQOTH:TOSBF) unveiling its 13.3 inch Chromebook at the event, I'm really much more interested in the next generation energy technology the company is quietly building. 

Toshiba is teaming with Gagfah S.A.,(NASDAQOTH:GGFHF), one of the biggest residential property companies in Germany, to enter the German solar market with an on-site consumption model. This could spell electricity price relief for residential apartment building tenants at a time when prices continue to rise, thanks in part to Germany's move away from nuclear power post-Fukushima. This isn't a totally new endeavor into solar by Toshiba since the Japanese industrial giant moved into solar PV in 2009, but it speaks volumes considering the residential opportunities to help lower reliance on the grid and lower consumer prices, two major issues that could make Toshiba enemy number one for utility players.

Keep in mind, Toshiba is trying to boost its stake in British nuclear power firm NuGen and bought Westinghouse Electric back in 2006 in the hopes of ramping up its nuclear business. However, a more long-term view on growth in nuclear power may be helping to facilitate the company's decision to boost its presence in solar to see more immediate financial results. In fact, Toshiba's new onsite consumption model, which is slated to jump from 3MW to 100MW of solar power in just two years, may be indicative the company is looking to become a big player in energy storage and home energy management solutions.

If that's the case, Toshiba, which has an existing partnership with Mitsubishi Electric to sell power conditioners for large-scale solar projects in China and India, may be gently putting utilities such as E.ON (NASDAQOTH:EONGY) and RWE (NASDAQOTH:RWEOY) on notice that their business model is utterly flawed. That makes Toshiba a unique solar story that may look to bring its Mitsubishi venture to Germany while simultaneously boosting its presence in other renewable markets such as wind through its acquisition of Sigma Power last Fall and in geothermal, a new area where the company is moving forward in Kenya. One thing's for sure: Global utilities should be paying attention to this electronics giant's growing focus on renewable energy. 

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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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