Fluence now official and more +2

Okay, I had said I wouldn't do this, but Fluence has issued not one, but three press releases announcing that it commenced commercial operation on the first of the year, with access to customers in over 160 countries.  That includes supplying the world's largest lithium-ion battery-based storage project, which is AES's project with SoCal Edison, in Long Beach, CA. 

The second press release summarizes and provides examples of how Siemens Financial Services will provide financing for Fluence projects around the world.  The third introduces a product called SunFlex Energy Storage, which it says will enable solar facilities to sell up to 50 percent more energy, and do so during more advantageous times of the day.  There have been entire company business models centered around peak shaving and demand response, so the value here is not to be underestimated.  Note that the generation companies assuming these functions is a long-term negative for CUI Global's ICE Block product.

I'll be watching Schlumberger's earnings report, a week from tomorrow, for commentary on how much run oil really has in it.  On average analysts estimate EPS of 45 cents on $8.1b in revenue, with current quarter sales expected to be flat.  I note that the U.S. has just become a net exporter of natural gas, for the first time since at least 1957, thanks in part to Cheniere.  Natural Gas has bounced back above $3, recently and WTI crude is approaching $65.

As the tug of war between renewables and hydrocarbons plays out, I'm feeling better than ever about having moved the stock to dedicated coverage, and remind subscribers that AES goes ex-dividend at the end of the month, and that the payout was bumped by a penny.