LATEST ARTICLES

Digital Electrification: Less Waste, More Capacity

One potentially huge contributor to decarbonization of the economy could come from dramatic efficiency gains obtainable from digitally improving the power quality of electricity, as it is being generated, transmitted & being consumed.   The enabling technology is emerging from developments in computing that is associated with the Internet of Things (IOT). DOE estimates indicate that approximately 38.2 quads of electricity are produced, from all sources, but that 25.3 quads, or 66.2% is deemed “Rejected Energy”, so only 33.8% of generated electricity is actually being used.  Within that 66% a distinction is recognized between “Losses” & “Waste”: Loss is non-recoverable, I2R...
Mersen

Vertical Integration In Graphite Industry

by Debra Fiakas, CFA Grand View Research, another industry research group, estimates that the graphite market could reach $93 billion by 2025, boosted mostly by new demand for electric vehicle batteries as well as batteries for electronic devices and grid-storage systems.  According to Technavio, an industry research firm, the graphite industry is estimated to grow more than 5% annually through 2025, largely on new demand for highly purified graphite material used in lithium ion battery anodes. Among the immediate beneficiaries of this growth trend are the established graphite producers and those among the most recent entrants that have begun ringing up sales...
Epanko

Canadian and Tanzanian Graphite Connections

A list of graphite companies covered in this series can be found here. Like performance test results, customer relationships are critical stepping stones for graphite developers.  In June 2018, Northern Graphite (NGC: TSX-V) announced a memorandum of understanding with a European trading company to sell 100% of the output from Northern’s Bisset Creek resources in Ontario, Canada.  China-based manufacturers are the intended end-users.  Northern management is using the arrangement as leverage with prospective investors to finance mine infrastructure and processing equipment.  Capital costs are expected to exceed CA$145 million. Northern claims a proprietary purification technology the company intends to use to upgrade its graphite output.    Its Bissett Creek deposit...

Yankee Graphite

Several graphite developers have made plans to integrate forward into the hottest segment of the market  -  battery-grade graphite.  According to Industrial Minerals, spherical graphite suitable for lithium ion battery anodes is priced in a range of $2,700 to $2,800 per metric ton in China where many battery manufacturers are located.  This compares quite well to the range of about $655 to $790 per metric ton for flake graphite concentrate. The integration strategy has sent the sector into a frenzy of activity to prove their graphite meets expectations of battery manufacturers.  The only graphite deposit in the U.S. mainland is under development by Westwater Resources...
Lithium Ion Battery Diagram

Graphite Developers Eye Large Growing Market

The post “Integrated Graphene Producers” featured several graphene producers with novel business models that marry captive graphite sources to the technology and knowhow to produce graphene.  These are not the only graphite producers.  Although not as elegant as graphene with its svelte single-atom profile, the market for graphite has its appeal as well. Graphite has been a staple in steel industry crucibles, foundry molds and automobile brake linings.  These days graphite has moved into another even more important place in cars  -  lithium ion batteries that make electric vehicles viable as replacements for gas guzzling cars and trucks. Spherical graphite is especially desirable because the graphite anodes hold...
cdg roles

Clearing Up Some Confusion Over Community Solar In New York

Community Solar in New York has a messaging problem. It is confusing, and even some industry professionals have given up in disgust because of aggressive marketing and a lack of clarity. Fortunately, aggressive marketing is not universal among community solar developers. Unfortunately, the lack of clarity is almost universal. How Community Solar Works in New York The system the New York utility regulator set up for community distributed generation (CDG, a term which includes community hydropower and community wind as well as community solar) is counter intuitive for most potential customers. As shown in the diagram above, the electric utility pays for a project's...
albany graphite

Crystalline Graphite

ZEN Graphene Solutions (ZEN:  TSX-V) recently teamed up with the University of Manchester, seat of the two Nobel Prize-winning scientists who are credited with isolating graphene.  ZEN management hopes to work with Manchester on commercialization of graphene for a variety of applications, including concrete, composites, membranes, and sensors. ZEN’s Albany graphite project is located in southeastern Ontario.  In March 2019, the company completed tests on a production process to purify graphite concentrate from its mine.  The purified graphite was near 99.8% carbon per gram and will be used as a precursor material for ZEN’s graphene.   The company plans to use a chemical exfoliation process to convert...
10 for 2019 YTD total return

Ten Clean Energy Stocks For 2019: April Ascent

In April, my 10 clean energy stocks model portfolio continued to power ahead, despite the concerns about market valuation I expressed last month.  As I said at the time "me being nervous about the market is not much of an indicator that stocks are going to fall" at least in the short term.  So I continue to trim winning positions and increase my allocation to cash as stocks advance. Both the model portfolio and the Green Global Equity Income Portfolio (GGEIP) were up 4.5% and 3.6% respectively in April.  This was solidly ahead of their clean energy income benchmark YLCO...
ADM HQ

ADM Separates Ethanol Business

Prelude to a spin-off? by Jim Lane The Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is breaking news of breaking off their ethanol unit…and a tumbling 40% decline in profit. In Chicago, Archer Daniels Midland Company reported their financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2019, but most interesting to us, they are looking at separating their ethanol business with the option of spinning it off completely. They are also taking other actions to restructure and deal with challenges they say include weather issues and trade pressures. ADM announced a “series of measures to continue to underpin long-term-value creation” which included: “First, to meet growing customer...
covanta rookery project

Covanta’s Q1: Ten Clean Energy Stocks For 2019

by Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA Covanta Holding Corp. (NYSE:CVA) 12/31/18 Price: $13.42.  Annual Dividend: $1.00. Expected 2019 dividend: $1.00.  Low Target: $13.  High Target: $25. 3/26/19 Price: $17.86. YTD Dividend: $0.25. YTD Yield: 1.9%  YTD Appreciation: 33.1% YTD Total Return: 34.9% Leading waste-to-energy operator Covanta's stock has been the second best performing holding in my 10 Clean Energy Stocks for 2019 model portfolio.  While in many ways the company is similar to the clean energy Yieldcos that dominate the model portfolio, it is different in that it develops its own projects, while most Yieldcos depend on a sponsor to develop projects which...
solar tree envision

EnvisionSolar Now On Nasdaq

The Envision Solar (EVSI) was reviewed in depth in a previous article last September in the context of its avoidance of high demand charges for electric vehicle DC fast chargers. Envision Solar has completed its Nasdaq listing as reported in the news release on the Nasdaq site & Accesswire.   The company issued 2,000,000 shares and expects to receive gross proceeds of $12.0 million before deducting offering expenses. Prior to the new listing, average pricing for the stock on the OTC market was disclosed to be $.23/share. Applying the 1:50 reverse split, the post-split equivalent stock value would have been $11.50. However,...
GNOX

Graphene Oxides

Oxides Grafoid, Inc.  has been toiling since 2011 to solve the challenges of scaling graphene production.  The company recently launched a new product group of oxidized graphene material that is being marketed under the brand name GNOX.  The GNOX innovation follows three other product groups of gels, solvents and dispersed graphene material.  Grafoid touts its capacity to produce graphene of high purity and consistency. Privately-held Grafoid is a spin out of Focus Graphite (FMS:  TSX.V).  Focus Graphite still owns significant interest in Grafoid so investors could consider FMS shares as a proxy for a stake in Grafoid.  For all practical purposes the two companies are operated as one entity as they share...
Saint Jean Walker Graphite

Graphite to Graphene Enhanced Gel Batteries

Saint Jean Carbon, Inc. (SJL:  TSX-V) is adding value to its natural graphite resources by integrating forward into the graphene market.  The company owns graphite resources in southern Quebec and eastern Ontario, Canada with historic mining track records. The company is cultivating know-how cultivated for development of battery-grade graphite.  Saint Jean can already supply low volumes of finished and semi-prepared anode or cathode materials.  The company is developing a prototype for a graphene gel salt water battery that is expected to charge faster and perform longer than conventional batteries.  In January 2019, Saint Jean management announced plans to have the battery design ready for sale by...

Integrated Graphene Producers

Graphene is a one-atom thick sheet of carbon atom arranged in a honeycomb lattice.  It is an exceptional conductor of heat and electricity and its strength is unparalleled.  Although synthetic graphite can be used to produce graphene and it offers the benefit of consistency, natural graphite is far less expensive as a source material.  Synthetic graphite is made by combining petroleum coke with carbon black in a high heat process that burns up profits as it purifies the carbon. There are several methods for producing graphene.  Exfoliation of natural graphite is perhaps the most common alternative because it produces the least defects and leaves...

Producing Graphene Filaments

In March 2019, Graphene 3D Lab (GGG:  TSX-V) completed a private placement of 9.4 million units of its common stock and warrants at CA$0.06 per unit to raise CA$525,000 in new capital.  The proceeds will be used for working capital and the company begins commercial sales of its graphene conductive filament.  The filaments are designed for three-dimensional printing of electronic circuitry, sensor or radio frequency shielding. The company is under new management that just took the helm in November 2018.  Earlier new sales leadership in sales had been added to accelerate market penetration.  The team is quick to tell potential customers and investors about its products, but...

Neste’s Growing Circular Economies

by Jim Lane In California, waste feedstock from the city of Oakland is now being converted to Neste (NEF.F, NESTE.HE, NTOIF, NTOIY) MY Renewable Diesel and fuels the city’s fleet. The city, Neste, fuel distributor Western States Oil and local collectors for used cooking oil joined forces to gather waste cooking oils from restaurants and other businesses in the Oakland metropolitan area and convert it to fuel the city’s fleet. By making waste more valuable and supporting jobs that collect and treat it, this concept helps the local economy in the city while the cleaner-burning Neste MY Renewable Diesel improves the lives of its...