The Best Peak Oil Investments, Part V: Algae

Tom Konrad CFA There are many proposed solutions to the liquid fuels scarcity caused be stagnating (and eventually falling) oil supplies combined with growing demand in emerging economies.  Some will be good investments, others won't.  Here is where I'm putting my money, and why.  This fifth part takes a look at the growing consensus that our biofuels should come from non-food crops grown on land that is not otherwise productive, and the one crop that shows promise of delivering the high yields needed to satisfy our enormous thirst for fuel is algae. In part I of...

Focus On Clean Power Income Trusts

Last week, Tom brought you a piece on the Algonquin Power Income Fund (AGQNF.PK), in which he opined that shift in investor attention away from capital gains toward yield might eventually provide a catalyst for the prices of yield-focused securities such as income trusts to rise. So-called utility trusts, or income trusts where the underlying corporation is engaged in utility activities such as power generation, are a common feature of the Canadian income trust sector (the mother of all income trust sectors). A sub-set of utility trusts is the clean power utility trust, where the power generation...

What Trump’s Victory Means For The Bioeconomy

Jim Lane In Washington, Donald Trump captured the US Presidency in an upset victory that confounded pollsters and political pundits even as it delighted supporters of his maverick candidacy based on themes of immigration and trade reform coupled with a message that government policies of the past generation had failed for too many Americans. An unexpected series of wins across US Midwestern states – capturing Iowa, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio which had gone for Obama in 2012 – provided a comfortable margin of victory in the Electoral College and the popular vote. 5 Themes Some immediate themes emerge...

Biochar Investing

Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA BioChar, or using black carbon directly as a soil amendment holds the promise of both increasing agricultural yields and locking up carbon in the soil for centuries or millennia.  Are there ways for stock market investors to benefit? The technology is simple, but the results are potentially quite profound.  By pyrolyizing (heating in the absence of oxygen) biomass, and mixing the resulting char into the soil, it is possible to produce  Energy, in the form of heat, electricity, and or liquid fuel Carbon sequestration More productive agricultural land. Key to producing both energy...

Environmental Power Corporation’s Subsidiary Signs Joint Business Development Agreement with Applied LNG Technologies

Environmental Power Corp (EPG) announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Microgy, Inc. has entered into agreement with Applied LNG Technologies USA, Inc. , for the development of biogas-supplied LNG projects in California. The Agreement provides that Microgy and ALT (http://www.altlngusa.com) will cooperate to identify, evaluate and develop projects, principally in California, that combine Microgy's anaerobic digestion technology, which extracts methane-rich biogas from animal waste, and ALT's LNG transport and distribution technology.

Intrepid Begins Commercial Use of Bio Gas

Intrepid Technology and Resources, Inc. (IESV) that the Methane gas being produced at the Whitesides bioreactor located near Rupert, Idaho is now being used as process heat in the anaerobic digester replacing previously utilized expensive propane. ITR President Dr. Keiser stated, "This is obviously a significant step in demonstrating the commercial viability of our Methane to market technology where clean gas is produced and sold for residential, industrial or transportation applications. This technology and our proprietary processes and this first use of our gas bring us significantly closer to actual gas sales. The hydrogen sulfide equipment is working...

Enviva: Wood Pellets Into Dividends

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week Enviva Partners, LP (EVA:  NYSE) reported financial performance for its wood pellets business in its quarter ending September 2015.  Sales totaled a whopping $116.6 million, representing a 53% increase compared to $40.5 million in the same quarter last year.  The big jump in revenue resulted from higher volumes to larger customers.  Distributable cash flow totaled $12.6 million compared to $8.2 million in the year ago period.  Quarter performance made possible a declared cash distribution of $0.44 per common unit, which is 7% higher than the minimum quarterly distribution. At its...

RCAI Signs New Exclusive Distributorship Agreement with Topia Energy for Biodiesel

Reclamation Consulting and Applications Inc (RCAA) announced that it has signed a new Exclusive Distributorship Agreement with Topia Energy, Inc. for the sale and distribution of biodiesel. Ottawa-based Topia Energy, Inc. is Canada's largest commercial producer and supplier of biodiesel fuel oils with production capabilities throughout North America. Biodiesel is the only fuel to be classified as entirely non-toxic; it biodegrades faster than sugar, is ten times less toxic than table salt and produces exhaust that some say smell like popcorn or French fries.

Bagasse – the Big Prize

Jim Lane Like MSW? You’ll love bagasse. Lot of the advantages of waste, and there’s a lot more available.  Heaps of bagasse, covered with blue plastic, outside of a sugar mill in Proserpine, Queensland.  Image via Wikipedia. Sugar’s the new oil, DOE Secretary Steven Chu is fond of saying. Codexis agrees, but argues that sugarcane residue (instead of competing for cane syrup) is the path to the real riches. Petroleum – we all know what it is, but what does...

Bio-Power Shows Competitive Edge

David Appleyard   IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, has published a study on the costs of biomass power generation, concluding that the most competitive projects can generate electricity at a cost as low as US$0.06/kWh. Bio Power Plant With Storage Of Wooden Fuel photo via BigStock Around the world, large quantities of agricultural and forestry wastes go underutilised and the agency argues that using these wastes as a feedstock to provide power and heat can cost less than electricity from the...

Brazilian Sugar Miller COSAN Begins Use Of O2Diesel

O2Diesel Corp (OTD) announced that one of the largest sugar millers and ethanol producers in the world, COSAN (annual revenues of US$500 million) of Brazil, began using O2Diesel(TM) in the diesel powered fleet located at their mill in Barra Bonita, State of Sao Paulo. This mill is the world's largest sugar and ethanol production facility with the capacity to process 6.8 million tons of sugar cane per year. The patented fuel technology developed by O2Diesel Corporation of Newark, Delaware, will be used in a wide variety of trucks and agricultural equipment. COSAN operates 12 mills in Southeastern Brazil with...

Syntroleum and Sustec Announce Coal-to-Liquids Joint Venture

Syntroleum Corp (SYNM) announced today that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that provides for exclusive joint business development of projects that will integrate Sustec's FUTURE ENERGY GSP® gasification technology with Syntroleum's Fischer-Tropsch (FT) and Synfining® technology. The joint venture is aimed at converting coal and other carbonaceous materials such as petroleum-coke, residual fuel oil and biomass into ultra-clean fuels. Each company will own 50 percent of the joint venture.

Change Winds Blow for Renewable Energy Income Trusts

Renewable energy is still very much in its infancy, which means that companies in the space are either profitless or high-multiple startups, or divisions of much larger companies (GE Wind (NYSE:GE), or utilities such as FPL Group (NYSE:FPL) and Xcel (NYSE:XEL) which get much of their power from conventional generation.) This presents a dilemma for investors who understand the compelling drivers for the sector, but whose risk tolerance or financial needs indicate an income-based investing strategy. Canadian Income Trusts in Renewable Energy A few Canadian Income Trusts have historically gone some way towards filling this niche....

Intrepid Signs 15 Year Supply Agreement With Intermountain Gas

Intrepid Technology and Resources, Inc. (IESV) announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding that includes purchasing ITR's planned methane produced natural gas using anaerobic digester technology at participating diaries in southern Idaho. The agreement runs for 15 years and provides for Intermountain to purchase all of the pipeline quality methane gas produced by the digesters and delivered to the Intermountain distribution system by ITR over the life of the contract. Furthermore, Intermountain will provide assistance for the installation, operation and maintenance of the gas gathering system that will collect and transport the gas produced by the participating...

Tekron Inc. and Vydexa Industrials Corporation Engaged by Barbados Sugar Industries Ltd. to Restructure...

Tekron Inc. (TKRN) is pleased to announce that Tekron Inc. and Vydexa Industrials Corporation of London, Ontario have received a contract to prepare a feasibility study for Barbados Sugar Industries Ltd. (BSIL) and restructure the fledgling sugar cane industry in Barbados. The objective of the assignment is to develop an industrial base for production of fuel alcohol and other higher value products from sugar cane biomass. The project undertaking will encompass all aspects necessary for decision-making, relating to technologically sound and profitable utilization of sugar cane biomass residues that are left after conventional sugar extraction, presently practiced in...

NanoLogix Announces Completion of Welch’s Hydrogen Bioreactor Facility and Commencement of Hydrogen Production

NanoLogix Inc. (NNLX.PK) announced today that the Company has completed the construction of its first commercial hydrogen bioreactor facility at a Welch's Food plant in North East, Pennsylvania. The company also announced that the facility will begin hydrogen generation from Welch's waste organic matter on or about the first of April 2006. The technology behind the hydrogen bioreactor, developed and patented by NanoLogix in coordination with the Gannon University Department of Environmental Science & Engineering, allows for the limitless production of hydrogen from organic containing waste waters and any waste organic materials, such as sewer water, ground up...