Books, Reports, Webcasts & Podcasts

Climate Change & Corporate Disclosure: Should Investors Care?

Charles Morand On Monday morning, I received an e-copy of a new research note by BofA Merrill Lynch arguing that disclosure by publicly-listed companies on the issue of climate change was becoming increasingly "important". The note claimed: "e believe smart investors and companies will recognize the edge they can gain by understanding low carbon trends." I couldn't agree more with that statement. It was no coincidence that on that same day the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a non-profit UK-based organization that surveys public companies each year on the state of their climate change awareness, was...

Climatic Consequences

Allow me to introduce this post by saying that I wholeheartedly welcome the firming of a new trend in North America: namely viewing climate change as a value creation, rather than as a value destruction, proposition. For the better part of the past decade, the climate change debate has been dominated by the the views of a small-yet-powerful collection of business actors with a lot to loose from seeing governments regulate greenhouse gases (GHG). This group, with its tremendous political influence, did everything that it could to stymie meaningful debate on the climate question, tirelessly arguing that moving...

How to Invest in Clean Cars

A new report by Merril Lynch and the World Resources Institute (WRI), entitled “Alternatives for the clean car evolution��?, provides good background on regulatory and other forces driving the trend toward cleaner cars, as well as 3 ways to play this trend. The report first looks at air quality-related issues and lists 3 things to watch out for in the near term: (1) legal issues surrounding the classification of CO2 as a pollutant in the Clean Air Act, (2) whether governments, especially in Europe but eventually in the US, include road transport in their plans to fight climate...

The Economist is Cleaning Up

The Economist ran, in its edition for the past week, a series of very interesting articles on the topic of business and climate change called "Cleaning Up: A Survey of Business and Climate Change". To access the articles, go to the Economist's page for that edition and scroll down to the section called A survey of business and climate change (right side of the page). Some of the more interesting articles, from my point of view: 1) Emissions trading 2) The wind and solar industries 3) Clean coal Happy reading!

EVs, Lithium-ion Batteries and Liars Poker

John Petersen Last week I stumbled across a link that led to a 2010 report from the National Research Council titled "Hidden Costs of Energy, Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use." This free 506-page book takes a life-cycle approach – from fuel extraction to energy production, distribution, and use to disposal of waste products – and attempts to quantify the health, climate and other unpriced damages that arise from the use of various energy sources for electricity, transportation and heat. After studying the NRC's discussion of the unpriced health effects, other nonclimate damages and greenhouse gas...

Book Review: Investment Opportunities for a Low Carbon World (Geothermal + Efficiency)

Charles Morand Last Thursday, I reviewed two chapters from the recently published book "Investment Opportunities for a Low Carbon World"*. This post reviews two more.  Geothermal Energy Alexander Richter, Glitnir Bank (now Íslandsbanki) Geothermal is one of the most interesting forms of clean power generation there is. As noted by the author, the most convincing argument for geothermal electricity is the fact that it operates at capacity factors in the upper 90s. This makes it the only renewable technology suitable for baseload power with the exception of dam-based (i.e. large-scale) hydro. However, as...

Q1 2007 Renewable Energy & Biofuels Country Attractiveness Indices

Q1 2007 Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices Ernst & Young recently released its Q1 2007 Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices, a series of indices that rank countries on their attractiveness with regards to alternative energy growth and development. These indices provide good yardsticks for investors who want to know which markets offer the best near and long term alt energy growth prospects. The report presents three main indices, whose names are fairly self-explanatory: (1) The All Renewables Index (2) The Long-term Wind Index (>2 years) (3) The Near-term...

Alt Energy Investing Video

Thanks to Bill Paul (see below) for the heads up on an interesting video on alt energy geared toward an investor audience. The video is available on Consuelo Mack's Wealthtrack website. Click on "Wealthtrack Video on Demand" on the right-hand side and select the clip dated 01/12/07. It should be under "Current Programs" for a little while longer and will then be moved to "Archive Programs". The video consists of a 25-minute discussion between the anchor and the following 3 guests: Bill Paul, former WSJ reporter and author of the newly-released book "Future Energy: How the New...

TV Time!

A quick post to give you the heads up on 2 interesting TV segments that you can watch online. Firstly (and thanks to Mark Reid for this one), Ian Cheshire, CEO of B&Q, Europe's largest home improvement company, on his company's decision to begin producing and selling wind and solar equipment. The segment is about 23 mins long. The interesting thing about this is to hear the CEO of a major global company discuss how he and B&Q see demand for clean products evolve over the next few years. It's a good reminder that it's not only small...

Solar Stocks As the Best Play On The Cleantech Revolution? (Part I)

I just got around to reading a new report by Merrill Lynch (link at the end of this article) identifying cleantech as "The Sixth Revolution" (the other five being: Industrial Revolution; Age of Steam & Railways; Age of Steel, Electricity and Heavy Engineering; Age of Oil, the Automobile and Mass Production; and Age of Info and Telecommunications). Periodically, sell-side firms will release free cleantech/alt energy reports, which lay out their macro theses but stop short of providing stock picks to non-clients. I don't generally pay these reports too much attention as I find they rarely - if ever...