A Coal Stock…Almost

This morning, I read an article in this week's Economist that summarized well what I've been hearing over the past few weeks: coal is back in fashion with power utilities. As pointed out in the article, on a BTU basis, coal remains the cheapest fuel for thermal generation, an the prospect of high carbon prices is not deterring even European power generators from investing in coal-fired assets. A few months ago, Tom discussed his peak coal portfolio. The long-term perspective is of course critical to keep in mind, and that piece helps putting recent news around...

The Low Cow-bon e-Cow-nomy

Jim Lane This month in Finland, a team of intrepid researchers herded one thousand European cows one-by-one into a glass “metabolic chamber” to measure their methane emissions, digestion, production characteristics, energy-efficiency, metabolism, and the microbial make-up of their rumens. The Project is known as RuminOmics, but if it had been titled The Truman Show II: When the Cows Come Home, we wouldn’t have been a bit surprised. The Cow Emission Crisis. No Kidding Around. The ultimate aim of the study was to find an optimal, low-emission, high-yield cow, and the team noted in its premise that of all greenhouse...

The Worst Waste

Jim Lane Peter Brown of FFA Fuels, promotes his company these days with the pithy slogan, “Fuels from the Worst Waste Around.” Which of course raises the legitimate question, what is the worst waste, and can we find a use for it? Discussions of worst waste will usually focus on the obvious say, landfill or the odious say, medical or nuclear waste. Toxicity and longevity are typical concerns, and that’s one of the reasons why nuclear energy remains controversial to this day. No Waste in Nature As LanzaTech’s Jennifer Holmgren observed in a recent article by...

The EPA’s Carbon Rule: Likely Stockmarket Winners

By Harris Roen Greenhouse gas emissions by economic sector   A seismic shift in the power generation landscape is starting to sink in. It has been two weeks since the EPA announced its new proposed carbon rules, one of the flagship efforts of the Obama Administration to address climate change. This shift is meant to move the country in the direction of inevitable changes coming to the energy economy. It is important for investors to know which companies and sectors stand to benefit from the...

Kadant: Will Investors Clean Up With This Bargain Green Stock?

Everybody likes a bargain.  Investors really like a good cheap buy.  A review of our four alternative energy industries revealed three stocks trading below industry average multiples of forecasted earnings. This is the second article in the series, thee first looked at Ormat (ORA:NYSE).    A couple of weeks ago shares of Kadant, Inc. (KAI:  NYSE) registered an particularly bullish formation  -  at least from a technical standpoint.  A ‘triple top breakout’ was formed in a point and figure chart, suggesting demand for the stock outpaces supply.  Given the new momentum that has developed, the stock could reach...

Capturing CO2 for Environmental Remediation

by Debra Fiakas CFA In 2009, the Department of Energy (DOE) awarded $17.4 million in funding to a gaggle of companies pursuing practical uses for carbon dioxide.  The recipients were asked to kick in a total of $7.7 million.  A year later in 2010, the DOE picked six projects to a second round of support totaling $82.6 million. Industrial giant Alcoa, Inc. (AA:  NYSE) leads one of the winning groups, including partners U.S. Nels, CO2 Solutions (CST:  V or COSLF:  OTC/BB) and Strategic Solutions.  The DOE gave the Alcoa team $13.5 million to complete a pilot...

Mantra’s Promise of Innovation

by Debra Fiakas CFA How often do we see the crowd rooting for the underdog?  You could hear the cheers for Mantra Energy (MVTG:  OTC) last week at the Marcum Microcap Conference in New York City.  Mantra is a developmental stage company pursuing technologies to harness carbon dioxide for energy.  Of course, the company has no revenue and therefore no earnings.  Indeed, its technologies are so unique and as yet at such an early stage some might find them almost fanciful.   Yet for some investors, a fanciful underdog is even better than another.   Mantra sees itself...

China Everbright Greentech

by Debra Fiakas CFA Investors based in the U.S. need to look far and wide for new stock issues from renewable energy companies.  Capital markets activity has slowed in the last couple of years, in part to due to their own success.  In reaching new efficiency in energy production, renewable energy companies are generating their own internal capital and are not as dependent upon the capital markets.  The Hong Kong market has come to the rescue of U.S. investors with a ‘green’ offering China Everbright Greentech Ltd. is now trading on the Hong Kong Exchange with the...

Chinese and EU Clash Over Airline Emissions

Doug Young China’s increasingly contentious trade relations with Europe suffered another setback late last week, when the EU threatened to fine Chinese airlines that were refusing to comply with a new controversial program to reduce greenhouse gases. China responded with its own threat by saying it won’t accept the EU’s planned carbon tax, raising the prospect of a dangerous new trade war. This latest in a recent series of trade conflicts between China and both Europe and the US is developing into a troublesome pattern that could spin out of control, endangering the nascent global economic...

Axion Power is Poised to Dominate Energy Storage for Stop-start Idle Elimination

John Petersen After eight years of rarely speaking above a whisper, Axion Power International (AXPW.OB) has found its voice, taken the scientific wraps off its PbC® battery technology and shown potential customers, competitors and investors that it's carrying a big stick and is poised to dominate energy storage for stop-start idle elimination – a cheap and sensible fuel efficiency and emissions reduction technology that's expected to grow at spectacular rates for the rest of the decade as shown in the following forecast of battery demand in vehicles equipped with stop-start systems. In a new white...

BioNitrogen: Valuable Technology, Management Questions

by Debra Fiakas CFA My last post outlined how  Bion Environmental Technologies, Inc. (BNET: OTC/QB) is transforming livestock waste into organic fertilizer.  Bion is not the only aspiring fertilizer producer.  BioNitrogen Holdings Corp. (BION:  OTC/PK) was recently patent protection for a process to produce urea from stranded natural gas.  Instead of burning off the unwanted gases, oil and gas operators can turn it into an economically viable by-product. There is more than just cash flow at stake for oil and gas producers.  Burning off stranded gas increases harmful emission that can lead to penalties in the...

Tetra Tech: Energy Engineer

by Debra Fiakas CFA In the coming years power generators will be under pressure to meet new standards for lower carbon emissions embedded in the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  Each state has to meet a set of standards set by the EPA based that state’s particular circumstances in electrical generation.  The carbon pollution limits begin in 2022 and ramp to full effect by 2030. Power generators could meet standards by reducing harmful emissions from existing fossil fuel-fire plants.  Unfortunately, that may prove too costly at some of the older plants.  It is logical that power generators...
pollution

List of Pollution Control Stocks

Pollution control stocks are publicly traded companies whose business involves technologies for removing or reducing the emissions of harmful pollutants, contaminants, and/or waste from human activity, or removing these pollutants from the environment or water. Advanced Emissions Solutions, Inc. (ADES) Advanced Disposal Services (ADSW) Bion Environmental Technologies (BNET) Biorem Inc. (BRM.V, BIRMF) Casella Waste Systems (CWST) CECO Environmental Corp. (CECE) CDTi Advanced Materials, Inc. (CDTI) Clearsign Combustion Corp. (CLIR) CO2 Solutions, Inc. (CST.V, COSLF) Donaldson Company, Inc. (DCI) Ecolab, Inc. (ECL) EcoSphere Technologies, Inc. (ESPH) Euro Tech Holdings (CLWT) Fuel Tech (FTEK) iPath Global Carbon ETN (GRN) Republic Services, Inc. (RSG) Tetra Tech, Inc. (TTEK) Trading Emissions PLC (TRE.L) Umicore S.A. (UMI.BR, UMICY, UMICF) Waste Connections (WCN) Waste Management, Inc....

OriginOil Renames Product – Will It Help The Business?

by Debra Fiakas CFA Mid-March 2014, OriginOil, Inc. (OOIL:  OTC/QB) relaunched its waste water treatment process for shale gas producers.  The company’s CLEAN-FRAC and CLEAN-FRAC PRIME products are now called OriginClear Petro.  OriginOil is expanding into the industrial and agricultural waste water treatment markets using the product name OriginClear Waste.  The company has been toiling away since 2007 perfecting its “Electro Water Separation” process that uses electrical impulses in a series of steps to disinfect and separate organic contaminants in waste water.    In June 2014, OriginOil management declared its development stage completed and start of full...

FuelTech: Pushing on a String of New Orders

by Debra Fiakas CFA Earlier this month Fuel Tech, Inc. (FTEK:  Nasdaq) announced the receipt of order for air pollution control systems totaling $2.0 million.  The customers are strung out across the U.S., Europe and China, but they all have dirty combustion systems and need to reduce toxic nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions or risk running afoul of government clean air standards.  These shipments are just the most recent in a string of orders Fuel Tech has won in recent months.  In late August 2015, the company received similar air pollution contracts from...

Southern Company’s Carbon Capture Testing

by Debra Fiakas CFA   Coal emissions photo via BigStock An electric utility of Southern Company’s size  -  $38.3 billion in market capitalization  -  is not among the typical company covered in the Small Cap Strategist weblog.  Southern (SO:  NYSE) owns and operates six dozen power plants in the southeastern U.S., generating 12,222 megawatts of power from a mix of fossil fuel, hydroelectric, nuclear and solar plant assets.  The company earned $2.68 in earnings per share on $16.5 billion in total electric power sales.  Sales dipped in 2012...