Blue Sphere To Start Biogas Commercial Operations

by Debra Fiakas CFA The Blue Sphere, Inc. (BLSP:  OTC/QB), stock price has weakened in recent months as investors registered their apparent frustration with fundamental developments.  Proposed acquisitions of operating biogas power plants in Italy have taken much longer than expected and majority interest in planned biogas plants in the U.S. were sold into joint venture arrangements rather than held as 100% equity positions.  Despite these developments, Blue Sphere management has doggedly moved forward on all fronts and there has been measurable progress toward first revenue. Commercial operation dates have been set for...

Waste Management: Biogas with a Dividend

by Debra Fiakas CFA The biogas industry has attracted a number of new entrants.  Blue Sphere (BLSP:  OTCQB) described in the recent post “Turning Potato Peels to Power” and RDX Technologies (RDX: TO, described here) are both newcomers to the biogas power generation.  Both companies show much promise and will likely grow dramatically over the next few years.  Shareholders are counting on the stock prices to follow. Investors who are less interested in the big growth play and more interested in stability and current income are not left out.  There are larger, more...

Global Resource Corporation: Needed Technology; Unanswered Questions About Management

On July 3, The Energy Blog told us about a process of turning old tires back into valuable oil and gasses.  Given the problems of Peak Oil and plastic waste which can mimic almost anything in the environment, I was intrigued, and I had the feeling that other watchers of the alternative energy space would be, too.  After a quick review to make sure that the technology was based on sound science (I believe it is, although that is no guarantee that it can be commercialized), and a search for information about their governance policies and a board list...
GPP

Covanta and Green Plains Partners Don’t Let A Crisis Go To Waste

by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Last week, two of the stocks in my Ten Clean Energy Stocks model portfolio cut their dividends.  Covanta Holding Corp (CVA) dropped its quarterly payout from $0.25 to $0.08 (a 68% cut) while Green Plains Partners (GPP) slashed its quarterly distribution from $0.475 to $0.12, a drop of 74.75%. Before reducing their dividends, both companies had payout ratios near 100%, meaning that substantially all of their free cash flow was going to pay dividends.  In general, companies are very reluctant to cut their dividends because it is a signal that their management thinks they cannot grow...
WM recycling

Plastic Bottle-neck

by Debra Fiakas, CFA In September 2019, the California State Assembly sent out legislation that sets a 10% recycled plastic mandate by 2021 and increases the hurdle rate to 50% by 2030.  The law covers plastic bottles that are already covered under the state’s container redemption program.  Companies will need to use plastic bottles made from recycled plastic such that at least a minimum percentage of the plastic used meets the mandate. Environmentalists and even consumers might be celebrating the new law, but the plastic recycling industry could be less than jubilant.  The recycling news feed is peppered with headlines that reveal some fraying...

Covanta on a Mission to Up-cycle Municipal Waste

Debra Fiakas, CFA The Waste Hierarchy, with energy from waste highlighted Covanta Energy (CVA:  NYSE) is a champion of renewable energy.  So much so that Covanta commissioned an elaborate sustainability report in 2010, detailing the company’s three-year track record in elevating municipal waste from the landfill to a higher order of use.  Compliant with standards set by the Global Reporting Initiative, the report is full of choice tidbits from Covanta’s municipal waste experience  -  at least through the year 2009. Let’s look at 2009, the last...

Covanta: The Big Player In Waste-to-Energy

by Debra Fiakas CFA Covanta Holding Corp. (CVA:  NYSE) is among the largest waste-to-energy developers and producers in the U.S.  The company couples waste collection services for local government and industry with power generation for local municipal or commercial customers.  Covanta’s waste handling and ‘mass-burn’ process also allows for metal recovery and sales.  The company operates forty-six waste-to-energy facilities mostly in North America supported by eighteen waste transfer stations and four ash landfills.  Covanta is a big player in the waste-to-energy industry, but what kind of yield does it's stock offer investors? Covanta’s management team...

$3 Billion For Cleantech & Alt Energy

Charles Morand The DOE made public earlier today the amount of money that will awarded to clean power projects in lieu of the usual tax breaks: $3 billion. This will allow project proponents to receive a direct cash grant now instead of a Production Tax Credit or an Investment Tax Credit later on. The guidance document notes the following: "Section 1603 of the Act’s tax title, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act, appropriates funds for payments to persons who place in service specified energy property during 2009 or 2010 or after 2010 if construction began...

Fulcrum Bioenergy’s $115M IPO: The 10-Minute Version

Jim Lane The first zero-cost feedstock biofuels company comes to the public markets with its IPO. Like to see how this “Back the the Futuresque” technology unlocks value by converting household garbage into transportation fuel? Here’s our 10-minute version of the IPO from Fulcrum Bioenergy. In California, Fulcrum Bioenergy has filed an S-1 registration statement for a proposed $115 million initial public offering. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined. The company proposes to list under the symbol FLCM. UBS Investment Bank...

Turning Potato Peels To Power

by Debra Fiakas CFA The series on waste-to-energy continues with Blue Sphere, Inc. (BLSP:  OTC/QB), a relatively new entrant to the biogas power generation market.  Blue Sphere is focused on converting principally food waste to power using anaerobic digestion technology.  In May 2014, Blue Sphere started construction on a bio-digester and power generation facility near Charlotte, North Carolina, that will turn potato peelings and apple cores into 5.2 megawatts of power.  Duke Energy (DUK:  NYSE) has been lined up to buy the power when the plant goes operational sometime before the end of 2015. Management expects to...

N-Viro: Sludge Into Fuel

by Debra Fiakas CFA After ethanol producers figured out that pricey feedstock could rapidly erode profits, the renewable energy industry began casting about for alternative feedstock.  What is cheaper than ‘free?’  Waste of all kinds  -  sewage, mixed municipal trash, animal manure, food and agriculture waste, wood pulp, exhaust gases, steam  -  can be virtually free.  Sometimes waste generators are even willing to pay a fee to anyone willing to accept their nasty stuff. N-Viro International (NVIC:  OTC/PK) is one of those renewable fuel producers with its arms wide open.  The company has lengthy experience in treating...

MagneGas’ Industrial Plasma

by Debra Fiakas CFA Alternative chemicals developer MagneGas Corporation (MNGA:  Nasdaq) is posting another guard at the gate.  The company recently filed a patent application to protect new enhancements of its plasma arc technology and gasification system.  Plasma is any gas taken to a whole new phase through extremely high temperatures.  For perspective the sun is actually a very large ball of plasma.  Here on Earth MagneGas is using its proprietary system to gasify carbon-rich liquids such as municipal wastewater to produce hydrogen gas for industrial applications and vehicle fuel.  Many investors have probably heard about...

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...

Utility Expects Growth From Green Consulting

by Debra Fiakas CFA Middlesex Water Company (MSEX: Nasdaq) has been providing the good people of New Jersey and Delaware with water services for a long time.  Its longevity in the marketplace is probably one of the reasons, Middlesex can claim a string of successive revenue and earnings increases.  The company achieved a net profit of $16.4 million on $115 million in total sales in the most recently reported twelve months.  More importantly, Middlesex turned 27.7% of those sales into operating cash flow, an achievement that helps support the company’s investment plans and dividend. Like any other water...
MagneGas treatment installation

Plasma Arcs For Pig Waste

This week MagneGas (MNGA:  NASDAQ) announced new work completed toward plans to enter the commercial pork sector with a proprietary manure processing and disposal solution.  Management held a meeting with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to discuss MagneGas technology to treat agriculture waste and the state’s required environmental permit protocols.  MagneGas aims to sell to pig farmers equipment based on its innovations. The company wants to help pig farmers address environmental problems cause by manure accumulation with its proprietary waste sterilization process.  Handling pig waste using conventional methods can be costly, but failure to...
fishing gear waste-to-energy

List of Waste-to-Energy Stocks

Waste-to-energy stocks are publicly traded companies whose business involves using municipal or other waste as a feedstock to create fuel or electricity.  Organic matter and plastics in a waste stream can be converted to fuel and/or electricity chemically, by means of pyrolysis, biologically such as in anaerobic digestion, or by incineration.  Alternatively, energy from waste can be captured from natural processes, such as in the collection of methane gas from landfills. This list was last updated on 4/3/2020 Attis Industries, Inc. (ATIS) Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc. (BW) Blue Sphere (BLSP) Capstone Microturbine (CPST) China Recycling Energy Corp. (CREG) Clearford Water Systems Inc. (CLI.V) Covanta Holding Corp....