Carbon Negative Impacts from Biomass Conversion

By Andrew Grant, Biomass Power Projects, LLC, Lee Enterprises Consulting Canada, New England, and California all have Carbon Credit programs to achieve GHG reduction goals. Several forms of biomass diversion from landfills, farms, and other biomass – dependent GHG sources are already in operation to support significant GHG reductions. Examples of GHG reductions are given, and the carbon impact of the different commercially available biomass to GHG reduction processes are described. The three groups of commercially guaranteed biomass conversion processes are: 1. Power Generation, Steam Generation, and CHP: from the combustion of biomass wastes. This industry, with about 100...

Covanta Turns Waste into Cash

Debra Fiakas, CFA The Waste Hierarchy, with energy from waste highlighted The self-styled “energy-from-waste” company Covanta Holding (CVA:  NYSE) turns municipal waste into electricity and recycled metals.  The operations also turned 21.9% of its revenue into cash in 2011.  We note that the conversation ratio has declined over the last three years from 28.7% in 2009 and 27.2% in 2010, but we are still impressed with any cash conversion rate over 20%. The company operates forty-one mass-burn facilities around the U.S. that burn all manner...

The Pros Pick Two (Correction:Four) Offbeat Cleantech Stocks for 2014

Tom Konrad CFA Green 2014 image via BigStock Among the dozen stocks picked by my panel of professional green money managers for 2014, most followed three themes: Solar stocks, IT stocks, and income stocks.  Two didn’t, and they are included here. This Cash-Rich Water Company Could Produce a Big Dividend The first is a Japanese water utility, picked by Rafael Coven, the Managing Director at the Cleantech Group, and manager of the Cleantech index (^CTIUS) which underlies the Powershares Cleantech ETF (NYSE:PZD.) Coven likes...

WSTE Not, Want Not

Tom Konrad CFA A truly sustainable economy would produce no waste: everything would be recycled or reused for some productive purpose.  We're a long way from that ideal today, but the rising cost of commodities makes recovering used material through recycling increasingly economic. Further, the rising cost of energy makes converting municipal and industrial waste into advanced biofuels or combusting it to produce electricity an increasingly economic option. Attempting to guess which advanced biofuel technology will be successful strikes me as a fool's errand.  Why not instead invest in the owners of the feedstock?  While I don't...

Blue Sphere’s First Revenue

by Debra Fiakas CFA Blue Sphere (BLSP:  OTC) is continuing to make progress in its strategic plans to build and operate biogas power plants.  The company is initially targeting the largely untapped supply of organic wastes from food processing and table to meet growing demand for renewable, no– or low-carbon emission energy sources.  A year ago, the company’s portfolio consisted of a string of projects all in the planning stage.  Management has pushed two food waste-to-energy projects in the U.S.to the construction stage and closed on the first four acquisitions of fully operational agriculture-waste biogas power plants in...
Pinellas

Covanta Rebounds

by Debra Fiakas, CFA Waste handler Covanta Holding Company (CVA:  NYSE) reported financial results for the first three months of the year at the beginning of May 2020.  True enough the net loss might have been wider than published estimates for the quarter, but the consensus target did not reflect a one-time, non-cash charge for asset impairment.  Indeed, Covanta’s sales climbed year-over-year to $468 million, of which $61 million was converted to operating cash flow.  Waste handling is considered an essential service so Covanta operations remained at full operations even as many of its customers were subject to work stoppages and stay-at-home policies to...
transit ridership

Earnings Roundup: Covanta, NFI Group, Green Plains Partners

by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Earnings Season Continues Below are three more updates on second quarter earnings which I've been sharing with my Patreon supporters.  If you'd like to support my writing and see those thoughts in a more timely manner, consider becoming a patron. becoming a patron. For everyone else, I'm reprinting those thoughts below. Covanta Earnings (published August 2nd) Waste to energy company Covanta Holding Corp (CVA) saw most of its business recovering towards the end of the second quarter.  Management is reluctant to predict if the positive trend will continue into the third quarter and for the rest of the year, but...

Fiberight: A Deep-Dive Into Trash To Find Cash

by Jim Lane. Biofuels Digest This week Fiberight secured $70 million for a municipal solid waste center that should be in operation by this May. The high-tech facility will convert 180,000 tons of trash each year from more than 100 Maine towns into biofuel at a 144,000-square-foot steel frame facility that began construction last July. We visually profile the technology and company in our Multi-Slide Guide here. The underlying facility is what’s known as a Dirty MRF, or materials recovery facility. That’s where the receiving happens and the sortation begins — and the process of recovering value back from the waste stream begins. The bottom line...

Covanta: Comfort In An Ample Dividend

by Debra Fiakas CFA In late August 2015, volatility turned its frightening countenance on the U.S. equity market.  The volatility measure for the S&P 500 Index (VIX) spiked to a peak of 53.29 during trading on August 24th.  While things have calmed down since, volatility remains well above the 20.00 level where many investors consider it too precarious to take new equity positions.  At time like these it makes sense to seek the warm comfort of an ample dividend.  Those regular cash rewards can make it worthwhile waiting for stock prices to calm down. Within...

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...
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...

Advanced biofuels pioneer Terrabon files for chapter 7 bankruptcy: One-off or trend?

Jim Lane Closely-watched green gasoline producer collapses as Waste Management (WM) declines next financing round. What does it mean for companies like Fulcrum Bioenergy, Enerkem, Agilyx, Agnion, Renmatix, Genomatica, and InEnTec? The Digest looks at the inside story. In Texas, Terrabon filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection; the company’s operations will cease and a trustee will be tasked with liquidating the company’s assets for the benefit of creditors. The complete Chapter 7 announcement is here. In a statement, Terrabon’s leadership said that company could not obtain additional corporate funding to finish developing and engineering its...

$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...

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...
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...

China Recycling Energy: Profiting From Murky Air, But How Much?

by Debra Fiakas CFA   Shanghai at sunset as the sun fades into the smog. Photo source: Suicup China’s industrial pollution problems are mounting.  Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) increased by 3% in 2011, reaching an all-time high of 34 billion tons.  China contributed a whopping 29% of that carbon dioxide  -  nearly twice that of the second worst polluter, the U.S., which spit out 5.4 million tons or 16% of the total CO2 emissions.  Policy makers in China have been slow to move against industrial polluters...
Close Bitnami banner
Bitnami