Apr 2, 2012

Green Investing Report by Conserv-A-Store.com for week ending 3-30-12:Focus on Monetizing Pollution

We continue to be fascinated by the profit potential and tandem remediation potential of selling pollution. Two masters can be served. Pollution is priced out and can more easily be entered into the long lasting cost of manufacture but pollution is then more readily realized as a commodity and can be traded for all to see. We feel it could be and should be a large industry

Here are selections from an article, "Rethinking Carbon Dioxide: From a Pollutant to an Asset" by an author, Marc Gunther, whose book, "Suck It Up: How Capturing Carbon From the Air Can Help Solve the Climate" speaks about monetizing the existence of carbon in our lives

"Despite widespread skepticism in the scientific community, three startup companies are betting that they can make money by recycling CO2, and thereby cool an overheating planet. Kilimanjaro Energy is the pioneer. The company was launched in 2004 by Klaus Lackner, a Columbia University physicist who first wrote about air capture of CO2 in a 1999 paper. It was initially financed with $8 million from Gary Comer, the founder of Land’s End, who grew concerned about climate change after he sailed a yacht through the normally ice-bound Northwest Passage with relative ease. (Comer died in 2006.) Last year, Kilimanjaro raised another $3.5 million from a venture firm called Arch Venture Partners.

Global Thermostat, a second startup, also took root at Columbia. Its founders are Peter Eisenberger, a former head of research for Exxon who started Columbia’s Earth Institute, and Graciela Chichilnisky, who holds dual Ph.Ds in economics and math. Edgar Bronfman Jr., the former Warner Music CEO and heir to the Seagram’s fortune, has put $15 million

Finally, there’s Carbon Engineering, a startup run by David Keith out of Calgary, Alberta, the nerve center of Canada’s oil and gas industry. Bill Gates is an investor, as is his friend Jabe Blumenthal, a former Microsoft executive who is passionate about climate issues. So is N. Murray Edwards, an oil and gas billionaire. Keith, a physicist and climate scientist, has a joint appointment at the University of Calgary and at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Nathaniel “Ned” David, the chief executive of a Kilimanjaro Energy, puts it this way: “The single largest waste product made by humanity is CO2. Thirty gigatons a year. It’s immensely valuable, and today we just blow it out the tail pipe. What if there were some way to actually capture it, use it, and make money?”

Carbon dioxide removal, or CDR, is sometimes seen as a subset of geoengineering — deliberate, planetary-scale actions to cool the Earth — but it’s actually quite different. Geoengineering strategies are risky, imperfect,troversial, and difficult to govern. The most-discussed geoengineering technology, solar radiation management, alleviates a symptom of the climate problem (warmer temperatures) but does nothing to address the cause (rising atmospheric concentrations of CO2). What’s more, geoengineering as a climate response is stuck because governments have declined to provide more than token funds for research, and there’s no business model to support it.

Howard Herzog, an MIT professor, argues that it makes more sense to capture CO2 from the flue gas of power plants, where concentrations are higher — about 12 percent for coal plants or 4 percent for natural gas plants. (In the air, CO2 levels remain under 400 parts per million, which means that less than 0.04 percent of the air is CO2.) Herzog says anyone who claims that they can capture CO2 from the air at a low cost is “either not being totally honest or they’re deluding themselves.” He co-authored a peer-reviewed study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that estimated the cost of air capture at “on the order of $1,000 per ton of CO2.”

Each air-capture startup is pursuing its own technology and plant design. Global Thermostat plans to use residual waste heat from power plants to run its machines, while Carbon Engineering is betting on a technology known as “wet scrubbing” in which a water-based solution absorbs CO2 from air that is passed through devices known as air contactors. Each machine will require massive amounts of hardware, and thousands of machines would need to be built to have a meaningful climate impact.

All three startups intend to get their businesses rolling by selling CO2 to the oil industry. Farthest along is Global Thermostat, which has had serious conversations with a Seattle-based energy firm called Summit Power about building a demonstration plant to capture CO2 and extract stranded oil, as part of Summit’s massive, government-backed Texas Clean Energy Project. Liquid CO2 used for EOR would be sequestered underground, offsetting emissions generated when the oil is later burned. By some estimates, oil recovered that way would have roughly half the carbon footprint of conventional petroleum. This oil, the theory goes, could be made into lower-carbon transportation fuels with special appeal to customers — airlines, most obviously — that face regulatory pressure to reduce emissions."

Here's the entire article

Sadly all of these CO2 remediation businesses are private and therefore do not allow us to add them to our portfolio.

Naturex which we added last week proves to be a solid profit contributor to the portfolio showing positive stock prices for many months. Naturex, produces and sells 100% natural vegetable ingredients, extracts, pigments and antioxidants. Its products are used in food processing, fragrances and cosmetics. The Company operates in France and Morocco and exports to Germany and the United States. Here's a link to a snapshot on Naturex

Here's your portfolio as of close of business on 3/30/12:

Today   Since Purchased  
Symbol/Name Price* Change Last
Trade
Gain/Loss
(USD)
Shares Price
Paid
Purchase
Date
Gain/Loss
(USD)
% Change % Port Value
(USD)
2208:HK (HKD)
Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co Ltd

4.21 -0.01 03/30
-0.00
1 16.30 01/03/2011
-1.56
-74.17 0.00
0.54
FAN:US ($)
First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF

7.83 +0.0494 03/30
+0.05
1 10.40 01/03/2011
-2.57
-24.71 3.32
7.83
FSLR:US ($)
First Solar Inc

25.05 -0.07 03/30
-0.07
1 0.00 03/10/2012
+25.05
+∞ 10.62
25.05
GAAEX:US ($)
Guinness Atkinson Funds - Alternative Energy Fund

3.07 -0.02 03/30
-0.02
1 5.24 01/03/2011
-2.17
-41.41 1.30
3.07
GAIA:US ($)
Gaiam Inc

3.98 -0.21 03/30
-0.21
1 7.67 01/03/2011
-3.69
-48.11 1.69
3.98
ICLN:US ($)
iShares S&P Global Clean Energy Index Fund

9.10 -0.06 03/30
-0.06
1 16.07 01/03/2011
-6.97
-43.37 3.86
9.10
KWT:US ($)
Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF

3.75 -0.029 03/30
-0.03
1 11.17 01/03/2011
-7.42
-66.43 1.59
3.75
NALFX:US ($)
New Alternatives Fund Inc/fund

36.30 +0.07 03/30
+0.07
1 40.88 01/03/2011
-4.58
-11.20 15.39
36.30
NRX:FP (€)
Naturex

52.94 -0.07 03/30
-0.09
1 41.10 01/03/2011
+15.82
+28.81 29.99
70.75
OPTT:US ($)
Ocean Power Technologies Inc

3.06 -0.08 03/30
-0.08
1 5.86 01/03/2011
-2.80
-47.78 1.30
3.06
ORA:US ($)
Ormat Technologies Inc

20.15 -0.60 03/30
-0.60
1 29.47 01/03/2011
-9.32
-31.63 8.54
20.15
PBD:US ($)
Powershares Global Clean Energy Portfolio

8.99 +0.05 03/30
+0.05
1 14.12 01/03/2011
-5.13
-36.33 3.81
8.99
PUR:CN (CAD)
Pure Technologies Ltd

4.12 +0.14 03/30
+0.14
1 4.75 01/04/2011
-0.63
-13.26 1.75
4.14
RSOL:US ($)
Real Goods Solar Inc

1.45 0.00 03/30
0.00
1 2.45 01/03/2011
-1.00
-40.82 0.61
1.45
VWDRY:US ($)
Vestas Wind Systems A/S

3.43 +0.10 03/30
+0.10
1 11.14 01/03/2011
-7.71
-69.21 1.45
3.43
WFIFF:US ($)
WaterFurnace Renewable Energy Inc

20.271 -0.209 03/30
-0.21
1 24.63 01/03/2011
-4.36
-17.70 8.59
20.27
WGGFX:US ($)
Winslow Green Growth Fund

14.06 +0.01 03/30
+0.01
1 14.62 01/03/2011
-0.56
-3.83 5.96
14.06
Totals
-0.95
 
-19.60
-7.67  
235.92


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