Observations of a Non-Scientist about Sustainable Living, Renewable Energy and the Power of the Sun.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Greentech - Clean Money

Book Review: 'Clean Money' By John Rubino - Seeking Alpha

"Clean Money - Picking Winners in the Green-Tech Boom," by John Rubino (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2009)
Clean Money by John RubinoThis book is a must read for all investors as well as those interested in learning about technological advances in the alternative energy. It is comprehensive in the sense that it covers all areas of clean and green technologies. It is brief in the sense that it explains only the information needed by any investor to be well aware of anything green before making an investment decision. The book uses less technical jargon and is an easy read.
Transformation of Oil Economies to Green Economies
First part of the book conveys a strong message that humans need to adapt again to old ways of living. We have been using earth's resources unscrupulously and at an accelerating pace to fulfill our insatiable lavish living lifestyles. It is a harsh realization that the resources like oil and forest that we thought were in abundance are, in fact, limited. The earth cooled itself by absorbing zillions of tons of carbon-dioxide by ancient life forms and stored it as oil. Now we have been and are warming up the earth again by releasing all the trapped carbon and sublimely destroying our own habitat.
We have reached the critical hour and it's the most opportune time to act. And we are waking up. Energy companies and scientists are embracing technologies to maximize utilization of renewable energy forms like solar, wind, tides, geothermal etc. The next boom or bubble is about to start along the lines of the industrial bubble of the early and mid 20th Century and the Internet bubble of the late 90s.
The book not only provides a repository of publicly traded companies and private venture funded companies that are in the verge of going public, but also provides a lucid explanation of each of the emerging technologies for the novice.
Alternative Energy Stocks to the Rescue
The second part of the book details all the recent trends in energy generation, storage and distribution. Huge strides are being made in solar power, battery technologies, hybrid automobiles, efficient power distributions using smart grids, biofuels and so forth. The chapters list companies of all sizes, public, private and the with potential to become public, what green technologies have failed, what may fail or succeed. It also lists clean tech public companies with their stocks' ticker symbols across global markets (stock exchanges).
Listed below are some of the key publicly traded alternative energy technology companies listed in the U.S. as mentioned in the book:
  • Solar Power: First Solar (FSLR), Evergreen Solar (ESLR) Energy Conversion Devices (ENER), SunPower (SPWR)
  • Wind Power: General Electric (GE), Siemens (SI), Valmont Industries (VMI)
  • Geothermal: U.S. Geothermal (HTM), Ormat Technologies (ORA)
  • Energy Storage: P&G/Duracell (PG), Johnson Controls (JCI), Enersys (ENS)
  • Bio Fuels: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge (BG), Andersons (ANDE)
  • Fuel Cells: Air Products (APD), Praxair (PX), United Technologies (UTX)
  • Smart Grid: IBM (IBM), Itron (ITRI), American Superconductor (AMSC)
Water and Waste Are Gold
The third part of the book discusses clean technologies related to human necessities of water, living space, food and the by-product of human consumptions, pollution. With the ever increasing human population there is a dearth of fresh water even for people in developed countries. There is a huge growth potential in water related stocks. With increasing cost of power and pervasive talk of corporate social responsibilities, companies are building LEED certified buildings, retrofitting existing office spaces, reducing inefficiencies, and conserving energy. All these are possible with green building technologies and green materials. With depleting arable land, scarcity of irrigation, and an increasing number of mouths to feed, agriculture related stocks are to be watched very closely. Cleaning up the trash we have been dumping into earth in all its forms, namely, land, water and air, is also a big business.
The final part of the book gives some historical viewpoint of bubbles and bear markets and possible strategies to invest in these green technologies in either directions, up or down. It gives some valuable tips on different ways to invest in these stocks via alternative energy funds, ETFs and foreign markets.
Use This "Pocket" Book to Prepare for the Boom in Green Energy Stocks
The emergence of the global economy out of the financial crisis of the beginning decade of this 21st century will be the harbinger of the green tech boom. There have been few green tech bubbles in the past, but this time the bubble will be prolonged and huge. The book should be in the desk, not in the shelf, of every investor who wants to renew ones' portfolio with these green baby stocks.

Disclosure: author has no positions in any stocks mentioned

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