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Global warming - Best Companies

Discussion in 'ASX Stock Chat' started by billhill, Oct 7, 2006.

sentifi.com

Aussie Stock Forum Sentifi Top themes and market attention on:

  1. billhill

    billhill

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    Cheers Cali. I wasn't thinking of nuclear but i knew someone would have to say it. I think my view on renewables is well known so i won't waffle on repeating myself. Anyway would be interested to know if and how much water nuclear uses.
     
  2. Smurf1976

    Smurf1976

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    How ironic. Coal-fired power plants hit by the effects of climate change.

    There are ways to make these plants use 90% or so less water however by the use of dry cooling. It tends to be a bit less efficient however, meaning a slight increase in emissions.

    Worth noting that brown coal itself is up to 70% water - at present this is totally lost as vapour and indeed it is steam, not smoke, that you see coming from the stacks of these plants. Also it is the presence of that water which leads to the lower efficiency and hence higher emissions of brown coal plants compared to black coal.

    If it weren't for that lower efficiency then brown coal is in many regards cleaner than black, it's just that we need to use more of it (due to lower efficiency) to get the same power and that's what pushes emissions up.:2twocents
     
  3. YChromozome

    YChromozome

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    I was at Hazelwood at the end of last year and you have to see the water they use in the open cut coal mines. If the coal dries out, it catches fire and Hazelwood had just had one large fire only months before I was there. The remains of one of the burnt out dredgers was visible.

    So to prevent fires, they have sprinklers watering down the coal while they cut it out.

    [Further to my comments tonight about Tarong and Tarong North running at 30% capacity due to lack of water, I've been told Swanbank B (120MW) and Swanbank B2 (120MW) is off-line due to "Water management" issues. It's already happening.]

    I wonder what Snowy Hydro shares would be worth now if they listed?
     
  4. Smurf1976

    Smurf1976

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    Coal-fired power cost a fortune with the early small scale plants over a century ago and indeed costs have, in real and at times even nominal terms, been constantly driven down ever since.

    The cost of coal fired-power from a new plant is in the high 30's - low 40's per MWh at the moment. Loy Yang A (Vic, built mid-70's to 1988) cost around $55. At the time of the high profile Gordon-below-Franklin debate in Tasmania (1979-1983) the cost of coal-fired power was estimated at $42 versus the proposed hydro-electric scheme at $14 and industrial power rates around $17 at that time.

    That Tasmania has been in the international electricity market since 1916 is the only reason that dam was ever proposed. It was viable in the global context, coal at that time wasn't. Fast forward to 2007 and coal is viable in the international industrial power market and that's why Queensland has attracted so much heavy industry in recent times - CHEAP power. It's not that hydro (or anything else apart from oil) became more expensive but that coal became cheaper.

    Plenty of others have been in the same game for decades too, a point that seems to be generally not understood in mainland Australia - the market is global, not national, and costs need to be compared internationally not nationally. Forget what's happening in NSW or Victoria - the real competition is overseas.

    Combine cheap labour with cheap power from coal and you get China. If coal hadn't become globally competitive then to a significant extent you wouldn't see what's happening in China today. Needless to say what happens if you take away that cheap power advantage - hence why they'll fight so hard to retain it.

    It's about economic competitiveness not household power bills - lose that edge and either you come up with something else or the economy sinks. Tourism and forestry were a partial alternative in Tasmania but it's hard to imagine that working in China or even Queensland. Indeed it wasn't even a full economic replacement in Tas (hence wind, gas and Basslink).

    Coal's continued to get cheaper throughout the past century (driven by increasing plant efficiency and automation) and indeed that's largely why we're not using more renewables now. A point was reached where it became cheap enough to bring power to the industry rather than the reverse but there's no reason it couldn't go back the other way again.

    Put a cheap power source in, for example, the NT and just watch industry flee Queensland and come from overseas too. You'd have abandoned plants all over the place before Joe Average had a clue what was going on. The only reason we don't have that happening right now is that the cheapest power, from coal, is widely available internationally.

    If geothermal could be done cheaper than coal then that alone would underpin Australia's economic future just as hydro did in Tasmana from 1916 to 1983. If you are competitive then you WILL have industry. If you aren't then you won't. Simple as that as long as you've got the other key ingredients of stable government, stable workforce, security etc.

    It's hard to believe that geothermal wouldn't likewise undergo a cost reduction over time and, if it became cheaper than coal, would see Australia easily become a major world economic power if other countries didn't also have access to that cheap power.

    Cheap power has always been "the master key to industry". With cheap coal basically everyone has access to that cheap power. Shift to renewables and it massively advantages those with the cheap power.

    Obviously anyone lacking the resources for cheap renewable energy would not likely be in favour of that unless they are one of the few (eg Japan) not economically dependent on cheap power. We're talking about not just an energy shift, but a global economic shift of massive proportions. The losers won't go down without a fight.

    It's not just Tarong, Yallourn and LYB in trouble although they are certainly on the list. Thus far, reduced production at Tarong, Swanbank and others has been offset by increased production elsewhere mostly from other Qld coal-fired plants and gas-fired plants in Qld, Vic, Tas and SA. There's a limit to how far that can go and we're in real trouble (lights out) if too much capacity shuts completely.

    The high electricity prices we're seeing at the moment are more a threat to Australia's industrial competitiveness than practically anything else. Much of our industry is only here in the first place due to cheap power and it's cheaper to move the plant than to pay higher power prices. $70 or even $50 per MWh just isn't going to work if someone else is doing it cheaper.

    If Australia is stuck with high power prices then it's in the exact same situation Tasmania was in the 1980's. Forget heavy industry and turn to increased raw material production and the service economy or sink economically. That is, refocus the economy towards "third world" activities that exploit whatever is there naturally and leave the value adding to someone else. That's not necessarily good for the environment by the way unless whoever ends up doing the processing isn't using coal etc.
     
  5. Smurf1976

    Smurf1976

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    Yep, been to Hazelwood too both inside and out. They actually pump (or at least did) water out from under the mine otherwise the pressure it creates would be a problem. That is, historically the issue was too much water rather than not enough.

    Spot on about the fire, not the first time Morwell mine has caught fire either. It hasn't caused a long term production problem however (so far at least) they are coping with one less dredger. Plant outages have been due to the normal maintenance issues that this plant has.

    Swanbank B - Qld government has ordered them to use less water so that's exactly what they're doing. The other two units aren't generating that much power either but they are still online and can ramp to full capacity if need be.

    Snowy - this company's finances seem incredibly complex for what is essentially an electricity generator. They seem to be more in the risk management business than actual power generation - a strategy that works as long as they can generate to cover their hedging contracts.

    Worth noting that it's not just their hydro operations (at all of 4% active storage capacity!) that are in trouble but both their gas-fired plants too. One is running out of permitted operating hours unless the environmental restrictions are relaxed (I suspect this is what Snowy is aiming for) whilst the other isn't allowed to run at all 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday due to workers at a nearby unrelated business suffering serious health effects.

    Interesting to note that Snowy has actually been generating (voluntarily) some of the time whilst Hydro Tas has been minimising output due to reasonably low market prices. Rather interesting given that Snowy is already in a far worse storage position than Hydro Tas has ever been. Read into it what you will - there are quite a few theories around at the moment...:2twocents
     
  6. billhill

    billhill

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    For those who invest in renewable stocks here is the rankings of attractiveness for the sector in OECD countries.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. meoden1005

    meoden1005

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    For ur own sake, I recommend AGK, ORG, or BBW. Those stocks wont make headache or heart attack ^^ since they are quite stable.
     
  8. anon

    anon

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    As always Smurf your posts are well informed and well put. Thank you.

    Your comments on brown coal go well alongside the disclosures made by ESI who claim to have come up with the answer on how to use brown coal. Please look at the claims they are making in their "Address to potential investors at Cleantech Forum Melbourne" on 18/04/07 which you'll find by going to http://www.asx.com.au/asx/research/CompanyInfoSearch.jsp and using ESI as the code and looking at their (ECT's) announcements.

    I think that the Environmental Solutions International have changed their name to Environmental Clean Technologies Ltd - ECT, but are still using ESI as their ASX code. There is a lot of interesting data re their activities at http://www.cleancoal.com.au


    In the "Address to potential investors at Cleantech Forum Melbourne" they make some very bullish claims such as -

    WHAT IF .... ?
    "...you could turn Brown Coal into a high energy value feedstock EQUAL to Black Coal AND achieve a 30% reduction in greenhouse emissions at the same time?"
    "We are doing it now!"

    "...you could mix raw Brown Coal with LOW GRADE, UNMARKETABLE Iron Ore and limestone and produce CLEAN, LOW CARBON STEEL?"
    "We are doing it now!"

    "From every two tonnes of Brown Coal we can produce one tonne of water".

    There are a number of other interesting claims made in this presentation, and especially this one -
    "This equates to a fully diluted share price of $1.95 plus". This is a very bullish claim seeing that they are trading at around 20c at present.


    The above are extracts from information released by ESI/ECT and are not in any way to be taken as recommendations from me. I do hold some ESI stock.

    anon
     
  9. purple

    purple

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    a quick look acros the charts of the renewable energy companies - still very bullish indeed. many of the companies have had a strong run from the end of 06.

    only exception being EVM - solar technologies.

    the geothermal guys are enjoying the best runs.
     

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  10. purple

    purple

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    forgot to mention that the list above covers companies with a market cap max of 600+million.

    that leaves out ORG, which also performed very strongly.

    i also left out many other green companies ENE, DYE, QTM
     
  11. Nutshell

    Nutshell

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    Coal will probably remain the main source of energy into the immediate future.
    White Energy Co WEC has a world wide patent for the moisture reduction and binderless briquetting of bituminous coal. This makes the coal safely transportable and reduces the emissions by about 30%. Australia does have reserves of this type of coal but huge resources are located in Indonesia, China and US
     
  12. purple

    purple

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    No doubt about that...countries can't just up and ditch all their coal and command all citizens to live on windmill power, a la MaoZeDong.

    but it's th current enthusiasm about green energy that is creating good trends to trade, and money to be made.
     
  13. Smurf1976

    Smurf1976

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    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/07/08/1972785.htm

    Slightly off topic, it's about emissions rather than investment opportunities, but interesting in terms of the politics of it all.

    Actually a rather tangled political mess when you think about it in some depth...
     
  14. ozambersand

    ozambersand

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    Not sure if this link has been posted yet:
    http://www.climateexchange.com.au/

    According to a report from Greg Peel on FNArena
    Carbon Trading Takes Another Step Towards Reality
    Not sure if you can buy shares in ACX or APX?! :rolleyes:
     
  15. Out Too Soon

    Out Too Soon My real name is King Julian ;)

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    high mountain real estate :D
     
  16. 2020hindsight

    2020hindsight

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    Herewith a couple of excerpts from magazinse about CFL compact fluorescent lightbulbs - and the fairly minor publicity given to the fact that they have mercury, and cannot be simply discarded in the rubbish.

    a) one is from treehugger
    b) the other from another website, NPR , "CFL Bulbs Have One Hitch: Toxic Mercury"

    I understand that disposal of these is treated much more cautiously in Europe.

    Meanwhile Malcolm Turnbull continues to push them without this warning. :2twocents

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/05/ask_treehugger_14.php

    ALSO :-
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7431198
    http://www.nema.org/lamprecycle/epafactsheet-cfl.pdf
    etc etc
    http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=cfl+and+mercury&meta=
     

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  17. purple

    purple

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    GO the WOMEN!

    nothing really new, this inexorable shift towards going green, but still it's a very stong current.

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/Business...r-businesswomen/2007/07/25/1185339058618.html

    Environment a concern for businesswomen
    July 25, 2007 - 3:39PM

    Australian businesswomen list environmental concerns as a top priority, as the nation's financial landscape shifts to accommodate climate change issues.

    A survey of 100 female business owners and financial decision-makers nationwide with an annual turnover greater than $2.5 million found that nearly 40 per cent said they would like to learn more about how their business could be more sustainable.

    The findings, from a Westpac-commissioned survey, show that operating an environmentally friendly business runs only second to attracting and retaining quality employees in a wish list of skills sets that businesswomen would like to know more about.

    Westpac's head of women's markets, Larke Riemer, says businesswomen are looking for ways that they and their companies can be more green.

    "The business landscape is changing and our research is showing is that Australian women are leading the way in developing new models which incorporate a triple-bottom-line approach to financial, social and environmental responsibility," Ms Riemer.

    In response to some of these interests of women, Westpac will host a "Learn, Lead and Succeed" seminar about women's business issues in all state capitals, except Perth, in August and September.

    "Westpac's new business events were created to both celebrate the achievements of Australia's female business community and offer women in business a forum for exchanging fresh ideas and gaining new inspiration," Ms Riemer said.

    Heather Rose is director of Green Team Australia, a communications agency specialising in travel, cause-related marketing, and "progressive" brands.

    Ms Rose said he was not surprised at the results of the Westpac research.

    She said that females and males with a large shareholdings in businesses had become increasingly more concerned about sustainability and climate change.

    "This has been an area of growing concern for many people," she said.

    Outgoing BHP Billiton chief executive Chip Goodyear said recently that "the green debate is over, and climate change is the great issue of the times".

    Ms Rose, who was named one of BRW's magazines top 50 female entrepreneurs in 2006, said the move by big businesses towards tackling sustainability was not an emotional or moral decision, but a business one.

    "We have looked at a new target market called the awakening consumer," she said.

    "Our latest research out of America shows that 49 million consumers are now what we call awakening consumers, that is, they are awake and making decisions to spend their money with companies that have a brand and practices that reflect that they care for the environment.

    "It is now becoming fully integrated into the core branding and messaging of Australia's leading companies."

    Ms Rose will be speaking at Westpac seminar around Australia.

    "I am delighted that the conversation of sustainability has become so top of mind for so many people," she said.
     
  18. purple

    purple

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    Interesting to note the financial institutions buying into various renewable energy stocks :

    Barclays – ORG – 6.37%
    JP Morgan – ENE – 16%
    Credit Suisse – CFU – 4.92%
    Merrill Lynch – BBW – 7.88%
    Goldman Sachs – EDE – 5.2%

    Interesting also to note Sandhurst Trustees took up a substantial holding in GRK while dropping their substantial holding in TEY.

    I note that none of the geothermals have a financial institution behind them…it might be too much toread into just an occurrence like this, but it might be that they find the industry still in its grassroots level.
     
  19. purple

    purple

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    Here are tables showing renewable companies and their substantial holders, some might not have the latest change eg. EDE having the share placement last 2 weeks :
     

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  20. purple

    purple

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    geothermals hit hard during this correction, down off their year highs at an average of 38.70%. investors ditching this industry due to its being lesser known.

    say for example in comparison with Iron Ore, the average of Iron ore plays off their year highs are about 27.32%.

    overall the green energy sector suffering with the rest of the market.

    seems like a good time to buy but I'm already into 3 of the greenies.
     

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