Features & Opinion
 
Keep Venture Capital Open to Retail Investors
- Submission to ASX: Updating ASX's Admission Requirements for Listed Entities.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the ASX's proposed changes to its admission requirements. My comments and suggestions relate to the issues of: the spread test, the assets test, and the $1.5 million minimum requirement for working capital. More


Why Cleantech Stocks are Performing Again
People may think that John D. Rockefeller became the richest man in the world by investing in oil, but he wasn't just investing in oil, he was investing in the future. At the time the world was running out of whale oil and Rockefeller saw that the future was in the new oil. The President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Stephen Heintz, told this story to the DivestInvest Conference in Sydney last month and said he is convinced that if Rockefeller were alive today, "he would be doing the same thing in the clean energy economy because he knows that's the future." More
Thank You and Goodbye Gas Grid
Our family is now off the gas grid. In March we installed an induction cooktop to replace our gas cooktop, which had been our last gas appliance. Everything in our house now runs off electricity including the oven, the solar hot water booster, the lawnmower and the barbeque. More

Finding Ethical Stock Market Stars
Rising Star Research is a new service looking to uncover rising stock market stars of the future. It produces independent and quality business analysis reports for investors with a focus on ethical micro cap companies below $250 million in market capitalization. The founder and principal, Simon Turner, says this is an area where the investor information challenge is most extreme. More
Stories from Your Future: The Environment in 2100
Predicting the future is an old game that no one is good at, so one of the best parts is all the great expressions that have sprung up to explain this. Some of the classics are: "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." "The future isn't what it used to be!" "An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today." "I have seen the future and it is very much like the present, only longer." More

Video: Interview with Damien Lynch, managing director of August Investments
Eco Investor editor Victor Bivell interviews Damien Lynch, Australia's most experienced environmental investor, about environmental investment in Australia. View Here

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Core Securities
 
Metro Performance Glass Acquires Australian Glass Group
New Zealand's Metro Performance Glass has entered the Australian glass market and added to its environmental glass business with the acquisition of Australian Glass Group (Holdings) Pty Ltd. Australian Glass Group was founded in 2008 and is now the third largest glass processor in Victoria and New South Wales. It has glass processing plants in Melbourne and Sydney and these supply double glazed glass units, custom laminates and toughened safety glass... More

Bigger Cleantech Profits
The Australian listed cleantech sector had an excellent year and reporting season for 2015-16, particularly among the leading stocks where many had outstanding profits and dividend growth. More
New Strategy for Energy Action
Former market darling Energy Action is aiming to renergize with a new strategic plan that capitalizes on three trends in the energy market - microgrids, big data, and the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) for energy efficient buildings. It has also reorganized its core product offerings and launched an Energy Metrics Platinum service. More

Pacific Energy Offers Hybrid Diesel-Solar Power Stations
Pacific Energy has added to its environmental capabilities by entering an alliance with juwi Renewable Energy, a German world leading renewable energy company. The alliance will focus on off-grid mining projects that integrate solar and battery power with diesel or gas fueled power. More
Double Glazing Boosts Glass Profits
Some positives in the New Zealand double glazed window market helped Metro Performance Glass increase net profit for the year to 31 March to NZ$20.5 million. For the previous corresponding eight months since it listed in July 2014 its net profit was NZ$9.5 million. Sales also rose strongly to NZ$188 million from NZ$115 million over the same periods. More

More Landfill Gas for Energy Developments
It is good to see Energy Developments continuing to grow under its new owner, DUET Group. The latest moves are the acquisition of a landfill gas business in Perth and the go-ahead to build, own and operate a landfill gas facility in Ohio, USA... More


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Speculative Securities
 
Infigen Returns to Profit
The takeover inquiry that helped fire Infigen Energy's share price earlier this year is no longer live, but Infigen Energy's managing director, Miles George, said the company remains open to proposals that can add value to shareholders. More
Clean TeQ Shares Soar
In five months Clean TeQ Holdings' share price has soared 443 per cent or 51 cents from 11.5 cent in March to an eight year high of 62.5 cents in August. The latest good news is its Chinese joint venture company signing its first water treatment deal. More
Good IPO for Plastics Recycler
What to do with mountains of waste plastics has long been a key environmental question. One answer has been turning them into harder-wearing and longer-lasting substitutes for timber products and that is the solution being commercialized by Range International, which debuted on the ASX on 22 July after raising a not insignificant $50 million. More


Big Revenue Rise for Greenearth Energy
Could Greenearth Energy's energy efficient lighting business finally be coming good? In the June quarter, Greenearth's revenue was $3.32 million, up from $59,000 in the March quarter. The company said the result was due to growing success in its industry focused energy efficiency business, Vivid Industrial, which now includes Ilum-a-Lite which it acquired in March. The June quarter results consolidate the two businesses. More
Five Renewable Chemicals Projects
Leaf Resources has opened another front in the commercialization of its waste biomass technology with a joint venture to develop five green chemicals projects with an established US based global project developer, Claeris, LLC. The joint venture vehicle is Leaf Development, LLC. This will combine Claeris' ability to develop large-scale renewable projects with Leaf Resources' Glycell process that can economically break down waste biomass and turn it into cellulosic sugars that are a feedstock for renewable biobased chemicals, bioplastics and biofuels. More


Room to Move for RedFlow
RedFlow has plenty of room to move on the pricing of its ZCell home battery system if it needs to, said company chairman Simon Hackett. Last month RedFlow revealed the enclosure for the residential energy storage system, and expects the first shipment of ZCell batteries to arrive in Australia late this month for testing. The initial price of a storage system without solar panels will vary with capacity and installer but a standard 10 kilowatt hour installation is expected to cost around $15,000 to $18,000. More

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Unlisted Companies
 

Nano-Nouvelle Boosts Lithium Battery Performance
Battery technology innovator Nano-Nouvelle has developed world-leading nanotechnology that can boost the energy storage capacity of lithium ion batteries by up to 50 per cent, and is aiming to have its first sales within two years. More

GE Buys Daintree Networks
Daintree Networks, an Australian start-up with building automation and energy efficiency solutions, has been acquired by US giant, GE. The acquisition is by Current, an energy start-up within GE. Current utilizes GE's LED and onsite power businesses and the GE Predix platform to deliver a cost effective energy management platform for clients. The Predix platform can securely connect third party devices and assets to the Industrial Internet. More

Australia's First Commercial Graphene Plant
The discoverers of graphene won the Nobel Prize in 2010, but if you haven't heard of graphene you're not alone. It's a high-tech material that can be used as an ultra thin coating - think half a dozen atoms or so, yet is said to be a hundred times stronger than steel. Graphene is described as the first two dimensional material, and is classed as a ‘super-material' due to its extremely high electrical and thermal conductivity, its strength, its ability not to interact or dissolve in water, its impermeability to all gases, and its ability to stretch like rubber... More

New Clean Innovation Fund Stirs Controversy
The Federal Government's new Clean Energy Innovation Fund has drawn both praise and criticism, but I think the Clean Energy Council (CEC) summed it up well when it said it is two steps forward and one step back for clean energy innovation. However a harsher critic could argue it is one step forward and one step back. More

US$36 Million for Solar Storage Company
Sunverge Energy has received US$36.5 million in a new round of venture capital to help it commercialize its battery technology that it says is world-leading and about to boost the uptake of residential energy storage in Australia. The latest funding round included US$20 million from new investor, AGL Energy, which invested alongside current investors the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Softbank China Venture Capital (SBCVC), Siemens Venture Capital and Total Energy Ventures International. More
Inventor Offers over 70 Projects for Sale
One of Australia's most prolific inventors, Andy Karpisek, is offering over 70 projects, including some key cleantech projects, for sale due to his age. Mr Karpisek is now 91 years of age and says he will not be here forever. More


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Property
 
Cities Are Critical for Threatened Wildlife
Over 500 of Australia's threatened species have populations living in cities and Australian cities can help to conserve these endangered animals and plants, say environmental scientists from the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). New research shows that our cities still have a remarkable number of threatened species, and that all cities and towns contain species that are officially listed as threatened. Sydney has the most, at 126 species...More

More Trees Help Birds Survive Droughts
Increasing tree cover, particularly on the sides of streams and on floodplains, can help birds to survive during long and severe droughts, says Charles Sturt University ecologist, Dr Dale Nimmo. In a clear message to rural property owners and governments, he says his team's research is timely as climate scientists have observed El Nino is now strengthening to levels not seen since 1997-1998. More

New Town May Be Energy-Independent
An investigation by Brookfield Energy Australia may enable the new Huntlee residential development in the NSW Hunter Valley to be built off-the-grid and powered by renewable energy. Huntlee, developed by LWP Property Group, will be the first new town in the Hunter Valley in 50 years and will house 20,000 new residents in 7,500 homes. More

Solar Harvesting at Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney has installed a 24 kW solar energy system that will provide a quarter of its energy and save it about $7,000 per year. More

Defending Urban Sanctuaries
The Total Environment Centre (TEC) has launched a campaign and a DIY toolkit to help communities defend and preserve Sydney's parks and green spaces a situation which TEC's executive director Jeff Angel says is urgent. More

 

Office Trust to Make Buildings Sustainable
Real estate fund manager EG Funds Management is establishing an unlisted $400 million wholesale fund with a portfolio of sustainable office buildings and has secured the Clean Energy Finance Corporation as a cornerstone investor for up to $125 million. More

 

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Fixed Interest
First Government Based Green Bond
The Treasury Corporation of Victoria (TCV) has broken new ground with the issue of its first certified green bond - for $300 million - making it the first green bond by an Australian government. More
Westpac's First Climate Bond
Westpac's first Climate Bond has raised $500 million to fund a $1 billion portfolio of renewable energy assets and low carbon commercial property in Australia. The Westpac Climate Bond gave investors the opportunity to support environmental projects through a high-grade fixed income investment. The funds will be allocated to seven wind energy facilities and five low carbon commercial properties... More

Green Bond for Refinancing Rooftop Solar
FlexiGroup Ltd has issued a $50 million green bond for the refinancing of residential rooftop solar PV systems. The asset backed securities (ABS) have received certification against the international Climate Bonds Solar Standard. More

Green Bond Guidelines for Real Estate
Guidelines on what constitute green bonds for investors in the real estate sector have been released. While the market in Australia for such bonds is undeveloped at present, local investors may still find the guidelines useful when looking at investments in real estate investment trusts. More

ANZ Bank's First Green Bond
ANZ Bank has raised $600 million in its first green bond, which the bank said is the largest climate related bond so far by an Australian issuer. It was primarily taken up by Australian institutional investors as well as funds in Asia. More

 


Stockland Issues Corporate Green Bond
Listed property giant Stockland has issued what it says is Australia's first corporate green bond. The proceeds of the EUR 300 million bond will be used to help fund eligible environmentally sustainable retail, commercial, residential and retirement living projects. More

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Superannuation
Australian Super Funds Still Lead on Carbon
Australia's Local Government Super fund ranked number one in the world index for pro- actively managing climate risk, says the annual Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) which aims to protect the investments held by the world's largest asset owners from the risks of climate change. More

Super Switch Compares Fossil Fuels in Super
Investors who want to know how exposed their superannuation fund is to fossil fuels or who want to compare super funds' fossil fuel exposure can use the new Super Switch service, which analyzes super fund exposure to the fossil fuel industry through Australian and international shares. More

Fossil Fuel Free Super Fund
Future Super is a new superannuation fund that is claiming to be Australia's first fossil fuel free super fund. Along with this negative screen, it also has a positive screen to fund activities that make a positive impact on the environment and community. More

HESTA Limits Thermal Coal Investments
Joining the growing list of institutional investors reducing their exposure to coal investments is superannuation fund HESTA, which has begun to progressively restrict its investments in thermal coal across all its investment options. More

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International Shares
Turnaround Leads to All Time High
In August the unit price for Australian Ethical's International Share Fund hit an all time high of $1.067. While this is commendable, also noteworthy has been the huge turnaround in the unit price since the Global Financial Crisis when the $1 units were at an all time low of $0.51 To find out about the turnaround, Eco Investor asked the Fund's portfolio manager, Nathan Lim, who took over management of the Fund at this time. More

Ocean Power Technologies Deploys Buoy
The much troubled Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. has begun to make operational progress again with the successful deployment of a PB40 PowerBuoy off the coast of New Jersey on the US east coast. The company said the deployment is its first since late 2013 and is a critical step in its efforts to commercialize its wave energy technology. More

Explosive Growth for Global Renewable Energy
The good news keeps coming for international investors and those who may doubt that the global push to renewables is unstoppable. The Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21StCentury has published a report that shows that global investment in renewables grew six fold in the 10 years from 2004 to 2014. More

First ETF for YieldCos
The first exchange traded fund (ETF) to provide investors with access to yieldcos has been launched by Global X Funds, a New York-based provider of ETFs. The Global X YieldCo Index ETF (Nasdaq: YLCO) aims to provide investment results that generally correspond to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Indxx Global YieldCo Index. More