Investors traditionally have been given advice to place their bets on three different industries. They are high technology, the medical industry and energy. These were the international growth industries that one could always make money in.
If one is looking to make a long term investment in a fairly new technology I would suggest an investor in energy take a look at the progress that is being made with the alternative fuel known as SunGas.
The technology for the production of SunGas is to use cellulosic biomass and carbonaceous waste materials to produce synthetic gas. This is to be achieved through the process that is known as solar thermochemical gasification.
The idea is to use solar power to convert organic waste products and biomass into a new alternative synthetic fluid that is known as SunGas.
The solar fuel produced is easily convertible and a transportable to wherever it is needed.
As an alternative fuel it has the advantage of being a fuel that is environmentally friendly. It even compares favorably to other biofuels because there is no need for carbon recapture and storage thus there is a cost effective reduction in gaseous greenhouse emissions.
The new technology in solar power has substantial advantages over older gasification production. The yield of fuel per acre of cropland is easily doubled. The end product is clean gas that is totally uncontaminated by the byproducts of combustion.
The Department of Energy in the United States is using parabolic mirrors that capture the sun’s thermal energy at high temperatures. It then transfers this heat to a chemical reactor. The process mixes water, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen to also produce the fuel commonly known as SunGas.
Although power plants in the United States, Europe and Asia would need to modify their energy transmission from coal to gas it is important to note that once the conversion is made it does not really matter what kind of gas is actually used.
This is important because as natural gas prices fluctuate it will allow electricity producers to take advantage of natural gas utilization when prices are low and allow conversion to SunGas when prices for natural gas are high. It will be a major factor in keeping prices competitive in both industries.
This will allow SunGas to be used in countries where natural gas is available but can be limited by the floor price of production.
SunGas can also be shipped through the same pipe lines that are already in existence in Europe and the United States. This will be important issue when one will need to consider the cost of transport for this new fuel in developed countries.
In countries where natural gas is not readily available it allows for the production of a fuel that can be locally produced in abundance at a price that over time will prove both cost effective and stable.
It will also allow an energy alternative to nations that have a high need for energy but are dealing with considerable environmental problems from traditional fossil fuel usage. Nations like China where air quality in cities have reached hazardous levels will see the advantages in a synthetic fuel like SunGas.
Nations like Brazil and India will also be looking for new energy alternatives to avoid the ongoing environmental problems that cities in China have become infamous for.
Why use SunGas instead of natural gas? Well, one must remember that natural gas although thanks to fracking is now being produced in abundance, is still a fossil fuel. So eventually as supplies dwindle prices will need to increase over time. This may come sooner than one may think. Some industry analysts feel that within 7 years new supplies of shale gas may already peak and production will subsequently, begin to decline.
It is also important to realize that as more and more energy companies around the world convert from coal to natural gas demand for shale produced gas will increase.This will put new upward price pressures on this nonrenewable fuel. This will also assist in making alternative fuels more price competitive over time. There is no real limit on supply.
The advantages of SunGas over solar and wind power are obvious. You do not need certain weather or climate conditions to be cost effective.
It is true that at this point there are competing methods for the production of SunGas but over time the most cost effective ways will be the ones that triumph.
Where is it already in use? In Germany a partnership between Volkswagen and Raiffeisen Warengenossen-schaft eG Jameln are already operating the first SunGas filling station. The “gas” station is supplied with biogas from an underground pipe to the station compressed to the right temperature and ready for use. This has already been in place since 2006.
SunGas will work well in Europe because it burns cleanly and is virtually Co2 neutral. It also will cost 50% less than petrol based fuels. All of Volkswagen’s natural gas powered cars at present can already use SunGas. This is the case with most cars that utilize alternative fuels.
It is estimated that by 2020 about 6 billion cubic meters will be fed into the natural gas pipe line system in Germany. That would represent about 7% of the current consumption needs. By 2030 projections see a rise to 10 billion cubic meters.
Other countries will follow suit as the cost advantages and the option of locally produced fuel become more evident over time.
What companies are already using this technology? There are a number of them. Take a look at NRG Energy Inc, SunPower Corporation (SPWR), and Hydrogenics Corporation USA (HYGS). Keep in mind possible investments in these companies will be for the long term.
NRG Energy is located in the United States in the state of New Jersey. The company ended the trading day at $32.34 USD on April 8, 2014. The company was founded in 1989 and as of 2013 operated 88 fossil fuel and nuclear power plants. More importantly the company also has 11 utility scale solar facilities and 4 wind farms.
NRG along with traditional activities of an energy company is involved with the deployment and commercialization of transformative technologies. These would include low or no greenhouse generating fuel sources (SunGas). They are already engaged in setting up fueling systems for electric cars. In addition, they are active in meter and home energy automation technology.
SunPower Corporation (SPWR) located in San Jose California (United States) ended the business day also April 08, at $29.33 USD. This company founded in 1985 is an energy services company that designs, manufacturers, and delivers solar systems to residential, commercial and utility customers. It is also interested in new power sources in fuel development.
Hydrogenics Corporation (HYGS) is a Canadian enterprise located in Ontario. This company founded in 1988 together with its subsidiaries designs, develops, and manufacturers hydrogen generation products. These are founded on water electrolysis technology and fuel cell products based on proton exchange membrane technology. Its products are sold around the world and has recently taken an interest in more alternative energy sources particularly in vehicle fueling. It main customers are other energy and utility companies. The stock closed at $21.36 USD at the end of the business day on April 08, 2014.
All 3 companies have great potential for long term growth as economies around the world continue to move towards more alternative and renewable energy sources.