As an investor, keeping "green" on your stock trading screen may mean something completely different in the future. With all of the nuclear meltdown fear and concern over safety, it's a good time to talk about clean and sustainable energy sources and how we, as investors, can profit along side the planet in this growing trend.
What are the Types of Renewable Clean Energy?
Solar Energy: China is currently a world leader in the renewable energy sector, followed by India Germany, Spain, the United States and India. India, one of the sunniest countries in the world boasts over 300 sunny days per year and is quickly becoming a contender in solar energy development.
Photovoltaics: Photovoltaics (PV) is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity by using solar panels containing a photovoltaic material (silicon, telluride, copper indium among others).
Wind Power: According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), wind energy capacity grew 22.5% in 2010 even though coal and natural gas remain cheaper in leading power consuming nations. China has surpassed the United States as the world leader in wind power, including the number of installed and manufactured wind turbines. China benefits from low labor cost, low capital cost, government support, and preferred access to rare earth materials such as neodymium and dysprosium.
Hydoelectricity: China's is also the world leader in hydropower installation with the goal to eventually replace coal with hydroelectricity as the major energy source.
Geothermal Power: Geothermal energy is non-carbon based energy source that is environmentally friendly, and doesn't release harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Geothermal power is derived from energy found along tectonic plate boundaries where earthquakes and volcanoes are concentrated used in three types of energy production including, dry steam plants, flash steam plants and binary cycle power plants that transfer heat between liquids to power turbines.
Wave Power: Wave energy uses the energy density of waves from the oceans to create a renewable zero emission source of power. Over 100 small companies around the world are employed in converting the sea's power to electricity.
Tidal Power: uses the tide cycles to generating electricity. As far back as the Middle Ages, small tidal mills in Scotland and Europe were built. The world's first and major tidal energy power plant was built at La Rance in France in 1996.
How to Invest in Clean Energy Companies
Some of the top companies listed in the United States can be found in "Portfolio 21's Top 10 'Green' Companies for 2011", published on December 30th, 2010. These companies demonstrated the qualities of innovation and leadership, a distinct competitive advantage and the potential for long-term value according to CEO and Chief Investment Officer Leslie Christian.
ABB: provides technologies that enable a wide range of industries, including utilities, to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. They are also the world's largest supplier of the electrical heart of wind turbines. ABB's products are well positioned to respond to the global demand for reliable and efficient electricity delivery.
Cisco provides networking products and services for home and business communications that minimize travel and associated environmental impacts.
Eaton provides electrical systems and components for power distribution that reduce energy use.
Growthpoint is leading the implementation of green building and energy saving practices in South Africa and is an active participant in development of the country's first commercial green building standards.
IBM announced a new combined solution to manage energy efficiency in buildings and has made impressive reductions of its own greenhouse gas emissions and is part of the Green Power Market Development Group and the Chicago Climate Exchange.
Johnson Matthey's create catalysts that enable chemical reactions to be carried out under milder conditions, require less energy, and use fewer toxic chemicals and solvents. They are also expected to help produce clean fuels, convert waste and green raw materials into energy, and improve emissions from combustion engines.
Novozymes is the world leader in biotechnology-based industrial enzymes and microorganisms developed to reduce the use of energy, raw materials, and harsh chemicals, as well as reducing waste.
Ormat is a geothermal and recovered energy company involved in thermal solar and biomass. Ormat has installed approximately 1,300 MW of geothermal and Recovered Energy Generation power plants.
Schneider Electric provides energy automation, monitoring, and control solutions for utilities, buildings, and other infrastructure uses in order to reduce consumption.
Tennant Company offers an eco-friendly portfolio of products, including Green Seal-certified cleaning agents, and its ec-H2O cleaning machine, which requires only water and no added chemicals.
In Canada, the Toronto Stock Exchange provides a list of green conscious companies engaged in renewable energy production. Here is the list with ticker symbols:
5N Plus Inc. VNP
Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp AQN
Alter NRG Corp. NRG
ARISE Technologies Corporation APV
ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. ATA
Azure Dynamics Corporation AZD
Ballard Power Systems Inc. BLD
Bennett Environmental Inc. BEV
BioExx Specialty Proteins Ltd BXI
BioteQ Environmental Technologies Inc. BQE 55.9 BC Y
BIOX Corporation BX
Boralex Inc. BLX
Boralex Power Income Fund BPT
Brookfield Renewable Power Fund BRC
Brookfield Renewable Power Preferred Equity Inc BRF
Burcon NutraScience Corporation BU
Capital Power Income L.P. CPA
Carmanah Technologies Corporation CMH
Cascades Inc. CAS
China Wind Power International CNW (my pick)
Day4 Energy Inc. DFE
Dynetek Industries Ltd. DNK
Electrovaya Inc. EFL
Genesis Worldwide Inc. GWI
Gerdau AmeriSteel Corporation* GNA
GLV Inc. GLV
Hemisphere GPS Inc. HEM
Hydrogenics Corporation HYG
Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. INE
ISE Limited ISE
Macquarie Power & Infrastructure Income Fund MPT
Magma Energy Corp. MXY
Marsulex Inc. MLX
New Flyer Industries Inc. NFI
Newalta Corporation NAL
Northland Power Income Fund NPI
Palko Enviornment Ltd PLK
Plutonic Power Corporation PCC
Primary Energy Recycling Corporation PRI
ProSep Inc. PRP
Ram Power Corp RPG
RuggedCom Inc. RCM
SunOpta Inc. SOY
Tembec Inc. TMB (my pick)
Timminco Limited TIM
Turbo Power Systems Inc. TPS
U.S. Geothermal Inc. GTH
WaterFurnace Renewable Energy Inc. WFI (my pick)
Westport Innovations Inc.* WPT
Xebec Adsorption Inc XBC
Zongshen PEM Power Systems Inc. ZPP
Jacqueline Smith is a freelance writer, author of http://www.theinvestobot.com and a medical professional interested in creating wealth through regular savings and healthy investment choices.