Environmental & Energy Outlook 2011 Today, The U.S. Energy Information Administration, (EIA) issued their early release projections of their upcoming

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Environmental & Energy Outlook 2011

Today, The U.S. Energy Information Administration, (EIA) issued their early release projections of their upcoming Annual Energy Outlook 2011 report, (AEO2011). The full report is due to be released in March 2011. Released annually, this report details the expected changes in the supply and demand trends of energy production. In addition, these projections by the EIA effect U.S energy markets in the long term. It also serves as a starting point for analysis of potential changes in energy policies, rules, or regulations.

As usual the report arouses the debate of how the world can expand economically without further damage to the environment and continuing to deplete our natural resources.

Some of the salient points are:

A higher updated estimate of domestic shale gas resources supports increased natural gas production at prices below those in last year's Outlook.
Imports meet a major but declining share of total U.S. energy demand.
Non-hydro renewables and natural gas are the fastest growing fuels used to generate electricity, but coal remains the dominant fuel because of the large amount of existing capacity.
Industrial natural gas demand recovers, reversing recent trend.
Assuming no changes in policy related to greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide emissions grow slowly, but do not again reach 2005 levels until 2027.

Full Report

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Data courtesy from AEO2011 Early Outlook Report

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Data courtesy from AEO2011 Early Outlook Report

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The LEED'r 2011 Environmental Investment Study

What does the cleantech sector have to offer in the coming year?

Experts are saying that predictions of cleantech's death or "bubble bursting" are highly exaggerated. Many believe that venture capitalists will continue to "chase" solid cleantech deals and also return to making investments into early stage venture deals. This is primarily due to resource scarcity and the drive for greater efficiencies and the desire for energy independence. Many also predict that these drivers-particularly the real or perceived scarcity around oil, rare earth elements and other commodities-will be felt even more acutely in 2011, especially as the Chinese middle class expands, further cementing the demand for and the market validity of clean technologies.

In addition, both the Ontario Teacher's Fund and CalPERS both earmarked major investment capital to be invested in the cleantech sector. This trend should undoubtedly continue with other pensions.

Yes, there are concerns about exits and long time horizons in cleantech, but the sheer sizes of the addressable markets many cleantech companies target, and the possibilities for massive associated returns, will continue to draw investors to the sector.

Environmental Investments

The NYSE Arca Environmental Services Index is a modified equal dollar-weighted index intended to give investors exposure to the environmental services sector.

The Environmental Services ETF seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the NYSE Arca Environmental Services Index.

Some of the stocks in these portfolios are:

Waste Management
Clean Harbors
Waste Services Inc
Covanta Holding Corporation
Nalco Holding Corporateion
The Shaw Group
American Ecology Corporation

NOTE - Although it is not in the scope of this newsletter to "tout" investments or suggest and offer investment advice, we are constantly being asked about various public companies in the cleantech sector. Because we are not investment advisors, or pretend to be, we do insist that you research everything you read in The LEED'r on your own, and we also recommend that you consult a professional investment advisor before making any investment decisions.

For further information on this matter please see our disclosure at the end of this newsletter.

Spotlight LEED Project of the Week

The Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation synagogue in Evanston, Illinois, one of ten LEED-certified houses of worship in the United States.

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Photo by Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing (courtesy of Ross Barney Architects).

With its reclaimed-wood exterior, recycled cinder blocks, and sunflower-husk cabinets, the synagogue of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Illinois, is the country's first religious building to achieve the highest LEED rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. But it won't be the last. Ten U.S. congregations are already LEED-certified and more than 50 have applied for approval for their green churches, synagogues, chapels, seminaries, and other houses of worship. Eco-friendly changes at the the Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, to give just one example, have helped the congregation cut its yearly gas and water bill in half. "It was about making a sacred statement. If we were going to talk the talk, we needed to walk the walk," said Rabbi Brant Rosen of the Evanston synagogue. "The whole process forced us to look at our values in a deeper way."

Profile found at TreeHugger: 8 Ways Religious Groups Show Their Green Beliefs

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Green News

Energy firms to get new low-carbon incentives - The government is to guarantee prices for electricity to persuade the private sector to invest in new low-carbon forms of generation...read on

California’s First Molten Salt Solar Energy Project Gets Green Light - California has just approved a new solar project that could revolutionize how we use energy from the sun – namely because it will be able to keep producing electricity even after night falls. SolarReserve‘s Rice Solar Energy Project will end up looking a lot like the solar thermal tower above but will have a secret weapon hidden underneath – molten salt. Since the salt will be able to reach temperatures over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and retain most of the heat it collects during the day, the plant will have the ability to keep churning out juice long after the sun goes down. It will be the first project in California to use the savory technology to store and distribute energy...read on

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A New Way to Buy Some Wind Power - Millions of people think about buying solar cells for their roofs, but far fewer would consider owning a wind turbine. An Oregon manufacturer of small wind systems is trying to change that by borrowing a financial strategy from the solar industry: the customer provides a space for the equipment and buys the energy it produces, but the company owns the device, at least for the first few years...read on

Cap and Trade system to be adopted this week by California -
California, which has the world’s eighth-largest economy, is expected to approve regulations this week that will impose a cap and a price on CO2 emissions beginning in 2012...read on

On The Elephant In The Room: Population And The Environment - We hear it all the time, and have heard it since Malthus: That overpopulation is the primary cause of the world's environmental ills. It makes sense in simple logical terms: The more people there are consuming natural resources, the greater a threat humanity poses to exhausting them. Hard to argue with that. But the issue is of course more complex -- and there's an interesting back-and-forth over at Grist on the subject to prove it. One writer argues that fears of a rapidly expanding population are overblown -- constituting a "green myth", even -- and that those fears should be redirected towards consumerism. Is that right? Read on

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Overpopultaion illustration courtesy of tree-hugger

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The LEED'r is a green newsletter owned by The Cotocon Group that is written and published by Daryl Dworkin. The Leed'r is a weekly publication which reports on a wide range of environmental interests. In future newsletters, we will continue to provide compelling information, relevant news, interviews with industry professionals, and a whole lot of other interesting material. Please enjoy and feel free to contact us with any comments, questions, or ideas that you may have regarding green building or any environmental issues at info@thecotocongroup.com

Have an idea for a story? Email Daryl Dworkin

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