What is your advice for investing in green energy projects?
After the last 20 years of trial and error and experience with green energy, there is sufficient skepticism among any investors that the pricing of good green energy project can often be very attractive. I recommend that all green energy projects be reviewed by a business planning perspective of the same principles of analysis that would apply to any energy project.
What are the best ways to invest in a renewable energy future?
The best way to invest in a future of renewable energy and achieve long lasting impact is to invest in new clean energy projects that are energy efficient and create something that did not exist before. For example, a new solar plant or a new waste to power plant.
Are you concerned about investing in sustainability in the Trump era?
I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about that particular concern because in general I don’t depend on government grants to make investments profitable.
Is there one or two sectors of energy that you think are going to be the “next big thing” in sustainability?
I think the area of sustainability that has the largest potential is the conversion of waste to value, including the conversion of waste to useful products as well as the conversion of waste to power. That is the largest potential gain from a total system efficiency stand point.
If all that you look at is new projects, I think that on our global level, the greatest opportunity is in solar plants because there are so many areas of the world that have enough sun to make them efficient but lack sufficient power. All solar plants are not perfect, in that solar panels have to be manufactured in a way that isn’t completely clean. Nonetheless, once they are built, they last a long time and they don’t typically have very many moving parts that require lots of maintenance.
In addition, the costs of solar have come down dramatically in the last 5 years.