Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Aerovironment's New Farm Worker

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) had their starting point in military exercises, carrying surveillance cameras and even bombs to sensitive sites.  Drones as we have come to call them have also zoomed across the horizons of adventuresome consumers, who see sport and entertainment possibilities.  However, drones offer time and cost savings, quality and accuracy in data gathering and safety to a host of scientists, engineers and infrastructure operators. 
According to industry research firm Markets and Markets, the unmanned aerial market is estimated to be $13.2 billion in the current year and has the potential to reach $28.3 billion by 2022.  A good share of the 13.5% compound annual growth is expected to be driven by new demand for agricultural and environmental applications.  Indeed, Price Waterhouse Coopers estimates the addressable market for drones in the agriculture market alone could reach $32.2 billion by 2025.  The PWC market size estimate seems to eclipse Markets and Markets figures.  At least Markets and Markets agrees that agriculture is the dominant growth driver for UAVs, with an estimated 30% compound annual growth estimate for the this sector through 2022. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

SBM Offshore Trades Offprice

The November 8th post “Trident Winds Floats a Plan for Morro Bay” described plans for one of the first wind energy projects off the western shores of the U.S.   Trident has perfected new technologies for a floating platform that makes possible the location of wind turbines in areas where ocean depths prohibit conventional wind turbines towers anchored to the sea floor.  Investors interested in wind energy technology do not have to wait for Trident to prove out to get a stake in ‘floating offshore’ wind energy. 
Based in Europe, SBM Offshore (SBMO:  AEX) is a leader in the market for Floating Production Storage and Offloading platforms (FPSO).  The company is part of a consortium of electric utility and technical firms to win a contract from the French government to build and operate a pilot floating wind farm.  SBM Offshore will supply its proprietary floating system.  Three Siemens 8-megawatt turbines will be installed on the platforms.  The project is one of four being supported by French government programs, which have identified floating wind turbines as key to renewable energy production for France given the great ocean depths around the country.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year we are especially grateful for all our blessing large and small.  Good health and loving family and loyal clients are at the top of my 'gratitude' list.   This year we can be especially grateful for our country where we all have the freedom to speak our minds.

Wishing you a safe and pleasant Thanksgiving holiday and week-end.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Minerals Explorer Wades into Lithium Brines

Worries about inadequate supply of lithium to make electric vehicle batteries have sent industry partisans scrambling to find new sources.  The chemical element is such a good conductor of electricity that battery makers prefer lithium-ion material over conventional lead-acid and zinc-carbon compounds for electrodes in advanced electric storage.    One Canada-based company, MGX Minerals (XMG:  CSE or MGXMF:  OTC/QB) has put on their wading boots and ventured out into brine flats in search of lithium.  That might seem like an odd place to source this coveted chemical element, but lithium is a bit quirky.