When the U.S. Government and multiple states get behind an idea, movement, or agenda the prudent investor looks for opportunity. As all know, the power of the regulatory, taxing, and spending authority of the federal and state governments is only rivaled, but not exceeded by, the Federal Reserve’s ability to manage the nation’s money supply and set the interest rate policy.

Prudent investors put personal beliefs and politics aside then advance their own welfare by going with the stated agenda. Much like the old Wall Street saw “Never fight the Fed” one should never fight the full-throated regulatory, taxing, and spending authority of the U.S. Government and the states. It plainly makes sense that rational economic actors will respond to incentives and disincentives in the conduct of their personal lives. In the case of green investing, the agenda has been set. And rational consumers are making the choices that benefit them personally as a result of the policy. From subsidized electric automobiles to solar panels to thermal heating/ cooling, consumers are voting with their pocketbooks. Those beneficiaries of the agenda will not only be the usual “rent-seekers” at the government money trough but the innovators who develop technology that will serve the future. Efficiency, low cost, and higher consistent output for the energy expended will drive profits to the technologists that develop the better idea.

As in the past, the road to a new agenda will be fraught with the battle of competing interests, agendas, and technologies. The carbon economy has had 120 years of infrastructure buildout and will not be easily set aside or displaced, and the current electric power infrastructure is insufficient to serve the nation’s needs going forward given policy. History does provide a roadmap for investors in the Green agenda. In the 1800s, Congress provided incentives for people to move westward from land grants to financing for farmers, but it was the providers of the horses, picks, shovels, and wagons in support of that policy that were able to accumulate wealth. It will be the same for the technologists that support the current agenda.
So what do we know? Multiple green technologies will be needed to fulfill the projected policy-driven demand going forward, and the most successful will demonstrate efficiency, consistency of output, and low environmental impact. As it now stands, the nation’s current technologies for power generation, transmission, and storage do not fit the bill. Solar and wind are spotty and only effective and consistent in certain areas of the country to be reliable, and also face “not in my back yard” NIMBY pushback. Hydropower is efficient, but then again only available in certain areas of the country and it is consistently under regulatory and environmentalist pushback, thus limiting any real expansion. Biomass is consistent and will add to the nation’s energy stock, but again faces regulatory and NIMBY opposition. Current approved nuclear technology is by definition no carbon, but the waste product of spent uranium has forced closures of nuclear power plants. Until technology or perceptions change on nuclear that will be a tough push to expand.
Where do we look to invest? The modern-day providers of picks and shovel equivalents are a space to research and those that provide services to the green power generation, transmission, and power storage industries. Also, the base minerals that are part of all these technologies, too. And lastly, but not finally, the companies that provide environmental disposal for the Green power agenda.


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