General Market Commentary

On December 6, 2023, the Bank of Canada held its interest rate at 5%, as the Bank continues its policy of quantitative tightening. The global economy continues to slow, and inflation has eased. In Canada, economic growth stalled through the middle quarters of 2023, wage increases are outpacing inflation, and other indicators for the fourth quarter suggest the economy is no longer in excess demand.

Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, recently delivered the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, including some notable support for cleantech. To reduce biowaste and support new affordable electricity and heat generation, there is a proposal to expand eligibility for the 30-per-cent Clean Technology investment tax credit to include systems that produce electricity, heat, or both electricity and heat from waste biomass. The Canada Growth Fund is now operational and is beginning investment in Canadian projects. And a plan for subsidizing carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) and net-zero energy projects – worth approximately $20 billion over five years – will foster support for hard-to-abate heavy industries looking to reach their net zero goals. Freeland also noted that private sector economists now expect Canada to avoid the recession that many had predicted.

Hot Sector News

This month we’re putting the spotlight on Greenlane Renewables (TSX: GRN), a pioneer in the rapidly emerging renewable natural gas (RNG) market. The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company works with waste producers (such as landfills, wastewater, dairy farms and food waste), gas utilities, and project developers to turn low-value biogas into a valuable low carbon and negative carbon clean energy resource.

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“We’re a technology provider; we provide the systems that takes the biogas that’s made from sources of decomposed organic matter. We clean it up and end up with a high quality biomethane for the pipeline or vehicles, depending on the end use,” says Brad Douville, executive vice chair of Greenlane Renewables, who joined the company in 2017 after a 25-year career in the natural gas commercial vehicle industry. “We are cleaning up two of the largest and most difficult to decarbonize sectors of the global energy system: the natural gas grid and commercial transportation.”

Profile photo of Brad Douville

Brad Douville, Executive Vice Chair, Greenland Renewables.

The cleantech company is gaining traction quickly in this emerging sector. The current backlog is just under $54 million — up 350 per cent in the past year.

What is the growth potential in this market? “The best way to think about Renewable Natural Gas is that it’s to the natural gas grid as wind and solar are to the electricity grid,” explains Douville. “The market is building and we’re seeing RNG is important to decarbonizing the natural gas grid, and there’s more energy delivered through natural gas than through electricity.”

So, there’s a much bigger problem but also a much bigger opportunity for companies like Greenlane Renewables. “Major oil and gas companies are now announcing net zero targets and we’re going to capitalize on that.”

In 2023, the company rebranded and launched its new line of sector-focused standard products that will contribute to streamlined processes and cost efficiencies. The standard products are configured-to-order and will result in reduced engineering time and a repeatable, simplified and faster sales process. It seems to be working; Greenlane received the largest sales contract in the company’s history last month at $35.3 million by a leading environmental services company in Brazil that is investing in a portfolio of landfill assets across the country to produce biomethane.

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Greenlane Renewables inks biogas contracts | Energy Global

Greenlane’s ability to provide a portfolio of biogas upgrading technologies is attractive for companies looking for solutions that provide competitive economics on every project no matter the size, feedstock, or application.

 

 

Greenlane Renewables offers three key technologies — waterwash, pressure swing adsorption, and membrane separation — plus a proprietary biogas desulfurization technology. So far Greenlane has delivered over 140 biogas upgrading systems into 19 countries, including some of the largest RNG production facilities in the world.

What’s in store for 2024? According to Douville, streamlining efforts will continue, but at a lower spending level, with much of the initial investments having been made this year. He remarks that the evolution underway reflects the company’s commitment to deliver on long-term results.

Today the stock price of Greenlane Renewables is $0.14.

Stocks to Watch

Here is a list of Canadian cleantech stocks that we are monitoring for this column. This list of public companies is by no means complete, and we are open to suggestions from our advisors and readers.

Name Symbol Price in $CDN

(November 15/23)

Price in $CDN
(December 15/23)
 

% Change

 
Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. AQN $7.84 $8.70 +10.97%
Anaergia Inc. ANRG $0.28 $0.23 -17.86%
Ballard Power Systems Inc. BLDP $5.07 $5.14 +1.38%
*Biorem Inc. BRM $0.89 $1.00 +12.36%
Boralex Inc. BLX $30.18 $34.06 +12.86%
*CHAR Technologies Limited YES $0.48 $0.53 +10.42%
Electrovaya Inc. EFL $3.63 $4.10 +12.95%
Engine No 1 Carbon Streaming ETF NETZ $73.09 $75.09 +2.74%
EverGen Infrastructure Corp. EVGN $2.23 $2.08 -6.73%
Greenlane Renewables Inc. GRN $0.16 $0.14 -12.50%
H2O Innovation Inc. HEO $4.20 $4.25 +1.19%
Li-Cycle Holdings Corp LICY $0.93 $0.94 +1.08%
Loop Energy LPEN $0.095 $0.10 +5.26%
*Thermal Energy International Inc. TMG $0.18 $0.22 +22.22%
TransAlta Renewables Inc. RNW $12.34 $12.48 +1.13%
UGE International Ltd. UGE $1.34 $1.00 -25.37%
Westport Fuel Systems Inc. WPRT $8.59 $9.98 +16.18%
Zinc8 Energy Solutions Inc. ZAIR $0.090 $0.13 +44.44%

 

*The author of this column owns equity. It is not meant to be an endorsement, but simply a statement of this fact.

James Sbrolla is a veteran of the financial and environmental industries. His career has been focused primarily on public and private companies in the clean technology sector. He is a member of the Environment Journal Advisory Board.

This column is written by James Sbrolla and Connie Vitello, editor of Environment Journal. To pitch an idea for an upcoming Market Watch column, or to suggest a stock, please email connie@actualmedia.ca.

 

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