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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Environmental Services Industry Booming

So I have been tracking the activities of industries directly related to peak oil, including associated environmental remediation markets as an indicator of where we really stand in confronting the massive environmental challenges ahead of us.

If there is anything that the so called "free market" system does well, it's getting on top of potentially profitable trends. By examining these commercial efforts we can deduce the level of engagement on a variety of environmental topics, as well as make some meaningful predictions about the future based on the trend analysis.

I like to examine primarily environmental remediation & disaster prevention companies which I consider to have much more real-world impact than stuff like indoor mold remediation for example. These industrial caliber outfits handle things like cleaning up hazardous material sites, radioactive remediation, environmental compliance monitoring etc...

While the governmental side of environmental services is an influential and useful contribution, it can never match the power the market has to transform the landscape of a given market.

Make almost anything profitable, and business will make it happen... guaranteed.

Peak Oil means the smart money goes into oil-alternative businesses, for very obvious reasons. A person could look at Peak Oil, and conclude that there are significant opportunities in environmental services, based on the idea of servicing the needs of oil-alternative companies, who in many cases, will have painful environmental challenges to handle.

Imagine the scope of what is happening to the global energy business as companies & governments struggle with ever increasing prices for conventional oil. We will strip-mine Canada for oil... level the rocky mountains for shale... exploit our nature preserves... convert coal into oil... and on and on.

All these activities have terrible environmental consequences both in terms of destroying ecosystems, and accelerating greenhouse gas emissions from these very dirty fuel sources. Even gentle solar businesses use heroic amounts of electricity in manufacturing.

So, if my theory is correct about the market following trends, then we should see many new ventures into markets to serve these needs.

Sure enough... amazing growth in new companies & new initiatives from existing companies. There is a buying, merging, partnering frenzy going on that reminds me of the DOT com days, where an entire new market was being born in months rather than years.

Fluor, (a giant energy company), is well ahead of the curve looking at co2 sequestration technology for coal power plants, in anticipation of future demand.

The primary focus of this partnership is to enhance the technology and to demonstrate its application to safely separate carbon from the flue gas of a coal-fired power plant. This will be the first demonstration of the technology on a coal-fired power plant. Both companies, in applying the Econamine FG+ process, will demonstrate an optimized adaptation of the CO2 scrubbing process that complies with U.S. and EU environmental requirements. E.ON brings essential experience in the operation and engineering of coal-fired power plants to this strategic partnership.


Small & medium sized companies are re-capitalizing to expand their services in anticipation of mounting demand. USA Environment just partnered with an investment firm for exactly this reason...

Wingate Partners and USA Environment LP (USA) have joined forces in a recapitalization of USA.

USA is a full-service environmental contractor that provides a full range of high-end environmental services. The company is a licensed contractor in 30 states that specializes in turnkey solutions for any environmental construction, remediation, industrial services, radioactive material handling, disposal, transportation or spill problem.


And so forth & so on... too many to really track, but a very clear indicator that despite their silent treatment of peak oil, many seem quite aware of what's coming.

It would be interesting to see some gross statistics showing percent growth broken down by service I think.

Your dog wants remediation.

1 comment:

Ray The Money Man said...

The private sector can make it again. But the government and its laws have to be out of the way to make it possible. Example, down here in the desert southwest the existing laws make it possible for the extreme elements of the "environmental" groups to keep us from increasing right of way for new power lines.