Industry Bulletin: ´Cleantech´... Another growing and dynamic trend for the efficient use of materials where rare metals play an important role
February 26, 2008
In our ongoing efforts to provide you with broader communications and industry information, we are pleased to issue another Industry Bulletin discussing recent trends in the markets of various rare and strategic metals. In this edition, we focus on a rapidly growing, innovative and entrepreneurial trend generally referred to as ´Cleantech´.
Cleantech is a term coined in 2002 by Keith Raab and Nick Parker who operate the Cleantech Network. It is used to describe knowledge-based products or services that improve operational performance, productivity, or efficiency while reducing costs, inputs, energy consumption, waste, or pollution. Its origin was sparked by the increase in consumer, regulatory and industry interest in clean forms of energy generation and the rising awareness of the adverse impacts on the natural environment from the burning of fossil fuels.
Today, while a very significant portion of Cleantech investment is energy-based (solar, wind, fuel cells, biodiesel & ethanol fuels, batteries), the concept has expanded much beyond energy to now include: energy management and efficiency systems, advanced materials - including nano-technologies and recycling, environmental IT, and water management and purification.
The Cleantech Network phenomenon continues to grow worldwide, including in Canada, with investment forums scheduled throughout the year, such as the one at the end of February in San Francisco and in Brussels at the end of April.
Thomas Kostigen,in his article Trillions Turn Green: investment dollars flow to climate change, clean tech in the Ethics Monitor (dated February 18th), notes that "Institutional investors are committing billions of dollars to investments in climate change and are embarking on a bold new action plan to raise the profile of energy efficiency and clean technologies around the world."
Kostigen goes further to report that "Nearly 50 leading US and European investors representing more than $8 trillion of assets met on February 14th at the United Nations to lay out a timetable for their commitments to global climate change and to call on governments and other investors to act with their money as well. The group says its investment commitments will boost energy efficiency and clean technologies.
The role of rare metals
But what does the Cleantech phenomenon have to do with rare metals? If you have been following Avalon Ventures, then you know that rare metals play an integral role in what is evolving as a ´new materials revolution´. Rare metals are playing an ever-increasing role as integral alloying agents enabling new materials to be stronger, lighter, faster or smaller. For example, indium and gallium are integral to the production of lower cost solar panels, and neodymium, dysprosium or praseodymium are integral to the manufacture of supermagnets used in hybrid electric vehicles.
These rare metals are also vital to energy efficient LED lighting technology. The coloured versions are created with phosphors that contain europium, yttrium, and terbium. A small amout of beryllium significantly strengthens copper in electrical connections and this rare element also plays a key role in nuclear power generation. Lithium is being used to make high performance rechargeable batteries, with the capability of powering the new generation of plug-in electric cars. Effectively, the rare metals play an integral role in the materials that form and enable Cleantech solutions.
Avalon is well positioned to benefit from the Cleantech phenomenon directly through the development of its various rare metals resources and indirectly through the recognition of the inherent value of these resources by the many institutional investors looking to increase their exposure to the rare metals essential to Clean Technologies.
If you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to post them on Avalon´s official investor relations hub at http://www.agoracom.com/ir/Avalon.
AGORACOM Investor Relations