On my last trip to Toronto, I was seated next to the stereotypical "grumpy old man" on the plane.
He seemed to have a problem with everything. They weren't serving food on the plane, despite the fact that the flight was less than 2 hours... The seats were too small... He hated Canada...
I asked him why he hated Canada, and instead of giving me a valid reason, he asked me if I could name three things that I liked about our neighbors to the north.
Certainly I could've given him dozens of reasons. But these were the first three that popped into my mind:
Extremely low crime rate. Living in Baltimore, it's not surprising that this was the first thing I thought of.
Poutine — that delectable mound of French fries, cheese curd, and brown gravy that was first introduced in Quebec and can now be found throughout Canada. (Truth be told, I don't touch that stuff anymore, as my desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle trumps my desire to dive face first into those heart attack-makers. But I still respect the dish.)
Georges St Pierre, one of my favorite Mixed Martial Arts fighters in the UFC.
Yes, I know, I probably could've named things that seem more meaningful in my top three... but what can I say, it's hard to beat Poutine and St Pierre.
Of course, had this trip taken place today, my first response would've been Canada's renewable energy agenda — which is already proving to be incredibly aggressive and incredibly profitable, especially in British Columbia.
The BC Cash Cow
I've said it hundreds of times before: When it comes to sustainability and transitioning our energy economy, the U.S. is lagging dangerously behind.
In most European countries, recycling, conservation, and renewable energy integration are commonplace — and have been for decades.
If you ever want to confuse someone from Switzerland or Germany or Sweden, tell him or her how we're still debating the merits of all this stuff that they've been doing successfully (and without wrecking countries' economies) for the past twenty years.
And of course, we already know that China is beating the pants off us when it comes to manufacturing renewable energy technology, most of which was actually invented in the United States.
Or just look to the north, where in British Columbia, a progressive energy plan has begun to instigate a massive transition in their energy economy.
In 2007, British Columbia announced the BC Energy Plan, which called for such policy actions as:
Zero greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired electricity generation;
All new electricity generation projects will have zero net greenhouse gas emissions;
Zero net greenhouse gas emissions from existing thermal generation power plants by 2016;
No nuclear power;
Ensure clean or renewable electricity generation continues to account for at least 90 percent of total generation.
That's right — 90 percent!
Now a year after BC announced this energy plan, BC Hydro issued a Clean Power Call Request For Proposals (RFP) to help ensure that the province would have enough clean electricity to meet its electricity needs.
Since that call, 14 projects with a combined total value of 1,071 megawatts have been awarded power purchase agreements. Some of these included projects being developed by Sea Breeze Power (TSX-V:SBX), Cloudworks Energy, and Finavera Renewables (TSX-V:FVR), which incidentally soared more than 100% after landing their power purchase agreements for four new wind power projects.
There are eight additional proposals still under consideration. So certainly we'll be staying on top of those, and of course, providing any related buy recommendations to our Green Chip Stocks Premium members as we see fit.
If you're not a premium member, you can become one here.
Now beyond any opportunities stemming from BC Hydro's Clean Power Call, there are also a handful of Canadian "Renewable Energy Trusts" that are about to get a big boost.
These "trusts" essentially offer investors the opportunity to profit from the Canadian renewable energy market, but without taking on the risk of investing in small or start-up companies that are still reliant upon power purchase agreements from BC Hydro.
I'll tell you more about these Canadian renewable energy trusts on Thursday.
To a new way of life, and a new generation of wealth...