Green Chip Stocks

Green Chip Stocks Index:

ABB (ABB) - 21.39 ↑ 0.30

Canadian Solar (CSIQ) - 29.85 ↑ 0.59

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) - 610.00 ↑ 1.01

Daqo New Energy (DQ) - 38.52 -0.33

First Solar (FSLR) - 56.27 ↑ 1.52

General Electric (GE) - 25.44 ↑ 0.25

Hannon Armstrong (HASI) - 14.22 ↑ 0.08

Hanwha SolarOne (HSOL) - 2.04 ↑ 0.01

iPatch DJ-UBS Coffee (JO) - 36.37 ↑ 0.32

iPath Pure Beta Coffee (CAFE) - 23.83 -0.02

JA Solar (JASO) - 8.23 ↑ 0.36

Maxwell Technologies (MXWL) - 9.88 ↑ 0.62

NRG, Inc. (NRG) - 29.34 ↑ 0.16

NRG Yield, Inc. (NYLD) - 46.60 ↑ 0.11

Ormat (ORA) - 27.98 -0.20

Pattern Energy Group (PEGI) - 28.15 -0.14

SolarCity (SCTY) - 54.10 ↑ 0.18

SunEdison (SUNE) - 18.69 ↑ 0.46

SunPower (SPWR) - 31.21 ↑ 0.72

TerraForm Power (TERP) - 27.16 ↑ 0.18

Tesla (TSLA) - 235.29 ↑ 4.19

TransAlta Renewables (RNW) - 11.34 ↑ 0.00

Trina Solar (TSL) - 10.18 ↑ 0.23

U.S. Geothermal (HTM) - 0.55 ↑ 0.05

Whole Foods Market (WFM) - 38.03 ↑ 0.37

Yingli Green Energy (YGE) - 2.95 ↑ 0.12

Palm Oil Emissions

Is Palm-based Biodiesel Worse Than Oil Sands?

By Sam Schrader   

According to a new study published in the journal Global Change Biology: Bioenergy, greenhouse gas emissions from palm oil production have been severely underestimated. It turns out palm oil biofuels could actually be more damaging to the environment than oil sands production.

A major factor in the greenhouse gas emissions from palm oil production comes from when peat swamps are initially drained for palm-based agriculture. When the peat starts decomposing, it creates massive amounts of carbon-based emissions.

The industrial plantations for palm oil production are mostly located on the island of Sumatra (62%) and over two-thirds of the plantations were developed for palm oil cultivation. Satellite images of the peatlands on Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo from 2010 show it has a cumulative area larger than Belgium. The annual carbon emissions from peat decomposition from this huge area are put around 230-310 Mt CO2e.

In addition, this study’s release happens to coincide with the close of the comment period on a new EPA analysis of the carbon intensity of palm oil biodiesel.

The EPA concluded the lifecycle greenhouse gas analyses on the palm oil-based biodiesel and renewable diesel derived from palm oil had 17% and 11% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions respectively, which does not meet the minimum amount of 20% used in the Renewable Fuel Standard program. A bit more than half of the greenhouse gas emissions for these biofuels came from land use change.

While the palm oil industry is protesting these findings, even if more up-to-date information were to be used, the rate of peatland destruction still suggests palm oil biodiesel is more environmentally damaging than Canadian oil sands.

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Jeff Siegel on CNBC
Green Chip Stocks Editor Jeff Siegel, featured guest on CNBC's Green Week

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