Green Chip Stocks

Green Chip Stocks Index:

ABB (ABB) - 21.25 -0.02

Canadian Solar (CSIQ) - 34.42 -0.17

Capstone Turbine (CPST) - 0.63 -0.01

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) - 662.50 ↑ 3.68

Daqo New Energy (DQ) - 25.95 -0.19

First Solar (FSLR) - 59.57 -0.05

General Electric (GE) - 24.82 ↑ 0.02

Hannon Armstrong (HASI) - 18.65 -0.13

Hanwha SolarOne (HSOL) - 1.10 ↑ 0.00

iPatch DJ-UBS Coffee (JO) - 24.38 -0.40

iPath Pure Beta Coffee (CAFE) - 16.64 -0.26

JA Solar (JASO) - 9.82 ↑ 0.03

Maxwell Technologies (MXWL) - 8.06 ↑ 0.30

NRG, Inc. (NRG) - 24.31 -0.35

NRG Yield, Inc. (NYLD) - 49.74 -0.03

Ormat (ORA) - 37.53 ↑ 0.09

Pattern Energy Group (PEGI) - 28.19 ↑ 0.05

SolarCity (SCTY) - 50.24 ↑ 0.16

SunEdison (SUNE) - 24.21 ↑ 0.45

SunPower (SPWR) - 31.45 -0.22

TerraForm Power (TERP) - 36.02 ↑ 0.31

Tesla (TSLA) - 182.60 -7.80

TransAlta Renewables (RNW) - 11.34 ↑ 0.00

Trina Solar (TSL) - 12.14 ↑ 0.16

U.S. Geothermal (HTM) - 0.46 -0.02

Whole Foods Market (WFM) - 51.86 -0.29

Yingli Green Energy (YGE) - 1.99 -0.01

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

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