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‘Solar glass’ ASX newcomer on the rise as RCR faces setbacks

Published 31-OCT-2018 11:58 A.M.


4 minute read

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“Our message is governments need to get out of the way,” were the words of global head of RE100, Sam Kimmins, this week.

RE100 is a global corporate leadership initiative on renewable electricity led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, initially titled the Carbon Disclosure Project — a group which runs the global disclosure system that enables companies, cities, states and regions to measure and manage environmental impact.

Australian businesses are increasingly choosing to join the fight against climate change and jump on the lucrative green energy bandwagon, seemingly in defiance of current government policy.

Last week, some 38 firms attended the Australian launch of RE100 in Sydney at Arup’s HQ.

So far, 154 companies globally (including Sony, PwC and Lyft) have joined RE100 and made a commitment to go 100% renewable. 75 of these companies have operations in Australia, including huge names like Fujitsu, Mars, Inc. and Unilever.

Companies that sign up must make a public commitment to switch to 100% renewable energy by a set date before 2050. While that seems a fair way off, most companies are actually choosing to go 100% green as soon as possible.

Solar setback sees RCR Tomlinson’s market cap halved since July

While the above represents some very promising green news this week, the green energy space is far from immune to poor decision-making and financial setbacks, and one of the most obvious casualties in the last few months has been RCR Tomlinson (ASX:RCR).

The company entered a trading halt on 30 July and provided a business update on 7 August extending its voluntary suspension and explaining that there would be likely financial impacts from cost overruns on a project. It simultaneously announced that CEO Dr Paul Dalgleish was stepping down after holding the position for 10 years.

The stock resumed trading on August 30, just days after publishing its FY results and announcing a capital raising. Between now and when RCR entered the trading halt in July, its share price has slid all the way from $2.12 to $0.90.

And the bad news keeps coming, with the VIC branch of the Electrical Trades Union claiming that 130 workers were fired from RCR’s Wemen solar farm in mid-October with just one hour's notice, and asking whether RCR has enough money to finish the project at all.

The company faced its shareholders yesterday at what seems to have been a very awkward AGM.

In the Green Keeper spotlight: ClearVue (ASX:CPV)

In May 2018, a new green energy play hit the ASX — ClearVue Technologies Ltd (ASX:CPV).

This is a company operating in the very new area of glass solutions that are ‘green’ — green, that is, in everything but colour.

In a nutshell: CPV’s patented glazing technology sits within an “activated interlayer” sandwiched between two panes of glass. The interlayer prevents heat and unwanted solar radiation (UV or infrared) from penetrating the glass pane, and actually redirects it to the edge of the glass for controlled harvesting through conventional PV solar cells. (Intelligent glass — who knew?)

At the same time, natural ‘visible wavelength light’ is able to pass through more or less unaltered so that rooms are no darker than average.

It purports to offer the following with its smart glass, or ‘smart building material’, tech:

  • Energy produced at a minimum 30 watts per sqm (peak) which will provide a payback over time
  • IR & UV control of approximately 90%
  • Insulation properties, which means saving heating and cooling costs
  • Transparency still of up to 70%, which lets most of the natural light through

There are videos and more information on the small cap’s website, but suffice to say it has received some solid investor attention with its share price up ~73% since listing. In mid-September, it spiked to $0.55, an increase of 261% on the listing price, which was apparently based on no news.

It recently struck a deal with yStop, a supplier of advanced outdoor advertising and street furniture. An MOU was signed which looks to incorporate CPV’s solar glass solution into yStop’s outdoor applications.

yStop has ‘street furniture’ designs, including bus shelters, bus seats, street bins, outdoor advertising panels, street signage and street signs, which use new technologies like waste sensors for street bins, lighting & sound, environmental sensors, digital community engagement information and story displays, public wifi and more.

With this MOU, yStop will look to add solar glass to that already impressive list, giving CPV’s product some very useful exposure.

SECOS (ASX:SES) impresses with today's quarterly

SECOS Group Limited (ASX:SES), which was featured in The Green Keeper back in early September, has provided more evidence that it's making serious inroads with its bioplastics ambitions.

Today it provided its quarterly report and cash flow statement for the quarter ended 30 September, showing sales were up 39% on the prior year to $1.7 million. Most notably, it reported 296% on year growth in its bioplastic resin sales. You can read more on that here.

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