When people discuss environmental issues, often it is assumed that we are discussing problems that will not be significantly impactful for many decades or generations. But that is not the case. In many parts of the world, the social order is on the verge of imminent breakdown due to environmental challenges happening today. One such instance is the depletion of water resources in South Africa. According to a recent NY Times article, Cape Town, South Africa is approaching Day Zero in the next few months. Day Zero is the time when the city’s water supply runs dry and the supply of piped water to homes and businesses is turned off. This emphasizes the continued need for investment in better infrastructure and water treatment. Economic and social chaos is expected.
Next Generation Batteries
The opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang featured an amazing display of drones. We’re not sure what battery technology was powering those drones, but there is a local technology company named SolidEnergy Systems based in Massachusetts that is developing next generation batteries for use in such drones. SolidEnergy’s technology, lithium metal, which eliminates the need for the liquid electrolyte used in traditional lithium ion batteries, promises twice the energy density of current generation lithium ion batteries with greater safety. There are many companies working on lithium metal batteries (including Toyota Motors) with the biggest hurdles being cost, stability and the ability to scale to larger battery sizes. Most industry experts believe that we are a decade away from large-scale commercial use of lithium metal batteries.
The Ultimate Endorsement of Renewable Energy?
The Middle East, the world’s largest exporter of oil, is making a huge shift to renewable energy. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Saudi Arabia intends to install more than 50 gigawatts of solar energy capacity over the next 20 years while Dubai targets 75% of energy production will be from renewables by 2050. The cost of energy from solar projects contracted in Dubai last year is expected to be less than three cents per kilowatt hour, which is among the cheapest energy cost from any source worldwide. While Saudi Arabia has been talking about making an investment in renewable energy, the country finally appears that it is moving forward in a big way:
Everything You Wanted to Know About Blockchain But Were Afraid to Ask
The cryptocurrency bubble appears to have burst (at least in the short term) but the underlying blockchain technology continues to gain interest. Blockchain is an encrypted, distributed ledger technology that has the potential to revolutionize many industries, including clean energy. There are already instances of blockchain being used to manage renewable energy credits or create smart energy contracts as discussed in a recent issue of MIT Technology Review. For further reading, Venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz has published a “Crypto Canon” with organized links to everything related to blockchain.
Corporations Continue to Commit to Renewable Energy
Over the past few years, we have highlighted multi-national corporations that have deployed capital to power their operations using clean energy given rapidly improving economic returns as well as sustainability image enhancement. Late last month, iconic North American consumer products company Nike announced it will be powering all of its North American operations with renewable energy, after it signed a major agreement with Avangrid Renewables, and its large wind farm in Texas.
You should carefully consider the Fund's investment objectives, risks and charges and expenses before investing. This and other important information is contained in the Fund's prospectus and summary prospectus, which should be read carefully before investing. To obtain a fund prospectus or summary prospectus, call (800) 700-9929. The Fund is distributed by Ultimus Fund Distributors, LLC.
Investing involves risk, including loss of principal. There is no guarantee that the fund will meet its investment objective. Because the Adviser's GEOS criteria exclude securities of certain issuers for non-financial reasons, the Fund may forego some market opportunities available to funds that do not follow the environmental themes inherent in the GEOS strategy.
As of 12/31/17, the Fund's top ten holdings are Umicore SA (4.62%), Philips Lighting NV (4.07%), FANUC CORP (3.96%), Kornit Digital Ltd. (3.95%), Xylem, Inc. (3.54%), Watts Water Technologies, Inc. (3.44%), Keyence Corp (3.30%), Trimble, Inc. (3.29%), Sensate Technologies Holding NV (3.22%), and Mueller Water Products, Inc. (3.14%).
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