Energy has seen some big changes in the last few years.
Coal has stumbled. Renewables have surged. Oil fell hard, then spent years clawing its way back up.
But the biggest change in energy has been in tech.
The shale revolution unlocked millions of barrels that had been trapped away in shale deposits for decades. Today, increased automation at drill sites has allowed frackers and shale drillers to drastically cut costs.
Newer, more sophisticated computer systems have allowed exploration/production companies to earn more from less. Blockchain platforms are streamlining supply chains and cutting out middlemen.
The future of energy belongs to new tech, and investors hoping to score should look to these exciting new firms for some of those solutions.
#1 Oil Production…Without Any Greenhouse Gases
Oil demand has never been higher. Around the world, global hunger for fossil fuels grows and grows…but what about the environmental cost?
Petroteq Inc. (OTCMKTS: PQEFF) has a solution: a patented form of oil sands extraction that leaves no waste, requires no high temperature liquids and produces no greenhouse gases.
The company uses a proprietary closed-loop extraction system that is focused on oil sands exploitation—a field of oil and gas extraction that has been neglected lately, associated with high costs and tremendous environmental waste.
But the closed-loop Petroteq system leaves out all waste, ensuring that no harmful hydrocarbon vapors escape during extraction. The process is clean and, more importantly, inexpensive.
After two years of hard work, Petroteq is ready to take its first steps into full production. And their technology is already proven in test results! Petroteq has extracted 10,000 barrels of oil at their original plant.
It's wholly-owned subsidiary PetroBLOQ is developing the first blockchain-based platform for managing the oil and gas supply chain.
#2 What if you could extract lithium in 24 hours…instead of 24 months?
Lithium is the critical ingredient in lithium battery technology, which is utilized in a wide range of different industries from cell phones to electric vehicles (EVs) to wind turbines.
Demand is so high, lithium miners have been able to raise billions of dollars before they deliver a single ton of product.
But traditional lithium extraction is slow, expensive and wasteful. It usually involves waiting for lithium spodumene to collect from evaporating salt brine.
IBAT is taking a different approach.
According to inventor-CEO John Burba: “Our tech has such a high specificity for lithium that it can directly take the lithium out.”
The method isolates lithium ions in the brine salt solution, removing lithium chloride and leaving the salt behind.
No toxic ponds of brine are left over and no salt piles are left dotting the lithium fields.
The new method is the lithium equivalent of fracking: a fast new method that could free up huge amounts of supply for the hungry lithium market.
This is a company that hopes to revolutionize oil and gas, from exploration and production all the way to transportation—disrupting every sector along the way.
#3 Perovskite: Solar Panels That You Can Paint On Buildings
That's because perovskite panels can be sprayed onto the side of buildings from an ink solution, or printed like a newspaper and used to cover walls and roofs with ease. No surface lies outside their reach.
Development of perovskite panels is still in its infancy, but a handful of small companiesare at the forefront of this big change in solar tech.
One company that is bound to profit is Vivint Solar, Inc. (NYSE:VSLR), one of the best U.S. solar stocks and a leader in the field.
While the company hasn't announced any perovskite plans yet, it's certain to take an interest once development surpasses the trial period and the tech becomes more applicable.
Vivint is the top stock in the solar sector, and despite tariffs making solar panels more expensive the company is well positioned to make further inroads into the residential solar sector.
That's where perovskite could really shine—the new solar tech can be mass produced and applied to new houses, cutting electricity costs and making the U.S. suburbs much greener.
It's just another stock disrupting the traditional energy mix…one that investors should watch closely in the months to come.
Other companies to watch as a new energy revolution dawns:
Enbridge, Inc (NYSE:ENB, TSX:ENB), based in Canada's oil sands capital Alberta, is an energy delivery company focusing on transportation, distribution, and generation of energy. Operating in the United States and Canada, Enbridge owns and operates the largest natural gas distribution network in Canada and the longest crude oil transportation system in the world. Founded in 1949, investors can feel confident in Enbridge's experience and market know-how.
Though not strictly dealing in commodities, Enbridge's diversified assets and connections to a variety of industries position the company as solidified player in many Canadian investors' portfolio.
TransCanada (TSX:TRP, NYSE:TRP): is a major oil and energy company based in Calgary, Canada. The company owns and operates energy infrastructure throughout North America. TransCanada is one of the continent's largest providers of gas storage, and owns and has interests in approximately 11,800 megawatts of power generations.
With TransCanada's massive influence throughout North America, it is no wonder that the company is among one of Canada's highest valued energy companies. Investors can feel comfortable with the company due to its huge and diverse portfolio, and continuing eye for success.
Franco-Nevada Corporation (TSX:FNV, NYSE:FNV) specializes in securing precious-metal streams, but the company also works in the oil and gas industry. With key assets in some of North America's most desirable oil and gas plays, including Texas, Oklahoma and Alberta, it is clear that the company has amazing potential in the coming years.
FNV ended 2016 with a relative bang. And as oil and gas prices inch up, investors are watching this diverse company very closely.
Pengrowth Energy Corp. (TSX:PGF, NYSE:PGH): Another company that looks to have halted its falling stock price and is now preparing to ride the bullish sentiment in oil markets. Having shed a lot of excess weight this year in massive asset selloffs, investors can expect a much leaner and meaner Pengrowth in 2018.
For those investors who like to follow the smart money, billionaire investor Seymour Schulich bought millions of extra shares in Pengrowth in early October, boosting his position from 19 percent of the stock to 24 percent. He claims that he is confident that oil and gas is going up.
Pembina Pipeline Corp. (TSE:PPL, NYSE:PBA): The North American pipeline industry has had a tough year, but the recent approval of the Keystone XL pipeline route and the growing need for transportation capacity should act as a boon for the sector.
Pembina Pipeline Corp. has ridden the oil price crash in an impressive manner, maintaining a good stock price and increasing its dividend. This is a stock that pays you to wait, and as the sector continues to improve it is likely investors will see good gains here.