Tag: Featured Articles

God Calls His Followers to Honor Him with Their Finances

By Robert Knight, Communications Adviser, Timothy Partners

With the rising number of “responsible” funds in the early 90s, there wasn’t really an option for Christian conservatives to invest without compromising their beliefs, in life and family values. In 1994, under Art Ally’s leadership, the Timothy Plan unveiled its fund aimed at evangelical Christians. Secular investment firms weren’t thrilled by the arrival of Timothy Plan’s Biblically Responsible Investments, but investors were, and today there are over a dozen successful BRI-based mutual funds with billions in assets.

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The Future of “Clean” Energy

By Murray Rosenblith, Co-Manager, New Alternatives Fund

Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that two-thirds of the world’s power will be generated by renewable resources by 2050. This projection is based on the continuing growth of new renewable power generation projects, primarily wind and solar. Conditions have certainly changed since New Alternatives Fund entered the investment world in 1982. Our Fund’s approach has always been to consider the broad sector of energy and related environmental areas like clean water, clean air, and naturally grown and organic food. Energy is not just the production of electric power we also see conservation and efficiency playing major roles.

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Decarbonize, Decentralize and Democratize: Investing in a More Just Energy Future

By Jess Brooks, Chief Development Officer, Sunwealth

At Sunwealth, we invest in a sustainable future by financing diverse renewable energy projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen local resilience and bring the benefits of renewable energy to under-served communities. Since 2014, we have financed over 70 solar installations on rooftops and in open spaces. We are poised to invest over $12 million in solar energy and storage projects in 2018, more than double our 2017 investment. We have a 2019 pipeline of over $40 million in new solar projects that will provide 20 megawatts of solar power across 50 communities.

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Clean Energy Investing: Changing Lives, Changing the World

By Maxwell Roe, Business Development, Clean Power USA

Renewable Energy was the most-added source of new power generation in 2017. In an increasing number of regions, clean energy is the cheapest source of new electricity. Confidence in the clean energy sector can be seen in the large commitments made by major banking institutions. The public and our investors are grasping the reality of a renewable energy future. Rooftop solar panels are commonplace and are required on new homes in some cities in California. Solar photovoltaic installers and wind turbine service technicians have become the nation’s two fastest-growing occupations.

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Strengthening Clean Energy with a Diverse Workforce

By Kristen Graf, Executive Director, WRISE

According to NREL, renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today, in combination with a more flexible grid, is adequate to supply 80 percent of total U.S. electricity generation in 2050. Now is the time to take a close look at the pipeline of potential clean energy workers ensuring that we are bringing the best minds and diverse perspectives to the table. Prioritizing diversity both in terms of race and gender are important components for building a successful company. Research from McKinsey makes it increasingly clear that companies with a diverse workforce perform better financially.

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The Future Is Decentralized

By David Breecker, Founder and Managing Director, Microgrid Systems Laboratory

In every part of the world, from the industrialized to the emerging economies, energy systems are shifting from a highly centralized architecture (i.e., large generation plants, long transmission lines, and one-way flows of energy) to a decentralized, distributed network model. This model takes the form of microgrids (or “mini-grids” in Africa and Asia), small, integrated systems capable of autonomous operation; and as Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems and Virtual Power Plants, as ways of making the existing bulk power grid more flexible. Some compare this to the advent of “the internet of energy.”

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50 Farms and No Regrets

By Teresa Opheim, Senior VP, Iroquois Valley Farms

Iroquois Valley Farms has reached a milestone: This spring we added the 50th farm to our portfolio. Our farmland REIT provides secure land tenure for 35 farm families working 9,000 acres of farmland. More families will be joining us soon. We have seen strong and steady growth in the value of our investment portfolio since 2007. We recently launched a new offering to raise $20 million to help fund more farmers. We also offer Soil Restoration Notes to investors, with a portion of the returns going to help our farmers transitioning to organic.

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The Best is Yet to Come

By Harn Soper, CEO, Sustainable Farm Partners (SFP)

Farming, like investments, carries some degree of risk. How SFP mitigates these risks is unique and key to the opportunity. Market demand for organic food is the fastest growing segment in grocery stores. Geographically, our established operating network of farms is spread out to minimize the impact of local weather. Our distributed farm network is focused on areas with the best available soil and linking that network allows us to negotiate better offtake agreements and discounts on inputs. In the event of any crop damage due to weather, which diminishes yields, we have crop insurance.

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Frey Vineyards – Out of the Ashes

By Katrina Frey, CEO, Frey Vineyards, Ltd.

The story begins with a strange orange glow in the sky that awakened me at one AM on the morning of Oct 9th, 2017. Stepping outside into a howling wind, I watched in horror as a huge wildfire burned on the distant ridge. The wind was blowing away from us, so I was very concerned about our neighbors below the ridge in Potter Valley, never dreaming that at the same time the Redwood Complex Fire was racing around the bottom of the ridge and heading straight to Frey Vineyards and engulfing the only paved road out.

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Developing the New Mexico Landrace (Heirloom) Corn Project

By Tim Vos, Field Coordinator & Agroecologist, NMLCP

On February 2016 The New York Times ran a story, "Oaxaca’s Native Maize Embraced by Top Chefs in US and Europe", highlighting the work of a new company called Masienda that was sourcing landrace (heirloom) corn from small farms in Mexico. Masienda’s business model emphasizes conservation of agrobiodiversity, while supporting smallholders using sustainable/organic farming methods. When some of us here in Santa Fe saw this article we asked the question, "Why can’t this be happening in New Mexico as well?" And so the New Mexico Landrace Corn Project was born.

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