Thorium Powered Cars

Written By Nick Hodge

Posted September 9, 2011

I take an opportunity when I see it.

When I saw BP (NYSE: BP) had dipped below $37.00 the other day, I didn’t hesitate to buy 135 shares.

The last time it skid so far so fast, there was a tiny bit of crude leaking into the Gulf. Maybe you remember it.

Shares have doubled since then.

Short-term uncertainty about economic recovery and its ability to bolster oil demand has taken oil down more than ten dollars since July and dragged most oil producers with it.

But that’s the short term…

And it certainly doesn’t change the fact that some of the most in-the-know oil executives are now saying Peak Oil is less than five years away.

Total (NYSE: TOT) CEO Christophe de Margerie has gone on record saying production will peak in a few years at 95 million barrels per day (we’re getting about 88 mbd now). After that, he says, “There will be a lack of sufficient energy available.”

Let the short term do what it will. I know I’m right.

And I’ll be loving my $36.20 entry price and 4.6% dividend for years.

Time Frame

The success of most investments is judged through the lens of time frame.

Is my BP investment going to make me a mint overnight? No.

But in a decade’s time (still long before my 40th birthday), that 4.6% dividend on my $5,000 investment will have put over $2,000 in my account.

I’d call that a success… especially since I have a few other similar setups.

Plus, I get all the benefits of any stock appreciation, which, for the reasons mentioned above, I expect to be significant over that time frame.

I’ve been hearing a lot of people are scared to invest. And I have to assume they either don’t know what they’re doing, don’t know where to look, or have outright unrealistic fears and expectations.

I have the advantage of looking at the market and all its influences all day, every day — at least when I’m not out in the boat, blind, or stand.

So whether it’s slow-moving energy dividend plays or some of the more exciting stuff I’m about to show you, I always seem to be one step ahead of everyone when it comes to investment ideas.

I used to get frustrated that everyone was “behind” me; I didn’t understand why people couldn’t see the writing on the wall for Peak Oil or public pensions or the inevitable rise of clean energy.

Many people still don’t see it — any of it.

And though I still get frustrated at the herd’s complacency, contentment with mediocrity, and unwillingness to seek out new ideas and information…

I know the more of “them” there are, the less competition I have for seeking out and cashing in on lucrative investments.Thorium Car

Thorium-Powered Cars

Gas, natural gas, diesel, biofuel, hybrid, electric, fuel cell.

Those are the only options for transportation fuels most folks know about. They haven’t heard of thorium-powered cars, for which a few people are working on prototypes.

Cadillac unveiled such a concept two years ago. And now Charles Stevens of Massachusetts-based Laser Power Systems has unveiled one as well.

According to the website, owned by GE:

A 250-kilowatt unit (equivalent to about 335 horsepower) weighing about 500 pounds would be small and light enough to put under the hood of a car, Stevens claims. And because a gram of thorium has the equivalent potential energy content of 7,500 gallons of gasoline, LPS calculates that using just 8 grams of thorium in the unit could power an average car for 5,000 hours, or about 300,000 miles of normal driving.

You can’t invest in these types of cars yet, but you can invest in companies pursuing thorium for use in nuclear reactors.

Lightbridge Corp. (NASDAQ: LTBR), formerly known as Thorium Power Corp., comes to mind.

Seawater Greenhouses

With the world approaching 7 billion people and 20% of us lacking access to freshwater, cheap food is getting harder and harder to come by. Maybe you’ve noticed.

Seawater GreenhouseThere’s a reason fertilizer companies like Potash (NYSE: POT) have more than doubled in recent years. And there’s a reason billionaires have been on a land-buying spree.

Arable land is the new hot commodity…

Unless you have a seawater greenhouse, which only needs saltwater and sunlight to produce vegetables and freshwater.

A 2,000-square-meter version has already been completed in South Australia. It cost $2 million to build and will produce over 220,000 pounds of tomatoes per year.

It needs no fossil fuels or pesticides, so its costs are up to 25% less than traditional greenhouses. Abu Dhabi, Oman, Jordan, and other arid countries by the sea are all in line to get them.

Similar companies like Urban Barns (OTCBB: URBF) are quickly gaining attention.

Print Your Bikini

Angel owner and pal Brian Hicks has been chirping in my ear about three-dimensional printing.

Every once in awhile, he gets stuck on a topic that nearly consumes him because of its profit potential…

I’ve seen it with the Bakken oil formation. Funny enough, I’ve seen it with robots. And now he’s stuck on 3D printing, or additive manufacturing.

For a definition, here’s a clip from a Wohlers 2011 report on the industry:

Additive manufacturing is the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies. Additive manufacturing is used to build physical models, prototypes, patterns, tooling components, and production parts in plastic, metal, and composite materials.

That same report says the industry grew 24% in 2010 to revenue of $1.325 billion. And that the compounded annual growth rate for the industry since it began in the mid-1980s is 26.2%.3D Bikini

As we head into the future, this technology is what will allow major advancements to be made in multiple industries. It’s pure picks and shovels for the modern age.

3D design and printing can help engineers simultaneously evaluate the performance of different materials at the same time — from literally printing replacement organs to seeing which metal alloy performs best in a plane’s landing gear.

That report also said the industry will hit $5.2 billion by 2020, conservatively. That implies growth of nearly 300% in the next eight years.

You can already get a printed bikini made out of Nylon 12. From Continuum Fashion, the company that designed it:

Nylon 12 is a solid plastic, but it’s strength allows it to be printed as thin as .7 mm, and it can make springs that bend and stretch. Thus our design is actually made in a 3D printed fabric, where thread-like connections form a material that also cohesively creates the aesthetic design. It is flexible, and comfortably wearable. The nylon makes an ideal swimsuit material, being innately waterproof. The surface texture is actually similar to something like sand dollars from the beach, and so it has the interesting property of being the first bikini that actually becomes more comfortable when it gets wet. 

3D printer maker Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS) soared the other day when it was selected by the Georgia Institute of Technology and DARPA to provide printers to high schools across the country. 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) is worth a look, too.

This is stuff people just don’t know. Or care about.

Either way, they’re leaving money on the table.

Safe Nuclear, Pilotless Planes

All these things I’m telling you about are here and investable today. But none will have a bigger impact than this one…

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Call it like you see it,

Nick Hodge

Nick Hodge
Editor, Energy and Capital

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