Norman Anderson On The Clean Tech Of Tomorrow: 'Infrastructure Is Going To Be The Brains Of The Economy'

Norman Anderson has seen the future, and from his viewpoint, it’s all about infrastructure.

“For me, infrastructure was always the foundation of the economy — something that you build with concrete and steel,” Anderson, chairman and CEO of CG/LA Infrastructure and a Forbes contributing writer, said during a discussion during the Benzinga Cleantech Small Cap Conference Thursday on clean tech stocks and solutions.

“Going forward, infrastructure is going to be the brains of the economy. It's going to be silicon, it's going to be digitization and a tremendous amount of electrification.”

The Green Tomorrow: Anderson cited comments made by President Joe Biden on the nation’s near-term environmental future, but he warned the energy sourcing to achieve the goals is not in place.

“If you just listened to the Biden commitments from this morning in the environmental conference, we're going to need 10 times as much renewable energy in nine years as we have right now,” he said.

Anderson pointed out that investors looking into clean tech often miss the importance of electrification in a greener future.

While people recommend solar stocks, hydrogen stocks and the like, it's a question of how the electrons are going to get to the people, and that's by transmission lines, he said. 

"To give you a sense of the problem here,” he continued, “a friend of mine went bankrupt two years ago after working for 10 years trying to bring wind electrons from Oklahoma and Texas to the East Coast because he couldn't get rights of way for the transmission lines. In the last 40 years, we've built three ultra-high voltage DC lines, and the Chinese built 12 last year."

These are clean tech choke points, Anderson said. 

"Rather than simply supplying the market, look at the market analytically and figure out where the opportunities are."

Related Link: 5 Stocks To Consider For Earth Day

Leaders Of The Pack: When quizzed on which companies are having a positive disruptive impact on the clean tech sector, Anderson named SinglePoint Inc. SINGD, Worksport Ltd. WKSP and American Battery Metals Corporation ABML as companies “who have figured out where there are really interesting niches.”

He's particularly impressed with American Battery’s platform for recycling lithium-ion batteries to recover and reuse battery metals.
It's a “phenomenal” concept that can create a significant economic shift, Anderson said. 

“It actually brings advanced manufacturing back to the U.S. as well,” he said. "One of the biggest issues we're going to face — and where the Biden administration is going to try to make a contribution — is how do produce rare earths in this country, if it's possible, or bring rare earths from Canada, Brazil, and our normal allies."

The Biden definition of “infrastructure” deviates from the traditional notion of transportation channels, Anderson said, but he also insisted the private sector needs to play a role in this evolving definition.

“When the Biden administration talks about electric vehicle charging, they talk about public investment,” he said.

“But those are private investment opportunities. Solar, wind, transmission — all private investment opportunities. We see a large number of companies emerging to manage those development projects, and also innovation to drive those projects.”

The possibilities from this shifting environment are wide, ranging from combining electricity and 5G transmission within highway construction into major advances in manufacturing and agriculture via clean energy solutions.

“We're going live in a different world in 10 years than we live in right now,” he predicted.

Related Link: 4 Clean Energy Stocks Set To Outperform Says Evercore ISI

(Image by Gordon Johnson/Pixabay.)

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