Ethical investment agency launches exclusive new South African renewable energy opportunity

World

In an attempt to meet the ever growing global demand for energy whilst at the same time considering the health of the planet, attentions are increasingly turning to the use of biomass as a source of renewable energy.

Producing products such as green charcoal, energy pellets and activated carbon, biomass, derived from a variety of sources including the bamboo plant, can be grown and harvested sustainably and burned efficiently to generate heat and / or electricity.

According to recent RISI and North American Bioenergy studies, it is anticipated that global demand for biomass will double within 2 years alone and within 5 years reach 37 million dry tonnes per year in Europe and 20 million dry tonnes in the USA. By 2020, the demand for biomass in Europe should reach 243 million dry tonnes with more than 77% of the overall demand coming from the energy sector.

Outside of the major Western markets, demand for biomass is also increasing and changing in the nature of its supply. In South Africa alone, which is highly coal dependant, there is a rapid movement towards the use of biomass for heat and power. Today 10.7% of primary energy demand in the nation comes from renewable sources but carbon reduction targets and economic need are driving the renewable energy sector towards a likely contribution of 47.8% of all primary energy needs by 2050.

So what is the best source of biomass? It makes sense that the world’s fastest growing land plant – bamboo – is quite simply the best source of biomass.

Marcus Vassiliou, Sales Manager of leading alternative investment agency, EcoInvestments, explains,

“Bamboo is an excellent base material for the production of ‘green charcoal’ or ‘bio char’. One species in particular, Bambusa balcooa has a higher calorific value when used in charcoal than many traditional wood sources and performs excellently when used as activated carbon, a material widely used in water filtration and air conditioning systems. It truly is a super-material.”

Fully appreciating the vast potential of bamboo as a source of biomass and the rapidly rising demand not only in South Africa itself but globally too, EcoInvestments has secured an exclusive opportunity for investors to purchase a biomass plantation lease.

Building upon the success that their partners enjoyed in Nicaragua in becoming the world’s largest owner and operator of commercial bamboo plantations outside of China, EcoPlanet Bamboo Southern Africa has undertaken thorough due diligence over the past 18 months to ensure that the optimum location has been secured to grow bamboo for biomass.

Working with highly experienced partners on the ground with a proven track record, this bamboo, which is already planted and thriving, will be harvested sustainably upon maturity to produce biomass which will be sold to the energy market. Plots are available from USD $20,000 per hectare with 22.6% annualized yields and 226% ROI forecast – an income of $65,295, over the 9 year and 10 month lease.

For more information about this new, excusive and ethical investment opportunity, contact EcoInvestments today on +44 (0) 20 3012 0306 or visit www.ecoinvestments.co.uk.
 

Building skills and improving lives: Socially responsible investment drives positive change in Nicaragua

Nicaragua

Ethical investments offer individuals the opportunity to place their money into projects that reflect their own personal ethics and morals. On this front, investors who have participated in EcoPlanet’s Bamboo plantations in Nicaragua will be pleased to know that the project is having an immensely positive impact on the local community.

Seeking to achieve sustainability by considering social, economic and environmental aspects, EcoPlanet Bamboo is committed to the development of a fully sustainable bamboo plantation. Now entering the second phase, the Rio Siquia bamboo plantation is flourishing, responding well to the use of organic fertilizers, using techniques such as vermiculture, the planting of nitrogen fixing plants and biogreen fertilizer. This has led to flourishing, healthy plants, nearing a year of age and without any detriment to the surrounding ecosystems or wildlife.

Of course, one of the biggest implications of the plantation is its positive effect on the local community. In addition to the 206 jobs that have been created, EcoPlanet Bamboo has begun offering training courses for their employees such as a 6 week bamboo workshop, where employees are trained in the art of bamboo construction, furniture and handicrafts. As well as this, reading and writing classes are also offered to all employees to help build skills and abilities among the local community.

Marcus Vassiliou Sales & Marketing Manager of EcoInvestments, the alternative investment company which sells investments in EcoPlanet Bamboo comments,

“Investing ethically can be extremely rewarding, both financially and for your conscience. It’s a great feeling to know that your money is being put to good use, improving lives in developing countries and having a beneficial impact on the environment. To push our social responsibility further, EcoPlanet Bamboo has been preparing the plantations for certification under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) where activities include: educating workers on their rights and environmental consciousness; marking the boundaries of conservation zones; using organic alternatives to control pests and fertilization and creating equal employment opportunities for local communities.

“EcoPlanet Bamboo is committed to building skills and improving lives. Not only have they helped 48 people become computer literate but they have increased the average annual wage of the community by 31%. Opportunity and equality is also important, that is why 31% of the plantation employees are female. The idea behind our training is that the learned skills are transferred from employees into the surrounding areas to create a thriving bamboo community through locally owned and run small businesses, which will fuel stagnant local economies.”

EcoPlanet Bamboo’s ethical policies, sustainable business practices and training programs mean they can offer socially responsible investment opportunities and by investing in green investments, such as the 8 year Bamboo Investment, investors help to drive positive social change while receiving an impressive financial return.

Offering annualised forecast returns of over 18%, socially conscious investors wanting to turn £11,042 into £27,053* uncapped as well as make a difference through the 8 year Bamboo Investment should contact EcoInvestments today on +44 20 3012 0306 or visit www.ecoinvestments.co.uk.

UK investors urged to act quickly before 23% drop in solar Feed-in Tariffs

United Kingdom

Both homeowners and investors alike, interested in installing photovoltaic (PV) solar panels to UK rooftops should act quickly to take advantage of the higher government-backed Feed-in Tariff (FiT) before it is slashed by 23% at the end of July 2012.

As of the beginning of August the tariff for PV units under 5kW drops considerably from the current 21p/kWh to 16p/kWh and the length of this fixed incentive will fall from 25 to 20 years. This latest change will be the third to affect FiT’s in little over a year with the new rate of 16p/kWh less than half the amount paid to households when the FiT was first introduced in 2011.

Commenting on the impending FiT drop, Marcus Vassiliou, Sales & Marketing Manager of alternative investment company, EcoInvestments, says,

“As the deadline approaches, there is indeed pressure to install PV panels quickly in order to secure the higher FiT rate but even with just a few weeks to go, investors shouldn’t feel that they have missed the boat. We have in place, a number of PV systems already installed in prime locations across Devon and Cornwall, the sunniest parts of the UK and investors can fully expect to still enjoy net returns starting at a healthy 9.5%, fixed to rise with inflation over the next 25 years.”

Despite the planned FiT cut, appetite within the UK for solar panel installations remains on the rise according to The Solar Trade Organisation. In the week ending 3rd June 2012, some 1,788 solar installations were completed according to provisional figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and planning permission has just been granted for the UK’s largest solar farm covering some 125 acres of disused land in Oxfordshire which via 120,000 PV panels will generate 27MW of electricity, enough to power 6,500 homes.

As Marcus Vassiliou comments,

“The UK as a whole has been very responsive to government drives to increase renewable electricity production through solar PV panels. Investors can benefit from near double-digit regular returns from modest outlays, with the security of knowing their investment is pegged to inflation.”

With investment in solar PV panels available from £8,000 for a 4kW system, contact EcoInvestments today on + 44 (0) 20 3012 0306 or visit www.ecoinvestments.co.uk to find out how you can take advantage of the higher rate government-back FiT tariff before it is cut at the end of July.

 

5.8% growth in Nicaraguan economy drives confidence amongst investors

Nicaragua

According to the Central Bank of Nicaragua, the construction and mining industries are propelling economic growth in the Latin American nation this year with an average annual growth of 5.8% in the first quarter of 2012 as highlighted by the Monthly Economic Activity Index (IMAE).

Marcus Vassiliou, Sales Manager of alternative investment company, EcoInvestments comments,

“Nicaragua’s economic growth remains solid with mining continuing to excel and construction booming with an estimated 600 projects running in 2012. Indeed, Nicaraguan officials have expressed a plan to build a $30 billion canal that will rival the famous Panama Canal in the next 10 years and this has generated a wave of interest in the Latin American nation from the likes of Japanese, Chinese, Russian, and Brazilian investors. This project is expected to help drive the economy further and with projects such as this, Nicaragua will go from strength to strength.”

Earlier this year the Nicaraguan government revealed that Nicaragua received US$967.9 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2011, a 91% increase over 2010, as well as a new record for the Latin American country steered primarily by the energy and telecommunications sectors.

Marcus Vassiliou explains,

“FDI is considered the new driving force of the Nicaraguan economy. If we look at the recently approved extension of the Rural Telecommunications Project by The World Bank Board of Directors we can see how this really makes a difference not just in improving foreign investor confidence but also developing new opportunities for rural dwellers. This project has already installed new broadband Internet access points in 101 towns and expanded mobile phone coverage in 37 rural communities.

For investors looking for untapped opportunities, the alternative investment sector is well worth considering. Bamboo investments for instance not only sit well within the Nicaraguan government’s plan to become a leader in sustainable development – protecting natural resources and improving the lives of citizens but also delivers impressive financial rewards for investors.

Marcus Vassiliou continues,

“For investors looking for an ethical investment, why not turn your attention to the world’s first 8 year bamboo package in Nicaragua. The great thing about an alternative investment like this is that the plantation which pays the returns on the 8 year investment has created hundreds of jobs in Nicaragua, offering many local people their first ever chance of paid employment while bamboo presents a sustainable source of ethically produced timber, reducing the pressure on unsustainable natural forests.”

Investors can turn £22,084 into £54,116* uncapped through the new 8 year bamboo package from EcoInvestments, offering annualised forecast returns of over 18%.

To find out how to profit from the timber of the 21st century in Central America’s leading economy please contact Eco Investments today on +44 20 3012 0306 or visit www.ecoinvestments.co.uk.

Solar panel installations rise as Brits hone in on the sunny side of investing

United Kingdom

Solar panel installations are on the increase once again according to The Solar Trade Association (STA) with British home owners and investors honing in on the sunny side of investing and generate attractive returns from their rooftops.

This latest increase is most welcome after a decline, sparked by the UK government reducing the rates on the Feed-in-Tariffs (FiT) for solar photo voltaic (PV) installations which rewards people for solar panel home installation, effectively froze growth across the renewable energy sector last month.

However, although the new revision will see household payments cut from 21p per kWh to 16p, and the length of payments reduced from 25 to 20 years, it seems the government’s announcement to delay the next wave of cuts to solar FiT incentives until August 1st 2012 has encouraged growth with 1,788 solar installations completed in the week ending June 3rd according to provisional figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Marcus Vassiliou, Sales Manager of alternative investment company, EcoInvestments comments,

“Investors may be have been put off investing in UK solar, aware that feed-in tariffs have already been reduced, perhaps worried that they had missed the boat. Now, however, technology has progressed, enabling the price of reliable PV panels to come down to a level where investors can still obtain serious returns. We have sourced a limited number of existing systems in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset where the sunshine is greatest and the maximum amount of electricity is produced thus creating the highest yields so we are encouraging solar panel fans to invest before the new tariff kicks in in August.”

Across the globe, solar energy is going through an extraordinary stage of development looking set to become a significant source of energy for the future. Total investments into solar energy skyrocketed last year jumping 52% to £95bn according to a Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2012 report, which utilised data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, surpassing wind power – usually the biggest single target for renewable investment.

With a limited time to buy into the higher FiT rate, EcoInvestments are offering an average 14.77% annual NET income through the UK Government’s Feed-in Tariff (FiT) from an investment of just £8,000 + 5% VAT.

While income is paid quarterly, increasing in line with inflation (currently 3.5%) as well as being backed by the UK government for 25 years, this totally hands free, passive investment located only in the UK’s sunniest locations offers a return on investment of 269.25%.

Act now before 21st July 2012 to ensure that the solar panels are installed and connected to the grid to get the higher rate FiT.

For more information on solar panel investments contact EcoInvestments today on +44 (0) 20 3012 0306 or visit www.ecoinvestments.co.uk.

Bamboo – the alternative investment that actually delivers as Founder Members receive returns

United Kingdom

With neither stocks nor bonds still not attractive enough to tempt investors, ever increasing monies are being allocated, not only on an institutional but individual level, to alternative investments.

Viewed as an essential element of a diverse and thus robust investment portfolio, more and more high net worth individuals, such as the 48% of those surveyed by the US Institute for Private Investors, are intending to move away from stock markets and instead increase their allocation in alternative investments such as commodities.

Indeed in these uncertain economic times it is reassuring to invest in a physical commodity, one which, due to its unprecedented demand, actually delivers and this tangibility is the beauty of investing in bamboo.

Dubbed the ‘Timber of the 21st Century’, bamboo is one of the most robust materials on the planet, it even has a higher tensile strength than steel! With a multitude of diverse uses from scaffolding to plywood, flooring, decking, furniture, bicycles, planes and even clothes, bamboo is quite simply, as the BBC stated recently “the next super-material”.

But not only is bamboo set to become the sustainable timber source for the future, this wonder plant is also one alternative investment that actually delivers with Founder Members of EcoInvestments bamboo plantation investment receiving their first year’s returns on time.

Over 150 savvy clients who invested in the initial 400 hectare bamboo plantation in Nicaragua, Central America, are now enjoying a 7% NET return on their investment for the first year with much higher returns due to arrive in later years.

Commenting on the successful delivery of returns, Marcus Vassiliou, Sales Manager of EcoInvestments, said:

“With so many alternative and ethical investments available to investors from carbon credits to agricultural land, bio fuels and solar panels, it can be difficult to choose the right one but my advice is to check the track record. Is the investment delivering what it claims? Who are the team behind the project? Are returns being paid in full and on time? What do existing investors have to say?

“As both a shareholder in EcoInvestments and an investor in the Founder Members phase, I am delighted to report that our bamboo investment is delivering what we promised – on time and in full. Having been out to Nicaragua and seen the plantation, and indeed my hectare of bamboo in person, I have complete confidence in the owners and operators, EcoPlanet Bamboo and am looking forward to receiving higher returns as forecast in future years.”

Even though the hugely successful and proven Founder Members program is full, it is still possible to profit from bamboo. Investors can turn £22,084 into £54,116* uncapped through the new 8 year bamboo package from EcoInvestments, offering annualised forecast returns of over 18%.

For more information about making an alternative investment and the merits of bamboo contact Marcus Vassiliou today on +44 (0) 20 3012 0306 or visit www.ecoinvestments.co.uk.

 

60 Second Interview with David Cox, a man bonkers about bamboo!

United Kingdom

What does it say on your business card?
Director of EcoInvestments, an agency founded in 2009 to provide investors access to the best alternative investment opportunities in the ‘eco’ space.

What does your role involve?
There are several parts to this. Currently I am spending a lot of time raising capital for business expansion through initiatives such as the new 8 year land lease opportunity and some institutional funding channels. I have also been working on the company’s long term business plan including bamboo factory investments across Central America and South Africa.

From your background in property, why did you get involved in alternative investments?
Although I have worked in the property investment arena for many years, I actually studied Environmental Management at university and then spent a number of years as a Management Consultant helping business grow internationally. Many of these were in the energy and commodity space, so much of what EcoInvestments is doing today is quite familiar territory.

What makes bamboo the best alternative to invest in?
There is a genuine, underlying market which gives value to the product. Global demand for timber is growing, yet supply is dwindling. The world needs a sustainable supply and bamboo is the only real alternative to tropical timber.

Are the returns really as high as they claim? If so how?
Yes, we believe so. We have been very conscious of the fact that many forestry based investments have underperformed. We have relied upon expert data and believe in every number which supports our returns. We hope to do even better.

What alternative investments would you avoid and why?
I am sure there are many good alternatives out there, but there also some which I think are unlikely to achieve the anticipated returns and some which are just a means to collect investors’ money without any real intent to make the stated returns. I think it has a lot to do with how the investment is presented. Will the principals of the business stand up and show their history and ambition or do they hide behind companies? Do they provide you with the assumptions that underlie the returns and let you test them for yourself. If not, then I guess, be wary. For more information about investing in bamboo contact David Cox at EcoInvestments on +44 (0) 20 3012 0306 or visit www.ecoinvestments.co.uk.

World Bamboo Congress 2012: From the BBC to biologists – everyone’s bonkers about bamboo!

United Kingdom

Today sees the 9th World Bamboo Congress take place at Antwerp, Belgium, focusing on bamboo biosciences, bioengineering and Agroforestry potentials which will provide a unique platform for direct networking and the sharing of ideas and information among bamboo enthusiasts.

Between today and 15th April 2012, the 6 day event will comprise bamboo trade shows, cultural performances and lectures. The World Bamboo Congress has grown to attract at least 400 participants from more than 30 worldwide countries including esteemed experts in bamboo design, construction, and architecture.

Marcus Vassiliou, Sales and Marketing Manager of alternative investment experts, Eco Investments, which markets a bamboo plantation opportunity in eastern Nicaragua, comments,
 

“Bamboo has become increasingly popular and everyone is talking about it, even the BBC only last week. Anyone who has any involvement in bamboo, the timber of the 21st Century whether they’re a biologist, architect or investor should definitely attend The World Bamboo Congress. It is an ideal opportunity to discover new ideas and meet and greet the best in the business.

“Indeed, EcoPlanet Bamboo, our partners and the owners and developers of the bamboo plantations in Nicaragua, will be fully sponsoring The World Bamboo Congress Bamboo Pioneers Award winners, acknowledging individuals without whom the bamboo industry would not have reached the high stages of advancement we see today.”

In the sustainable investments sector, bamboo is fast becoming the best alternative to timber; addressing global, social and environmental concerns as well as bringing home high profits in a relatively short timescale for investors.

Bamboo’s popularity has derived from the multitude of benefits it offers from quick growth, durability, strength, and 3,500 plus commercial uses to environmental benefits such as reducing deforestation and sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as well as alleviating the plight of poverty in developing countries such as Nicaragua.

Marcus Vassiliou continues,

“For investors looking for an ethical investment, why not turn your attention to the world’s first 8 year bamboo package in Nicaragua. The great thing about an alternative investment like this is that the plantation which pays the returns on the 8 year investment has created hundreds of jobs in Nicaragua, offering many local people their first ever chance of paid employment while bamboo presents a sustainable source of ethically produced timber, reducing the pressure on unsustainable natural forests.”

Leased land plots already planted with thriving bamboo are available from £22,084 for a half hectare with investors able to enjoy conservative annualized forecast returns of over 18%. To find out how to profit from the timber of the 21st century in Central America’s leading economy please contact Eco Investments today on +44  20 3012 0306 or visit www.ecoinvestments.co.uk.

 

Untapped opportunities await in Nicaragua, the fastest growing economy in Latin America

United Kingdom

Nicaragua is expected to grow 5.8% over the next five years, ahead of the 4.9% GDP average for Latin America according to a recent report from Pyramid Research.

With this positive economic forecast in mind and Nicaraguan exports in 2012 predicted to grow 10-15% according to the Inter-American Development Bank, investor confidence in the nation is on the up with the Nicaraguan government recently revealing that Nicaragua received US$967.9 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2011, a 91% increase over 2010, as well as a new record for the Latin American country.

Steered primarily by the energy, telecommunications and free zones sectors, which together accounted for 52% of total FDI last year, Nicaragua attracted around 284 foreign investment projects in 2011, an increase of 57% compared to 2010.

Marcus Vassiliou, Sales and Marketing Manager of alternative investment experts, Eco Investments, which markets a bamboo plantation opportunity in eastern Nicaragua, comments,

“FDI is considered the new driving force of the Nicaraguan economy. While the energy sector accounts for about 70% of investment projects in Nicaragua reducing the country´s dependency on fuel, free zones sector and agricultural products have also been embraced by investors.

“Indeed, savvy investors are continuing to make the most of untapped opportunities in the alternative investments sector such as bamboo and with the government’s plan to become a leader in sustainable development, helping protect Nicaragua’s natural resources as well as improve the lives of its citizens, it is important to ensure that an investment supports this plan.”

Marcus Vassiliou continues,

“We are encouraging investors to look no further than the world’s first 8 year bamboo package in Nicaragua, Central America’s largest producer of the sustainable timber substitute. The great thing about an alternative investment like this is that the plantation which pays the returns on the 8 year investment has created hundreds of jobs in Nicaragua, offering many local people their first ever chance of paid employment while bamboo presents a sustainable source of ethically produced timber, reducing the pressure on unsustainable natural forests.”

Located in Rama, close to the Rama port which offers excellent sea access to the key export market of the United States, this investment not only provides employment and social returns in an area of need as well as environmental benefits such as reforestation but impressive financial rewards.

Leased land plots already planted with thriving bamboo are available from £22,084 for a half hectare with investors able to enjoy annualized forecast returns of over 18%. To find out how to profit from the timber of the 21st century in Central America’s leading economy please contact Eco Investments today on +44  20 3012 0306 or visit www.ecoinvestments.co.uk.
 

Bank on bamboo – An alternative investment you can believe in

United Kingdom

Alternative and ethical investments have been very successful of late, due to the condition of the global markets. Banks are paying miserable returns, the property market has taken a hammering and the stock market is performing erratically. In times like this, people are seeing alternative investments as a far more mainstream option than perhaps 10 years ago. Of course, investors need to be informed, do their research, ask questions and find the best deals.

Bamboo is one such investment that has presented itself as one of the very best deals around. Indeed, while investors become more socially and environmentally aware, they are still on the lookout for tangible assets that they can actually see develop and bamboo investments offer just that.

EcoInvestments’ Sales and Marketing Manager Marcus Vassiliou recently returned from a trip to Nicaragua, where he visited the Rio Kama and Rio Siquia plantations and got to see for himself exactly the work which has been already undertaken on these plantations and the benefits the projects have brought to the local community.

 

 

Why not take a look at Marcus’ account of his trip to Nicaragua and find out more about an alternative investment you really can believe in – the world’s first asset backed bamboo bond!