Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chris Berry: 'Great Time to Invest in Energy Metals'

Now is the time to be invested in energy metals, says Chris Berry, president and founder of House Mountain Partners. The current worldwide desire for a higher quality of life is a trend that will continue, Berry says.

In an exclusive interview with Brian Sylvester of The Energy Report, Berry highlights the amount of research and development underway in the technology and energy sectors and why that spells a bullish message for lithium, graphite and uranium. An excerpt:

One of the core tenets of our investment philosophy is that innovation will drive commodity demand. By this I mean innovation in materials science will spur demand for commodities, specifically for metals. As tens of millions of people join the middle class, that puts upward pressure on commodities and leads to an infinite demand for finite resources. The only way I can see to remedy this, short of lowering our overall consumption, is to innovate and essentially do more with less. So with respect to a higher quality of life, the genie is out of the bottle in the emerging world and can't be put back in.

What we're seeing now in countries such as China and the U.S. is the spending of enormous sums of R&D dollars to innovate and patent next-generation discoveries focused on energy generation or energy storage. I liken this loosely to the Cold War in that during that era, the Soviet Union and the U.S. were trying to outspend each other militarily to ensure global supremacy of land, sea and air. The main difference between then and now is that the endgame in the Cold War was mutually ensured destruction and the endgame today, in terms of R&D spending on cleantech and greentech, is ownership of cutting-edge intellectual property and patents. That is what can sustain and foment a higher quality of life and also create jobs. Survival is still at stake; it's just in a different context.