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Energy

Why are stocks of renewable energies soaring?

The move to renewable energy stocks has grown over the last few years, as large established firms and the smaller firms are continuing to make investment in green initiatives. Companies including SolarEdge Technologies Inc. and Sunrun Inc. are getting some benefits from this change from the high carbon fuels to the clean and the renewable energy stocks, with stocks up about 300% and 200% respectively. They have easily conquered the market, and they have outperformed the Big Tech firms, including Facebook, Apple, and Amazon. There has been an estimation that $11 Trillion will get invested in the new Power generation Technologies by the year 2050. 

So, what has spurred this great rise in renewable energy stocks? What is the best way for investors to be able to capitalize on its development? Among the key reasons for the strong success of the green energy stocks right now is that the market is rising rapidly. The need for green technologies is at an all-time high due to the increasing emphasis on sustainability and climate change. Currently, about 25% of the World’s electricity is from renewable sources. 

In its base case, International Energy Agency sees the renewable energy generation capacity increasing to around 30% by the year 2024 under the base-case scenario, which is driven by the cost reductions as well as advances in digital technologies. Solar will have the brightest future; the IEA is estimating with this technology expected to fuel most of that development. The swelling demand for environmental investment or socially conscious investment is another reason green energy stock is gaining momentum with new buyers (SRI). According to Morningstar, in the US, $20.9 billion poured into renewable funds in the first half of 2020.

The story was the same in Europe, with the European Sustainable funds attracting a record inflow of €54.6 billion in the 2020’s second quarter. This was more than twice the inflows that were registered in 2020’s first quarter. In Australia, the responsible as well as sustainable funds representing about 37% of the nation’s $3 trillion investment into well managed Assets. Once a niche field in finance, sustainable investing has grown to become a mainstream investment practice, and clean energy stocks are gaining. 

Investors are also now focused on the fact that many big cities around the World are committed to being net-zero-carbon cities by 2050. As part of UN Race to Zero Initiative, more than 425 cities globally have vowed to become carbon-neutral, including Copenhagen, Melbourne, Oslo, London, Vancouver, and Sydney, as well as 1,101 firms including Ford and Facebook, 45 of the largest investors and 549 Universities. 

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Energy

More policies needed by California to help move communities to renewable energy

In 2018, Desirous goals were laid out by California that would help to transform the energy system of the state. The SB 100 Bill directed that by 2045 all power generating companies to produce their energy from zero-emission sources. Therefore, companies such as Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison hope to work with the state and consumers to help them shift from gas apparatus to electric appliances. 

However, researchers from UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability say that electrifying appliances would not have a significant impact in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, suggesting that the state’s electric grid would be converted if the state fully embraces power usage from renewable sources only. 

The UCLA professor in residence, Stephanie Pincetl, said that the study’s main purpose was to understand the major hindrances to electrification, especially when carbon emissions and climate change are rising. 

Stephanie said that in California, full buildings’ electrification is a crucial policy goal though it needs a wide understanding of the repercussions, more so to the low-income communities. 

In their study, the UCLA researchers analysed the low-incomes’ gas usage patterns in 17,072 households in the area served by the Southern California Gas Company and compared those patterns with the average usage of the area served by Southern California Edison.

The study showed that electricity and gas consumption is the same, both in the mornings and evenings. However, the study also found that gas is mostly used in winter for heating and during summer to fuel water heaters, washing machines, ovens, and stoves. 

The study also found that cost is another factor that could hinder the transition. For instance, in Southern California, gas is much less expensive than electricity by four to six times. 

The following are some of the solutions to these challenges:

  • More emphasis should be given to replacing gas appliances in many areas. This would help grid transitions to renewables since the consumers would be released the burden for power’s high prices. 
  • The state regulators and lawmakers should give low-income households incentives to buy electric appliances to be able to replace the gas-powered appliances and the incentives to aid the low-income households to be able to cover the costs of operating the new appliances as they would use energy, which is a bit costly. 
  • California storage capacity for renewable power should be expanded. The major of power used during peak hours is the gas, but there is a need for gas plants to be restructured to meet the SB 100 Bill goals. 

Research Director for the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA, Eric Fournier, said that there is much need to pursue storage and renewables efficiently. 

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Energy

The introduced taxes on electric vehicles in South Australia facing criticism

The latest taxes on electric vehicles are under scrutiny by industry experts and electric vehicle analysts. This update comes as MG introduced an SUV at an affordable price of $40000. Critics think that the government saw this development as an avenue to bring in more revenue to support the civil operations.

Australia Institute director Noah Schultz-Byard explained that this charge would disparage the uptake of electric vehicles by South Australia citizens. He ridiculed the taxes on electric vehicles, saying that they are unnecessary and uncalled for.

 Nevertheless, the sales of electric vehicles in the country have doubled in the country even without government help. Noah reiterated that the down-payment for an electric vehicle should not exceed that of ICE cars, or the essence of switching to clean energy vehicles will be nonsensical. Currently, electric vehicle batteries’ prices are plummeting and will continue to go down in the coming years. Noah explained that adding taxes on this cost is like introducing an impediment to electric vehicles’ uptake.

Rob Lucas, who championed this tax’s introduction, emphasized that this tax will even road use by everyone. Lucas noted that the tax would generate $1 million annually beginning next year. Lucas reiterated that the cash collected as taxes would support the repair and maintenance of the roads. Dr. Jake Whitehead of the University of Queensland refuted that this is an excuse to make for the tax since the government and the state utilized the money received from such charges.

Dr. Jake added that less than half of the taxes raised finds its way back to the road projects. He explained that this charge is an equivalent of the stamp duty and registration fees that the state has waivered. Economically, this tax will result in electric vehicle price escalation reducing the uptake of these clean vehicles. 

Whitehead stated that the charges leveled on these vehicles are like the retrieval of taxes from internal combustion engine cars. The head of the Electric Vehicle Council, Behyad Jafari, stated that people would opt for hybrids instead of electric vehicles to suppress the taxes. This move will only worsen the tax situation since they will be shifting these regulations to where demand escalates.

Jafari thinks that the South Australian government must become lenient with the electric vehicle industry and pause their taxes to enable people to purchase electric vehicles and suppress carbon emissions. In conclusion, South Australia has secured $18 million for the development of electric vehicle charging stations. The energy minister for this region, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, explained that this move would be significant and its climax in the next fifteen years. 

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Energy

Solar renewable energy is facing an uncertain future with the introduction of a new Corporation Commission

The incoming Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) will introduce Anna Tovar – a Democrat, and two Republicans – Jim O’Connor and Lea Marquez Peterson. These commissioners will join other leaders to oversee the operations of the commission. This commission’s responsibilities include monitoring the pipelines, railroads, utilities owned by investors, among other public facilities.

The commission will witness a new revolution, especially after two Republicans taking opposite sides in the transition to clean energy by 2050 plan. The commissioners disagreed over implementing this plan, and they will be discussing it before giving their ruling.

Sandy Bahr, an executive of Sierra Club, pointed out that there is visible progress in the race to stop energy utilization from the pollutive coal plants. The incoming election process for two positions in this committee will be fierce since they are lucrative and have significant responsibilities.

Other commissioners like Marquez Peterson and Olson were incessant in opposing the renewable energy implementation strategies and plan. The two argue that the plan will not realize growth in the solar energy industry as they had anticipated. This discovery has led to their open rebellion towards these projects until their concerns are amended and implemented in the plan.

Bahr explained that the high uptake rate of solar energy as renewable is not a real indicator. Some customers are still finding this renewable energy expensive to install and access. Bahr is pessimistic that the plans that the outgoing commissioners had hoped for will be soln discarded and their hard fight for renewables forgotten.

Bahr emphasized that they want to witness the solar energy resources reaching different people with varied antecedents enjoying the same renewables. She pointed out that some utilities have been an impediment to the uptake of solar energy resources like solar panels for rooftops. Bahr retorted that they would push through until they witness fairness before they halt the battle.

Bahr is hopeful that Marquez Peterson’s influence in the previous clean energy regulations and projects will stand so that the voters who support him can vote in the demands that they have articulated. 

In conclusion, Bahr explained that the new Corporation Commission is doing everything possible to ensure that the clean energy bill is amended to ensure fairness in its implementation. If all fails, then the commission will reschedule a meeting early next year to resolve the problem.

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Energy

AT&T to be Onboard IBM’s Satellite Cloud Platform

AT&T is planning to strengthen its 5G network reach and depth in regards to the enterprise markers. That’s why the telecom operator will take a ride on IBM’s Satellite Cloud platform. It is among the first passengers. As much as it is the latest move, AT&T has been extending its network with the help of cloud providers.

The benefits of multi-access edge computing (MEC) is indisputable. No wonder AT&T is collaborating with the IBM Cloud platform. The combination of the two, Cloud Satellite platform from the latter and both edge work and 5G from the former, will be great. IBM Cloud Platform’s CTO and VP Jason McGee confirmed that and added that the duo would be providing the combination to its customers. On the other hand, the customers will be able to control various devices, whether clouds or edge using a dashboard. Customers should expect computing infrastructure ideal for running services, running applications, and 5G connection. The role of the satellite would be to ease the management of all that using a single dashboard. From the same, one can identify the cloud services compatible with the environment. Consequently, they would quickly deploy suitable applications and, after that, manage them from the cloud.

For flexibility due to various environments, IBM will be running the Cloud Satellite platform on the Red Hat’s Kubernetes-focused OpenShift platform. Instead of using a new infrastructure, IBM intends to make it possible to run on already existing platforms such as the physical servers, Red Hat Enterprise Linux virtual machines, and VMware environment. With the help of IBM’s infrastructure hardware and AT&T’s 5G infrastructure, the only necessary thing will be configurations to run in various settings. The collaboration of the duo goes way back. Over a year ago, the companies entered a multi-year contract. The agreement was that IBM SDN’s primary provider would be AT&T Business, whereas IBM would come in handy in the improvement and migration of AT&T’s business applications to the cloud.

The telecom operator has carried out MEC and 5G network deployment in Yorktown Heights, New York, where IBM’s lab is located. It is offering solutions to enterprises looking for private and on-premises cellular services. For the coordination of workloads and services running on the MEC platform and the environment, the new service has an integration with the IBM Cloud. It is also important to note that AT&T has a similar agreement with Microsoft. Microsoft is the company’s preferred cloud provider as far as non-network applications are concerned. They have been running parallel for quite some time since the contact came only a few days after that with IBM.

Another partner is the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), which offers a converged edge system. Once it combines with the AT&T MEC services, the results are excellent. Collaborations seem to be the trend. For instance, Verizon, which is an AT&T competitor, is working on its 5G network extension through a partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft.

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Energy

Africa Shows Potential for a Renewable Energy Structure

According to the United Nation’s Africa is facing a potential financial shortfall. The report states that the expected range stands close to $40 and $45 billion yearly. The global agency also noted that this realization is bound to grow exponentially, given the continent’s urban development projection. A demographic report shows that the continent has the potential to double its population come 2050. This outcome is possible, although half of the people currently have access to electrical facilities. 

The continent has to commit fully towards reducing the deficit if it wants to solve the problem. Concerned stakeholders have to provide a basis for the program that runs across the board. Public parties will have to limit their take of the matter to make it feasible. However, there is another factor plaguing the continued efforts to expand energy production; the coronavirus pandemic. Financial institutions are at a restrained operational level due to the virus’s undeniable effects on the economy. African states are more likely to be affected by the coronavirus provided other issues that curtailed their development like pre-existing debts and a prolonged continental economic constraint. The continent requires significant input from the private sector to jumpstart an economic turnaround, especially in the respective energy sectors. 

Likewise, Africa’s public sector organizations will have to revamp their energy consumption by re-engaging low-carbon power sources to speed up the continent’s regeneration process. The incentive provided is a chance to reconstitute Africa’s electricity generation practices to avoid potential shocks. This opportunity also provides a sustainable energy alternative that takes account of current and future generations as well. Green energy is an essential part of Africa’s future energy production.  Sustainable energy can run half of Africa’s energy requirements by 2040. Such sources, when integrated, can provide a capacity of 1,475 GW of green energy output. Experts relate that this figure is equivalent to 10 times the continent’s current power generation capacity. This realization makes it clear where our efforts need to focus.

A substantial number of the continent’s national utilities face liquidity problems with rising strains on public finances. These conditions provide a considerable shift in the government’s perspective towards the extent of the private sector’s involvement in national matters. There are still speculations regarding the continent’s ability to band up towards a shared renewable energy goal. The continent shows much promise though it faces adverse challenges in meeting its desired purpose of a renewable energy-dependent system.

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Energy

Conventional Car Makers Shifting to EV Production

General Motors, one of America’s largest car manufacturers, recently announced its plans to shift manufacturing electric vehicles.  This decision comes after the company’s long-standing position in manufacturing internal combustion engines that is yet to change.  The move is advantageous for General Motor because its market price recorded a slight increase after the announcement.  The change will not be adversely beneficial to the labour market because it will not create new jobs.

GM joined the move towards electric vehicles to establish 20 EV models in its product line by 2023.  The most notable change in its product line is redesigning its Cadillac Lyriq crossover into an electric vehicle at the car manufacturers Spring Hill plant in Tennessee. GM is committing to this plan. It has already established three electric vehicle-manufacturing plants in the U.S.  There are rumors that GM is currently manufacturing the first fully electric sports utility vehicle expected to be a new Hummer version. The company expects that this new project will be complete come 2022. 

General Motors further plans to shift its Detroit based Hamstruck assembly plant to a fully functioning EV manufacturing plant. The plant was previously destined for closure. However, it will be repurposed into an EV plant with a new name, Factory Zero. The Zero is a campaign strategy to mean zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion. This is the proposed birthplace of the renewed Hummer EV. 

General Motors has not announced an official starting price; however, speculations range that it will be close to $112000. The company made its plans public in February when it announced a $22 billion investment meant to repurpose the Detroit-Hamstruck plant to manufacture electric vehicles.

General Motors also announced a new entry in its Orion assembly based in North Detroit. Speculation states that this entry will be a new variant of the Chevrolet. This announcement is a new prospect in General Motors assembly as there will be minimal changes required for generating the new Chevrolet electric vehicle. The Orion assembly is the current manufacturing plant for the Chevrolet Bolt.

 Furthermore, Chevrolet is not alone in its quest to specialize in EV manufacturers.  The fellow carmaker and rival Ford also announced its shift towards EV manufacturing with an expected launch over its F1 50 pickup truck’s evolution. Ford plans to have its pickup truck ready by 2021 by assigning its Dearborn truck assembly plant to develop the new line of electric SUVs and pickups. Other Ford brands on the way to becoming EVs are Ford’s transit van, the Ford Lincoln crossover, and plans to introduce two electric crossover versions into its product line.