It Just Makes You Weep…

The Berejiklian government has given the nod for the extension of coal mining under one of Greater Sydney’s reservoirs, the first such approval in two decades.

The agency in charge of Sydney’s water catchment says it remains “strongly opposed” to the expansion of a coal mine, warning that without increased setbacks from two dam walls “risks and consequences could be extreme”.

In a letter to the Planning Department last month, WaterNSW’s manager for catchment protection, Clay Preshaw said the extension of South32’s Dendrobium underground mine in the Illawarra region could also trigger rock fracturing and potential water losses for nine major watercourses and about 100 smaller tributaries.

Environment groups, including the National Parks Association of NSW and Greenpeace, are angry the decision was made before a petition with more than 10,000 signatures could be debated in the NSW Parliament (Parliament has been suspended due to the Covid-19 crisis).

Peter Turner, the mining projects science officer at the National Parks Association, said mining in the special areas caused damage to the catchment and took volumes of water that ?cannot be reliably quantified? because of inadequate monitoring systems.

Jonathan Moylan, the spokesman for Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said decision was ?highly contentious? and ?has snuck through amid the Covid-19 health crisis?.

Stuart Khan, a professor in the school of civil and environmental engineering at University of NSW, said subsidence as a result of mining caused issues with water quality that resulted in water having to be treated. ?I think there?s a big philosophical question about whether that?s the right thing to do,? Khan said. ?It?s just a very poor way to protect and manage your water catchment in the long term.

Another coal plant has gone bust in the USA with Longview Power Plant, in the heart of Appalachian coal country near Morgantown, West Virginia, just declared bankruptcy. This is the second time in 10 years that Longview, considered a model project, has filed for bankruptcy.

The nine-year-old, 700-megawatt Longview Power Plant was one of the newest, most efficient coal-burning plants in the country. It was commissioned in December 2011 at a cost of $2.1 billion. It is near the coal mine that supplies it, keeping transport and fuel costs low. Longview is a ?co?fired? plant, meaning it can burn both coal and natural gas, although coal is its primary fuel.

In the meantime, Longview has read the writing-on-the-wall, diversifying its energy investment and building a?70MW utility-scale solar farm on the nearby Pennsylvania/West Virginia state line. The cost is $76 million, a fraction of the cost of its coal or gas plants.

Grants/Subsidies/Funding

To get Jobkeeper funding, employers need to complete and lodge a nomination form for each employee. The forms can be found at: https://www.ato.gov.au/Forms/JobKeeper-payment—employee-nomination-notice/

Just a reminder that to be eligible for the program an organisation has to have had a 30% drop in revenue from the corresponding period a year before. However, there is an exception provision in the ATO Factsheet which says:

?Where a business or not-for-profit was not in operation a year earlier, or where their turnover a year earlier was not representative of their usual or average turnover, (for example, because there was a large interim acquisition, they were newly established, were scaling up, or their turnover is typically highly variable), the Tax Commissioner will have discretion to consider additional information that the business or not-for-profit can provide to establish that they have been adversely affected by the impacts of the Coronavirus.?

Financial indicators

Wall Street tumbled overnight after U.S. crude futures turned negative for the first time ever, with traders forced to pay to unload crude as the May contract expired during the global economic slump.

Physical demand for crude has dried up, creating a global supply glut as billions of people stay home to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Refiners are processing much less crude than normal, as hundreds of millions of barrels have gushed into storage facilities worldwide. Traders have hired vessels just to anchor them and fill them with the excess oil. A record 160 million barrels is sitting in tankers around the world.

Weathering the broad market sell-off, Amazon rose 0.8% and Netflix jumped 3.4%. Those companies have benefited from additional demand as millions of people stay home due to the coronavirus.

Westfarmers, the owner of Bunnings (ASX:WES) is recovering quickly from the virus impact, as can be guessed by the queues at their stores.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has had a net result since last Friday EST ending up 112.76 points or 0.05% higher to 23,650.44, the STOXX 600 steady and up 10.78 points or 3.31% to 335.70 and the Shanghai Composite index up 32.61 points or?1.16% to 2,852.55.

The VIX fear gauge has climbed 3.21 points since Friday EST to 43.83.

ASX 200 down 63.3 points from Friday to 5,353.00. The Aussie dollar steady on 63.38 US cents.

Share pick

Hearts and Minds Investments Limited (ASX: HM1) is a closed-end fund, listed on the ASX in November 2018 and born out of the investment and philanthropic vision of providing investors with great investment opportunities while giving financial support to medical research institutes across Australia.

Hearts and Minds? has at its disposal a collective of top-performing?core fund managers (including Caledonia Investments, Cooper Investors, Magellan Financial Group, Paradice Investment Management and Regal Funds Management) who share their highest conviction stock recommendations to the HM1 pro bono. Many of these recommended funds are not accessible to retail investors.

HM1 donates a percentage of its Net Tangible Asset Value (NTA), to its beneficiaries which include Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Westmead Childrens Hospital, Black Dog Institute and other notable research institutions. The charitable goal is made possible by the waiving of typical investment fees, replaced with a donation to the designated beneficiaries.

The chart above shows HM1?s performance since listing, a steady climb until the coronavirus. Its current post-tax NTA is at $3.06, but its share price is $2.63. A good stock to invest in for steady growth and the satisfaction of being part of medical research advance.

Eco-tip for the day ? ?The sun?s radiant heat transfer through windows

In the last newsletter we considered the U-value of windows or the rate of conduction of non-solar radiant energy. Under the second law of thermodynamics heat travels from a place of high temperature to low temperature, always wanting to even out in a system.

What this means is that if the air is hotter outside than inside, heat will want to travel from outside through the glass to the room. The same happens in reverse where the air is hotter in the room than outside.

Radiation from the sun i.e. solar radiation, has only one direction however, and that is into the room. Solar radiation is considered in two parts – direct and diffuse. Diffuse radiation is the solar radiation that is absorbed, stored and scattered in the atmosphere.

When glass is in the sun, direct and diffuse radiation enters the room. If the glass is in the shade diffuse radiation only enters the room.

When solar radiation strikes a glass surface, some of it is transmitted, some of it is absorbed and some of it is reflected. The absorbed component increases the temperature of the glass and the heat is slowly conducted (released) to the outside and inside depending on the difference in temperature. Unlike walls that are thick and have high densities, the absorbed portion of the solar radiation is relatively small compared to transmitted and reflected components.

Radiant heat entering through the glass does not directly affect the room space air through which it passes. The radiant heat is first absorbed by the interior surfaces (walls, floor, ceiling) of the space and the contents (furniture and other objects) in the space. The absorbed heat is released to the air in the space through conduction and convection due to the difference in temperature.

The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient or SHGC is a measure of the amount of radiant heat that can transfer through your windows at times of direct sun. The SHGC is important as during summer, the SHGC can add large amounts of unwanted heat to your house. Equally in winter the SHGC can be utilised to provide cost and pollution free heat from the sun.

The SHGC is mainly affected by the glazing type. Products like tinted glass and applied films can help to reduce the SHGC. It is important that when selecting windows and doors the orientation, location and house design are all considered to achieve the best outcomes. In cooler climates it is often advantageous to have a higher SHGC and in hotter climates, a lower SHGC is better.

Other options for reducing the SHGC include measures to prohibit direct solar radiation such as awnings, shading or trees & shrubs (in particular, deciduous species to allow the warmth of the winter sun to be received).

Eco Market Spot Prices

LGC $31.50

STC $39.60

ESC $29.30

VEEC $35.00

Sources:?RenewEconomy, demandmanager,? Reuters, SMH, Market Watch, greenglobaltravel

2020-05-10T00:57:08+11:00