For Friday 29 May 2020 provided by Ecoprofit.com.au (#letsfindsolutions)
News for green investors and organisations, stock watch & grant opportunities
The Dichotomy of Reducing Fossil Fuel Use
If you had any notion that the human race was curbing?fossil fuel?use, then unfortunately you are mistaken. Global?energy demand in 208-19 grew at its fastest pace in ten years. 70% of that growth was provided by fossil fuel and only 30% by?renewables?and?nuclear. Until growth in renewables exceeds that of fossil fuels, and by a lot, we will make no headway against the environmental problems we need to solve in the next two decades.
Renewables and?fully electric vehicles?aside, all fossil fuels are increasing worldwide primarily because of economic growth in the developing world.?Even coal is increasing?worldwide, producing more power than?hydro, nuclear and renewables combined.
While the developed world is switching from?coal?to?natural gas, the developing world sees coal as their saviour. This not because coal is cheapest ? it?s not. Of all energy sources, coal is merely the easiest to set up. Coal is the easiest to install in a poor or developing country that has little existing infrastructure. It is the easiest to transport by ship, rail and truck. It is straightforward to build a coal-fired power plant and to operate it.
China is taking advantage of this situation with their??One Belt, One Road? project, a 21st?century version of the?Silk Road?that plans to build over a trillion dollars of infrastructure in developing countries, making those countries major commercial partners with, and majorly dependent on, China.
While it is easiest to build a natural gas-fired power plant, it is not at all easy to support it. Natural gas requires more infrastructure than any other energy source for transporting the gas in?pipelines,?liquefying facilities?and special terminals; and for storing it, often deep underground in geologic formations.
In the developing world, large-scale renewables are not effective since there is no?baseload?to support them, no back-up sources to load-follow the intermittency, and no extensive high-voltage distribution system. Hydro is possible in the developing world but is limited physio-graphically.
Coal is the obvious energy source to bring a country?s starving people up into the modern world. After that, they may have the luxury to care about the planet. And that?s the seemingly insurmountable hurdle facing any plan to mitigate global warming.
On the other hand, natural gas accounted for nearly half of the world?s growth in energy demand last year,?increasing?by almost 5%, with most of the higher consumption coming from China and the United States, says the International Energy Agency. This is notwithstanding that coal demand continues to drop in America.
Oil demand increased by almost 600 million barrels last year. For the first time in history, the United States is producing over 12 million barrels of crude oil per day. Wells in Texas, offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, and in Oklahoma reached record production levels.
Renewables have grown rapidly relative to themselves but are still small with respect to fossil fuel growth. In fact, just the growth in fossil fuel last year exceeded the growth in renewables over the same time period. China emplaced over?6 times the amount of renewable energy?than the United States did, but that didn?t make a dent in their emissions since they emplaced a lot more coal and gas, and produced even more oil. Further, with new drilling technologies that include?walking drill rigs?that pick themselves up and walk to the next site, it?s just become too easy to get fossil fuels out of the ground.
The dichotomy is fossil fuel use has to be reduced to halt the climate change progression, yet more energy means less poverty worldwide poverty. In the developing world, there are still over a billion people that have no access to electricity, whatsoever. Two billion people still burn wood and manure as their main source of energy and three billion more people will be born in the next 30 years. This is a lot of people that will require a lot of energy just to survive. To have a reasonable life, they will need at least 3,000 kWhs per person per year. Together with everyone else, that?s about 35 trillion kWhs per year, 40% more than all the electricity produced in the world today, and the minimum amount of energy?needed to eradicate global poverty?and its evil stepchildren, war and terrorism. We can do this with or without fossil fuels. To do it with fossil fuels just means continuing on with business as usual. To do it without fossil fuels?means some major changes. Forbes suggests the minimum being:
- Stop building any new fossil fuel plants as soon as possible.
- 3,500,000 new MW of wind turbines (12 trillion kWhs/year).
- 2,100,000 MW of new solar (7 trillion kWhs/year).
- 1,200,000 new MW of hydro w/80,000 MW existing (7 trillion kWhs/yr).
- 1,400,000 MW new nuclear reactors, particularly?SMRs that are?especially?idealfor load-following renewables? (11 trillion kWhs/year).
- Secure sources of Li, Co, Fe and other metals needed to build these alternatives, especially to?build the batteriesfor enough?fully electric vehicles?to replace oil.
- Build a fleet of 3 billion fully?electric by 2050, much fewer will not sufficiently drop our consumption of oil.
Everlution notes the above energy sources do not include advancing technologies such as green hydrogen, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, thermal storage technology etc or other carbon offsetting methods such as regenerative agriculture uptake.
It turns out that the cost of this new low-carbon mix is about the same as business-as-usual, $65 trillion versus $63 trillion, over about 30 years. It?s just that more of the total cost is in up-front capital costs instead of fuel costs – $28 trillion versus $11 trillion.?It will take over 12 billion tons of steel alone for that much renewables.
It might not be possible in our present global political climate to achieve a truly low-carbon energy world, but for our survival, we really MUST try.
Grants/Subsidies/Funding ? NSW small business COVID-19 support grant
A big reminder for a very easy and speedy way to help businesses that are struggling because of the close-down is to apply, if eligible for the NSW small business COVID-19 support grant of $10,000. Go to:
?I have just been involved in an application and it only took a couple of days for the client to receive the $10,000.
?To be eligible for this grant, you must:
- Be based in NSW
- Be a small business (go to website for more details)
- Be?registered?with an ABN as of 1 March 2020
- Have an?annual?turnover of more than $75,000?(a?Business Activity Statement?must?be provided as evidence)
- Where a small business does not submit a BAS to the Australian Tax Office,?and meets all other criteria,?the small business should contact Service NSW to discuss further.?In these cases, an income tax declaration may be accepted as evidence of an annual turnover of $75,000.
- Employ 1-19?full-time?workers?as?of?1 March 2020
- Be able to report?a payroll below the NSW?2019-2020?payroll tax threshold of $900,000
- Have been highly impacted by?Public?Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020?effective?on 31?March 2020
- Have experienced?at least?75% decline in?turnover?compared?to the same?two-week?period?in 2019, as a result of COVID-19?(for businesses that have been in operation for less than 12 months, go to website)
- Have unavoidable?business?costs not otherwise the subject of other NSW and Commonwealth Government financial assistance measures.
Businesses not in?the highly impacted industries
If your business is not in one of the highly impacted industries, but you can demonstrate?a significant disruption to your business resulting in a 75% reduction in turnover?as a result of the Public Health Order 2020, you may be eligible for this grant.?You will require a?letter from your accountant?confirming you meet a number of criteria.
Eco-tip for the day ? Transport options
Transport now accounts for?19 per cent of the Australia?s greenhouse gas emissions, but changes to your daily routine could make a big difference to your personal carbon footprint. Try to walk or cycle anywhere within a two-mile radius of your house. It will?keep you fit?as well as cutting your carbon footprint! For longer journeys, use public transport, or team up with friends to ?carpool?.
Share watch ? 1414 Degrees (ASX:14D)?
1414 Degrees makes?large scale energy storage for networks and industries. Its?thermal energy storage?systems?(TESS)?are?designed to reduce energy costs by increasing the efficiency of renewable generation and stabilising grid supply. The purpose of 1414 Degrees technolo
make energy more reliable, affordable and environmentally friendly by harnessing?silicon to provide very high temperature?storage?and regeneration.?Silicon?s very high melting point, 1414? Celsius?and high energy density??means it can hold much more energy than other phase change materials.
The energy from the latent heat is?recovered as very hot air?that powers a turbine?to?produce?heat and electricity when required. It transforms intermittent renewable electricity by providing reliability and stability to grids identical to that of a coal or?gas fired?power station.
The system?is also designed to be worked hard and frequently without losing efficiency and capacity because?silicon is abundant?and?environmentally benign.
1414 Degrees was listed in September 2018. Its share performance is reflected in the graph above.
The VIX fear gauge down slightly by 0.22 of a point since Tuesday EST to 27.94.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average up since last Tuesday EST by 926.52 points or 3.79% to 25,400.56, the STOXX 600 up 10.29 points or 2.98% to 355.47 and the Shanghai Composite index up 28.25 points or 1.00% to 2,846.22.
Gold steady on 1,728.40. US 10-year Treasury Bonds down to 0.703 and oil steady on 33.56. Cryptos Bitcoin up 564.69 points since Tuesday or 6.36% to 9,449.09.
ASX 200 up 235.50 points or 4.19% since Tuesday to 5,851.10. The Aussie dollar up to 66.59 US cents.
Eco Market Spot Prices
Sources:?RenewEconomy, demandmanager,? Reuters, SMH, Market Watch, Forbes