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Green Energy: Al Gore backs Origin’s UK energy provider and Victoria’s big battery switches back on after fire

Origin’s Octopus gets a convenient investment Former US Vice President Al Gore, of hanging chad and The Inconvenient Truth fame, … Read More
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Origin’s Octopus gets a convenient investment

Former US Vice President Al Gore, of hanging chad and The Inconvenient Truth fame, has doubled down on his support of the energy transition since his iconic slideshow documentary came to life in 2006.

He is now in partnership with Australian generator Origin Energy (ASX:ORG), which like many other Australian power companies has faltered in recent years as energy prices have come off the boil.

It is onto a winner at the moment with its investment in UK green power retailer and tech play Octopus Energy, which banked a £211 million capital injection from Gore-chaired Generation Investment Management for a 7% stake in the firm.

That has been matched by a £36 million investment from Origin that has kept its stake at 20%, as the GIM investment boosted Octopus’ value to £3 billion (around $5.5b Aussie).

GIM has the option to double its stake before the end of the financial year, which would likely prompt Origin to exercise an option to maintain its fifth of the UK-based company.

Origin CEO Frank Calabria said Octopus has tripled in value since Origin entered the green energy play in May last year, highlighting the investment as an important growth avenue.

Octopus holds around £3.4b of renewable power generating assets and is known for releasing Kraken – not the nautically-themed rum (or crypto exchange) but an energy retail tech platform licenced to energy retailers, including Origin.

Origin’s shares were up almost 5% in early trade as energy stocks soared, with Octopus also having snared 580,000 customers in the UK from the recent collapse of energy retailer Avro Energy.

Gas prices have hit an all time high in Europe as energy prices skyrocket ahead of the northern hemisphere winter.

The International Energy Agency’s Fatih Birol has urged countries to stay the course with the transition away from fossil fuels, saying green energy policies were not to blame.

 

Origin Energy share price today:


 

 

Vic’s big battery back in business after fire

Remember the big fire that shut down the new Tesla battery system near Geelong?

It’s coming back online baby, after regulators told Neoen and Tesla they were all good to resume energisation testing tomorrow.

Two Megapacks caught alight during the commissioning phase in July, and several detailed investigations followed to determine the root cause.

Once the Country Fire Authority (CFA) brought the situation under control, it handed control of the site to Energy Safe Victoria (ESV), who then started an investigation into the incident to prevent a recurrence.

The investigation identified the cause as coinciding short circuits in two locations, which was started by a coolant leak outside the battery compartment. 

This occurred while the Megapack was offline in a service mode that removed fault protections, enabling it to go undetected while a fire commenced in the adjacent battery compartment. 

Neoen Australia managing director Louis de Sambucy said: “We have taken the time to understand the cause of the incident and we have implemented actions to ensure it will not happen again.

“We are now actively working with all stakeholders to complete commissioning and testing of the project and we look forward to sharing the lessons learnt with the industry in coming weeks.”

Testing at the big battery in Victoria will recommence. Pic: Neoen

 

Independent report to highlight key learnings

Two independent groups, Energy Safety Response Group and Fisher Engineering, are compiling a report with key learnings from the fire, which will be released by November.

Key insights, including lessons for fire management and emergency response, will be shared publicly to support the relevant authorities in the deployment of battery storage technology, the groups said.

Anxiety about the safety of battery storage systems is an important fear to quell for investors in green energy.

A recent overheating incident at the world’s biggest battery in California, in batteries developed by LG, also highlighted this tension as the pace of large-scale battery developments increases.

Neoen and Tesla are continuing to work towards delivering the project in time for the Australian summer.

The Victorian Big Battery will unlock up to 250 MW of additional peak capacity on the existing Victoria to New South Wales Interconnector (VNI) over the next decade, playing a key role in the transition of the electricity sector towards lower emissions.

 

Fin enhances renewable case at Onslow project

At the junior end of the green energy spectrum we have a new proponent in large-scale renewable hydrogen proposals on the cards in salt project developer Fin Resources (ASX:FIN).

Its North Onslow Solar Salt Project has been radically upscaled in recent weeks as Fin looks to turn it into a multi-commodity ‘green products’ hub.

Fin says Onslow could be the perfect location for a combined solar salt, SOP, caustic soda, chlorine and hydrogen hub.

That is backed by new investigations which suggest it is perfectly located for wind and solar generation.

Consultants to Fin say its 905km2 tenement package has the potential to host some 60 GW of solar with a total wind resource estimated at 15 GW.

Fin, which is progressing a scoping study on the Onslow salt project, envisions a future two stage development that could see it supply its estimated 358MW of power needs for its solar salt, sulphate of potash and chlor-alkali product initially.

A further 29GW of solar and wind resource is outside the planned development portfolio, meaning that could present a future opportunity to move into desalination and ‘green hydrogen’.

 

Fin Resources share price today:


 

The post Green Energy: Al Gore backs Origin’s UK energy provider and Victoria’s big battery switches back on after fire appeared first on Stockhead.


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The Ethical Investor: ESG moves, lessons from the energy crisis and JP Equities’ stock tips

The Ethical Investor is Stockhead’s weekly look at ESG moves on the ASX. This week’s special guest is JP Equity … Read More
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The Ethical Investor is Stockhead’s weekly look at ESG moves on the ASX. This week’s special guest is JP Equity Partners’ director and partner, Nic Brownbill.

The world is in the grip of an ongoing global power crisis that has seen energy prices soaring by thousands of percentage points.

From China to Europe and now India, the cost of energy is surging drastically. The price of natural gas has even quadrupled in some parts of the world.

 

Source: IEA via Reuters

 

But economists are now warning this might be just the first of many power crunches the world will see as we transition into the new economy.

According to a research paper by CommBank’s analyst Vivek Dhar, there are two main root causes that led to the crisis — a strong demand recovery from the pandemic, and an acute shortage of two key power-producing fuels – natural gas and thermal coal.

As economies reopen, there is a sudden pent up demand from consumers which meant that factories were forced to switch on their production capacity at short notice. This was exacerbated by a colder than usual European autumn, as the continent potentially faces a more-freezing-than-usual winter season.

In China, the crisis mainly stemmed from an undersupply in local production of coals, according to Dhar, adding that coal supply has been hampered in China because of the government’s own environmental protection regulations.

So what can we learn from all this?

Dhar reckons that we are transitioning into the new economy too fast, too soon.

“What the recent energy crisis has shown is that the energy transition needs to be planned carefully,” Dhar wrote.

“This will mean significant investment in renewable generation, batteries, electricity grids and hydrogen.”

But he thinks the roll-out of a decarbonised grid and role of gas need to be clearly defined too.

“Under-investing in gas infrastructure relative to its role in coming years will only serve to make Europe’s energy market more vulnerable to prolonged gas shortages, and increase dependence on Russia.”

Like Europe, China’s decarbonisation ambition will need to be planned as well, Dhar said.

“If coal mines and coal power plants are closed before a renewable replacement is in place, power shortages in China could be an ongoing concern.”
 

What’s happening in Australia

Australians have chosen climate change as the top ESG priority, according to the latest survey conducted by global ESG consultant, SEC Newgate.

And more than half of the 1,000 Aussies surveyed said they were happy with the direction the government is taking on the environment.

ESG Rio
Source: Survey by SEC Newgate

 

Aussie respondents also nominated retailers Coles Group (ASX:COL) and Woolworths (ASX:WOW) as the top local companies when it came to doing well on ESG metrics.

These results should provide food for thought for PM Scott Morrison, who’s currently caught in a political wrangle with the Nationals in setting our 2050 climate goals.

The PM has told Liberal colleagues that he wants to bring a binding 2050 net zero commitment to the COP26 Summit in Glasgow next month, without having to upgrade Australia’s 2030 commitments.

Nationals Leader and also Deputy PM, Barnaby Joyce, said however that he was willing to back the 2050 targets only if funding for regional producers and farmers were made as part of the deal.
 

Special guest JP Equities’ Nic Brownbill shares his views and ESG stocks

Nic Brownbill, a partner at JP Equity, told Stockhead that decarbonisation is a mega global investment opportunity, one that JP Equity wants to be all in on.

How big is the potential for ESG investing?

“We see the whole decarbonisation theme as the next mega global investment opportunity. An estimated $41 trillion is required to decarbonise the planet. It’s going to be a bigger opportunity than the crypto market, because unlike cryptos, the carbon market is going to be mandated by governments, major asset managers and pension funds.”

Which segment of the ESG market do you see outperforming?

“Some companies will fall short in trying to make their carbon targets, so the balance will need to be met with carbon credits. I think carbon emissions will eventually be metricated, and the carbon offset market is going to be a way for major companies to offset their emissions.”

Would that investment opportunity catch on in Australia?

“I believe the Australian market hasn’t really caught on to the opportunity of this yet. But I think something will really start to emerge from the COP26 conference in November, where you’ll see a sustained mega theme starting to unfold in this country.

“I think we will start to see a complete emergence of Australian companies in the carbon space over the next few months and beyond.”

What are the ASX stocks that JP Equity likes in the carbon credit space?

One ASX stock that we’ve been watching very closely is  Fertoz (ASX:FTZ). They’re a leading North American fertiliser manufacturer that produces a unique low-emission rock phosphate product that increases crop yield by 15%.

“Importantly, it can generate significantly lower CO2 emissions in manufacturing compared with other commercial fertilisers.

“This presents a really significant opportunity because agriculture as a sector accounts for 24% of all human generated greenhouse emissions. Fertoz is one of the first movers in the carbon credit market, and since May this year has been issuing carbon offset credit certificates.

“It’s not a matter of if, but when disclosure of carbon emissions will become metricated. And as a result, Fertoz is getting some strong enquiries from other companies looking to offset their footprints by buying carbon credits.”

Any other ASX stocks you like in the ESG space?

“We’re also bullish on Mpower (ASX:MPR). The company is Australia’s leading specialist in renewable energy, battery storage and micro-grid business. It has a focus on five megawatt solar farms, and is in the process of creating an initial portfolio of 20 sites across Australia in the coming years.

“That gives them an aggregate capacity of around 100 megawatts, and an estimated value of more than $150 million. It’s now down to what the team can deliver in some of those projects to build up the portfolio.”

 

Notable ASX ESG-related news during the week

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO)

The energy giant announced that it was targeting a 50% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, and a 15% reduction by 2025 from a 2018 baseline of 32.6Mt.

Around $7.5 billion in direct capital expenditure will be spent on decarbonising Rio Tinto’s assets from 2022 to 2030, including $0.5 billion per year from 2022 to 2024.

Strandline Resources (ASX:STA)

The company released its Sustainability Report for 2021, outlining its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).

STA said it’s focused on managing development risks at its Coburn project in WA to safeguard workers and ensure environmental compliance.

Lithium Power (ASX:LPI)

The company has appointed global consulting firm Deloitte to ensure a robust ESG program at its Maricunga project in Chile.

Deloitte has been tasked to imbed sustainable protocols in LPI’s lithium extraction operations, and to establish ambitious standards for LPI to become a carbon neutral producer, while keeping high standards on the social aspects.

Jadar Resources (ASX:JDR)

The company also said it has completed its maiden Sustainability Plan, with strategies aligned to the UNSDGs.

 

The views, information, or opinions expressed in the interview in this article are solely those of the interviewee and do not represent the views of Stockhead.

Stockhead has not provided, endorsed or otherwise assumed responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.

The post The Ethical Investor: ESG moves, lessons from the energy crisis and JP Equities’ stock tips appeared first on Stockhead.




Author: Eddy Sunarto

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You Can Now Buy A Flying Car That Looks Like A Star Wars Spacecraft

You Can Now Buy A Flying Car That Looks Like A Star Wars Spacecraft

Forget Elon Musk’s Tesla Cyberquad ATV because there’s a new form of transportation…

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You Can Now Buy A Flying Car That Looks Like A Star Wars Spacecraft

Forget Elon Musk’s Tesla Cyberquad ATV because there’s a new form of transportation for the offroad enthusiast now available, and it looks like something out of Star Wars. 

Sweden’s Jetson Aero has begun manufacturing a personal electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that will zip around the skies at 63 mph. 

The Jetson One eVTOL is an octocopter with four arms that produce 88 kW (118 horsepower) at full throttle. The pilot sits in an aluminum/carbon fiber frame and controls the craft via a throttle lever on the left, a joystick on the right, and a pair of pedals, likely controlling yaw.

According to vehicle car website Autoevolution, “the company [Jetson Aero] said that you can easily climb as high as 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) with Jetson One.” So far, videos only show the eVTOL moving at high rates of speed at low altitudes.  

Someone who weighs roughly 187 pounds can expect 15-20 minutes of flight time before the batteries need a recharge. 

New Atlas noted the eVTOL comes 50% built, and presumably, owners will have to assemble the rest. For that reason, the craft will likely fly under “experimental” where pilots don’t need a license to fly. 

As for price, a $22k deposit will give someone the right to reserve a build slot for 2023. There are only three left. Production in 2022, a total of 12, has already been secured from people worldwide, including a few in California. 

Personal eVTOLs appear to be the next big trend in transportation that will revolutionize how people (rich people) travel and commute or spend their leisure time. 

Tyler Durden
Sat, 10/23/2021 – 23:00

Author: Tyler Durden

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LG Companies to Pay $918M Over Chevy Bolt Fires, Resume Plans for IPO Before Year-End

LG Chem has come to an agreement with General Motors (NYSE: GM) to cover the cost of the Bolt battery
The post LG Companies to Pay $918M Over Chevy Bolt…

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LG Chem has come to an agreement with General Motors (NYSE: GM) to cover the cost of the Bolt battery recall, as the automaker is forced to recall all Bolt EVs ever produced.

According to a company statement seen by Bloomberg, LG Energy Solution and LG Electronics Inc— both of which are owned by LG Chem Ltd and manufactured electric vehicle batteries for GM, have agreed to pay the automaker a combined 1.1 trillion won, or $918 million in costs related to the Chevy Bolt recall.

LG Energy is expected to pay about 620 billion won after fires started in about a dozen Bolts, prompting GM to issue a recall spanning across more than 100,000 vehicles. LG Electronics, which was responsible for packaging the cells produced by LG Energy into modules that were placed in the batteries, has also agreed to compensate GM 480 billion won in costs.

Including previous costs related to the recall that were disclosed during the companies’ second-quarter earnings, both companies are now responsible for coming up with a total of 1.4 trillion won related to the recall. Following the news, LG Electronics slumped by nearly 1% before paring back losses, while LG Chem jumped by over 4%.

On Tuesday, LG Energy also announced that it will resume plans to launch an IPO before the end of the year, after putting the original plans on hold after GM announced the recall. LG Energy was one of the largest EV battery manufacturers in the world between January and August, and according to a report cited by the Korea Times, the company’s valuation sits at around 100 trillion won, or $83.58 billion, with expectations that it could raise nearly 10 trillion won during during the IPO.


Information for this briefing was found via Bloomberg and the companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

The post LG Companies to Pay $918M Over Chevy Bolt Fires, Resume Plans for IPO Before Year-End appeared first on the deep dive.


Author: Hermina Paull

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