Investing in the New-Energy Economy | Kanebridge News
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Investing in the New-Energy Economy

By KAREN HUBE
Tue, Apr 4, 2023 8:43amGrey Clock 2 min

The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy—a core theme in values-based portfolios for almost two decades—has been catapulted from a niche investment theme to the mainstream thanks to the passage of the most significant climate action legislation on record.

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), passed in August, is a profound inflection point in the evolution of climate policy that puts U.S. muscle behind the global push toward carbon-reduction goals. The bill, which dedicates $369 billion to climate provisions, is likely to elevate investor confidence in the clean-energy theme and open the door to new investment opportunities.

“The IRA will provide a huge boost to companies and projects, both proven and emerging, that enable decarbonisation at scale,” says Justina Lai, chief impact officer at Wetherby Asset Management in San Francisco. “It provides much more policy certainty to companies and funds already investing in the energy transition and incentivises laggards to catch up.”

The new legislation requires all emissions-producing sectors, such as transportation, agriculture, construction, and utilities, to reduce greenhouse gases, and provides a host of tax incentives to companies and individuals to make environmentally friendly choices, such as buying an electric vehicle and installing solar panels.

Lai expects more innovation in renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and batteries, along with nascent technologies in areas such as green hydrogen, direct air capture, carbon capture and storage, energy storage, and sustainable fuels.

A goal to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2050—an agreed-upon target by many nations and the global scientific community—isn’t just a technology investment story. The carbon-reduction theme is intersecting with agriculture, construction, transportation, finance, and other industries.

In Kent, England, InspiraFarms creates modular cold rooms and packing-houses for agricultural use to reduce reliance on diesel generators and reduce food waste. Berlin-based Betteries upcycles electric-vehicle batteries and incorporates them in clean-power systems. In Lexington, Ky., Rubicon has developed software to help waste-management companies, businesses, and municipalities reduce carbon emissions.

“This is about investing across the entire value chain of this transition,” says Ian Schaeffer, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

While a major area of innovation is in slowing climate change, another is in addressing the needs of communities already struggling with the impact of rising global temperatures.

Source Global, a Scottsdale, Ariz., start-up, creates new solar-powered technology that extracts water vapour out of the air to make drinking water, eliminating the need for fossil-fuel-dependent methods for delivering drinking water to communities whose water supply is drying up due to climate changes.

“The beauty of the Inflation Reduction Act is that it opens the door to climate adaptation in underserved communities. That creates massive opportunity,” says Cody Friesen, Source’s founder and CEO.

J.P. Morgan’s Schaeffer says investors should be looking toward the primary enablers of the transition to clean energy, and points to two important themes: green buildings and semiconductors.

“Buildings account for a staggering amount of carbon emissions,” he says. “We think there’s opportunity in sustainable construction materials, efficient air systems, incorporating smart systems, and digital infrastructure.”

Semiconductors are essential to modern technology and will play a big role in the transition of the automotive industry from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles, Schaeffer says. “This will require more powerful and efficient semiconductors. The demand for these will skyrocket in coming years.”

Opportunities are global in scope, and suited for long-term investors, he says. “This transition will be a long and bumpy but ultimately inevitable process likely to take us through the middle half of this century.”



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Preparatory Work for UAE to Oman Hafeet Rail Project Commences at Full Speed

Preparations have begun on the transformative UAE to Oman Hafeet Rail network, revealing significant construction details during a site visit.

Thu, May 16, 2024 3 min

The $3bn Hafeet Rail project between the UAE and Oman will feature 60 bridges and a 2.5km tunnel, making it an “architectural and engineering marvel,” according to CEO Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi.

Hafeet Rail has announced that preparatory work is moving full speed ahead for constructing the transformative railway link between the UAE and Oman. This announcement was made during a site visit attended by key officials, members of the Asyad and Hafeet Rail executive management teams, project contractors, and consultants.

Key Highlights

During the visit, attendees were introduced to the main components of the project, including passenger, repair, and shipping stations, as well as major bridges and tunnel sites.

The Hafeet Rail project is set to play a very important role in enhancing local and regional trade, unlocking new opportunities in the infrastructure, transportation, and logistics sectors, and fostering economic diversification. It will also strengthen bilateral relations between the UAE and Oman.

The project will involve constructing 60 bridges, some reaching heights of up to 34 meters, and tunnels extending 2.5 kilometres. The Hafeet Rail team showcased the latest rail technologies and innovative engineering and architectural solutions designed to navigate the challenging geographical terrain and weather conditions while maintaining high standards of efficiency and safety.

The rail network will boost various industrial sectors and economic activities and significantly impact the tourism industry by facilitating easier and faster travel between the two countries.

Ahmed Al Bulushi, Asyad Group Chief Executive Asset, noted that the project’s rapid progress reflects the commitment of the UAE and Oman to developing and realizing the project’s multifaceted benefits.

Investment and Future Impact

Al Bulushi added that investments in developing local capabilities and expertise in rail-related disciplines over recent years have enabled the project to reach the implementation phase successfully under the leadership of highly efficient and professional national talent.

Hafeet Rail’s CEO Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi emphasized, “The commencement of preparatory works for construction is a testament to the robust synergy between all parties involved in both nations, achieving this milestone in record time. We are confidently laying down the right tracks thanks to the shareholders of Hafeet Rail and the expertise of local companies in Oman and the UAE, alongside international partners.”

During the site visit, the visitors explored some of the key preparatory sites, including Wadi Al Jizi, where a 700-meter-long bridge towering 34 meters will be constructed. This ambitious project is envisioned as an architectural and engineering marvel in a complex geographical landscape.

Future phases will require more collaboration, with a continued focus on quality, safety, and environmental considerations in line with the international industry best practices.

The Hafeet Rail project represents the first-of-its-kind railway network linking two Gulf nations, marking a significant shift in regional goods transportation. This efficient and reliable transportation option will reduce dependence on slower and less sustainable road transport.

Hafeet Rail promises a 40% reduction in shipping costs and a 50% in transit times compared to traditional land transportation methods, as it will be connecting five major ports and several industrial and free zones in both countries.

This shift will reduce reliance on road transport by cars and trucks and promote more sustainable shipping practices. The establishment of the railway network will also create significant opportunities for SMEs in construction, engineering, and logistics support, acting as a catalyst for economic growth and innovation within the domestic economy.

By linking major ports, the Hafeet Rail project will enable local SMEs to import, export, and distribute their products more effectively, enhancing their market reach and global competitiveness.

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