By COLLIN GALLANT on December 26, 2019.
Pictured: An artists rendering that imagines the visual impact of the construction oft he Suncor Forty Mile Wind power facility.–submitted photo Suncor The view is facing north west from Highway No. 885 near the Forty Mile Reservoir.
With one complete and nine other major green power projects ready to roll, renewable energy development and its $2 billion investment in Southeast Alberta is the business story of the year in Southeast Alberta for 2019.
Most of that activity will roll out over the next two years, still it was the most encouraging story over what’s been a rocky 12 months for the local economy.
The shallow natural gas sector continued to shudder as the province announced special tax relief on unprofitable wells. In a landmark shift, the City of Medicine Hat announced it would close about 80 per cent of its production to stem loses.
Business owners gained a spring in their step with the election of the United Conservatives in the April provincial Election. But consumer confidence across the province dipped late in the year as high unemployment lingered.
In another jarring hit for local outlook, Aurora Cannabis announced it would delay fully commissioning its massive marijuana growing facility until 2021.
Other efforts moved forward, but little went as smoothly as Capital Power’s building its $350-million wind farm near Bow Island. That project went online in early December after employing more than 300 workers at its height, filling hotels and restaurants this past year.
Estimates vary about what portion construction budgets are spent locally, but even at the lowest estimate, the influx of cash would rival the annual payroll of CFB Suffield.
And construction budgets totalling another $1.6 billion in total construction has been approved for the next two years throughout Southeast Alberta.
The year was bookended by major companies announcing they would proceed with substantial projects.
Suncor, Berkshire Hathaway Energy Canada, Power Corp., European utility giants Innogy and EDF all gave regional projects the greenlight.
Using figures the Lethbridge-based Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership, estimates for annual local impact from the area wind projects alone at $12.5 million per year in new local taxes and $3.1 million paid to landowners for land lease agreements.
A commercial construction boom wound to a close in the city’s south end, with new commercial plazas, a car dealership and seniors’ living complex,
In the vicinity, the Save-On-Foods grocery store opened after a year-long delay and replaced the former Walmart Supercentre that was demolished after 10 years on the market.
Municipal commercial land sales soared as the city development office marketed and sold a half dozen properties considered excess to municipal needs. Major projects could be permitted in 2020, including a downtown hotel, a multi-family housing project on the site of the Medicine Hat Arena, a condo complex in Connaught,
Commercial land sales roared, while the residential sector snored.
Building permits to November, show only 19 new home permits were issued to that point, down from 46 in 2018, and a recent high of 100 in 2015.
At the same time, Calgary-based developer Enclave ventures announced it and local partners would build the Coulee Ridge Community on land in the city’s southwest.
The Alberta Advantage
The big win for the United Conservatives was enthusiastically received by the broad business community. The new government announced changes to corporate income tax, labour standards on farms, youth minimum wage and promises to revisits the entire labour code next year.
Mixed year for majors
Cancarb rang in 2019 by announcing a $40-million expansion to their production of rubber additive carbon black, but Methanex moved ahead with major expansion in Louisiana rather than a proposal to twin the local methanol facility.
Aurora announced it would slow down commissioning its massive greenhouse, waiting to bring it fully on line until consumer demand warranted, possibly in 2021.
Folium Bioscience announced its intention to build a local processing plant for hemp derivatives in early January.
Hut 8 Cryptocurrency increased the size of a electricity buy from the city utility to power its data-processing centre in the city’s northwest.
Big Marble Greenhouse, a traditional vegetable outfit, announced it planned to add 10 acres to its site south of the city near Highway No. 3.
In wider agriculture farmers and ranchers were vexed with dry spring and summer, then an early damaging frost and freezing conditions – events across the prairies that earned separate spots on Environment Canada’s top-10 weather stories of 2019.
That’s on top of trade tension with China over canola, while other specialty crop growers were hampered.
Lantic Sugar announced in early November that about half the sugar beet crop would be left in the ground.
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Canada's CarbonCure to receive Climate Pledge Fund investment from Amazon – Daily Commercial News
CarbonCure Technologies of Dartmouth, N.S. has attracted more high profile financial investment, this time from a group of global high-tech companies under the banner of Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund. The Canadian company is one of five technology companies to receive the first tranche of what Amazon says is a new $2 billion venture capital initiative.
The other investment recipients announced this month by the Climate Pledge Fund include a technology company that verifies carbon capture in forests; a developer of commercialized technologies to recycle end-of-life lithium batteries into high value metals and chemicals; an EV delivery vehicle manufacturer; and a manufacturer of energy efficient motor systems for use in building infrastructure.
Amazon’s commitment confirms CarbonCure as a recognized leader in global carbon dioxide reduction (CDR).
“The fact that this investment is being led by big tech companies signals a broader change for industries and governments across the board,” CarbonCure said in a media release.
Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund partners include Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV).
BEV had previously announced its own investment in CarbonCure back in June 2019. In addition to Gates, BEV investors include Michael Bloomberg and Sir Richard Branson.
The patented CarbonCure process involves redirecting CO2 headed into the atmosphere and instead embedding it into concrete used for construction. CO2 emissions are collected from local industrial emitters, purified using the company’s technology, and injected into the concrete at the point of manufacture, after which it is transported to local project sites.
The process has a measurable, positive impact on carbon reduction.
During a recent webinar, Ryan Cialdella, vice-president of research at Ozinga, a major U.S. ready mix concrete supplier, presented performance data collected by his company as a result of using CarbonCure’s technology. The data indicated an average Global Warming Potential (GWP) reduction of 6.2 per cent due to CO2 mineralization across a variety of psi specifications.
GWP is a “measure of how much energy the emissions of one ton of greenhouse gas will absorb over a given period of time relative to equal emissions of carbon dioxide,” as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency.
In addition to removing carbon permanently from the atmosphere, CarbonCure’s CO2 compound actually strengthens the concrete mix, reducing the amount of material required to meet a project’s performance specifications. That reduction in turn offsets the bottom-line costs associated with including the CarbonCure product into the concrete manufacturing process, Ozinga executive vice-president Paul Ozinga explained during the same webinar.
CarbonCure has already gained recognition around the world and claims their technology represents 90 per cent of the current permanent carbon dioxide removal market. The company says that to date seven million cubic yards of low embodied carbon concrete have been supplied across its global network of nearly 300 producers.
The Climate Pledge Fund’s commitment is important for CarbonCure, allowing it to further accelerate its product distribution around the world, said company CEO and Co-Founder Robert Niven.
“The latest investment presents a wonderful opportunity for the global concrete industry to capitalize on the increasing demand for sustainable concrete.”
Matt Peterson, director of Amazon’s new initiatives and corporate development, explained the tech giant’s reasoning behind the creation of the $2 billion venture capital fund in a recent Axios interview.
“This all has to do with Amazon meeting its own corporate goals of being zero carbon by 2040. We are asking, ‘What does Amazon need as a company to de-carbonize?’ We are finding companies that produce those products and investing in them that way. The purpose of the Climate Pledge Fund is to put money behind companies building those solutions. It’s not just what we can do today to de-carbonize but what we can do in the future.”
It should not be forgotten, however, that Amazon is a huge, profit-driven company with investments in a variety of technologies.
“We are not doing this as a charity,” said Peterson. “This is meant to be an investment program that returns on investment.”
New report finds VC investment into climate tech growing five times faster than overall VC – TechCrunch
VC and corporate investment into climate tech grew at a faster rate than overall VC investment as a whole between 2013-2019, according to a major new report — to the tune of $60 billion of early-stage capital.
The new research by PwC (“The State of Climate Tech 2020“) found that although it’s still early days for climate tech in terms of the overall VC market (approximately 6% of total capital invested in 2019), VC investment into the space is growing at a clip: it increased from $418 million per annum in 2013 to $16.3 billion in 2019. According to the report, that is approximately three times the growth rate of VC investment into AI over the same period, and five times the average growth in VC.
The reasons are, predictably, to do with market economics. It’s quickly becoming more capitally efficient to prove and scale the technologies involved, and carbon-neutral or even carbon negative solutions have fewer costs than carbon-producing ones.
Nearly half of this venture cash ($60 billion) went to U.S. and Canadian climate tech startups ($29 billion), while China comes in second at $20 billion. The European market attracted $7 billion. The majority of investments for the U.S. and China go to mobility and transport solutions.
Climate tech startup investment in the San Francisco Bay area, at $11.7 billion, was 56% higher than its nearest rival, Shanghai, which reached $7.5 billion. Europe is more invested in renewable energy generation (predominantly photovoltaics cells) and batteries.
Celine Herweijer, global leader, Innovation & Sustainability, PwC UK, said in a statement: “The analysis shows the urgency of the opportunity, and gap to close, to support and scale innovative technologies and business models to address the climate crisis. Climate tech is a new frontier in venture investing for the 2020s.”
“Some of the technologies and solutions critical to enabling this transformation are proven and need rapid commercialization, which is why venture capital is key. It will not need trillions invested in startups to make a difference. But for the trickier technologies and markets it will need targeted support, including from governments, to make it through research and development, and the early stages beyond which capital increasingly is lining up,” she added.
The biggest drivers for growth in climate tech, according to the report, relate to mobility and transport, heavy industry, and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) capture and storage. These are followed by food, agriculture, land use, built environment, energy and climate and Earth data generation.
Anyone who reads TechCrunch will be well aware of the electric scooter and e-bike wars that have broken out in recent years. And sure enough, the report finds that investment in these micromobility startups has grown dramatically, recording a CAGR of 151%, and representing 63% $37.4 billion of all climate tech funding over the past seven years.
Azeem Azhar, senior advisor to PwC UK, founder of Exponential View, and co-author of the report, said: “The climate tech market is maturing. As a society we are seeing more entrepreneurs launch startups, more investors back them, and an increasing number of larger funding rounds for later-stage high-potential deals. But PwC’s analysis shows the ecosystem is still nascent, with key gaps in the depth and nature of funding available to founders and tricky structural hurdles for them to navigate as they scale their businesses.”
Where is the investment coming from? From a wide range of sources: traditional VC firms and venture funds specializing in sustainability, corporate investors, including energy majors, global consumer goods companies and big tech, government-backed investment firms and private equity players.
The report found that corporate venture capital (CVC) looms large in the sector, especially startups typified by high capital costs aimed at disrupting incumbent industries with high barriers to entry, such as in energy, heavy industry and transport. For mobility and transport, 30% of the climate tech deals include a CVC firm, and in energy, 32% of capital deployed came from CVCs. Overall, nearly a quarter of climate tech deals (24%) included a corporate investor.
Herweijer said: “The involvement of corporates will be key to the continued success of climate tech – both in terms of their net-zero commitments driving demand for new solutions, and their investments into commercializing innovation. It’s not just the financial means they bring, but the commercial know-how, and industry knowledge to help startups navigate how to rapidly deploy and scale new innovations into the market.”
Amongst the top 10 cities for climate tech startup investment — outside of the U.S. and China — are Berlin, London, Labege (France) and Bengaluru, India, attracting $1.3 billion, mainly across energy, agriculture and food and land use.
The sections perhaps most relevant to a TechCrunch audience occur on page 44 onwards, which shows that the climate tech market is starting to behave like the high-growth tech startup world. Where barriers existed before, such as technical risk, product risk and market risk, these are being addressed. Recognizable VC names such as Sequoia, GV, Kosler, Horizons, YC, USV are all getting involved.
And although almost 300 global companies have committed to achieving net-zero emissions before 2050, “with just ten years to reduce by half global greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to 1.5C, climate tech needs a rapid injection of capital, talent and public-private support to match its potential to build and accelerate faster, bolder innovation,” added Herweijer.
How to Buy Gold for Investment for 2021 – GlobeNewswire
New York, NY, Sept. 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Financial expert Ken Poirot, who oversaw the investment of billions in client assets, shares how to buy gold and how to invest in gold for an incredible return on investment in 2021.
According to Ken Poirot’s article titled, How to Buy Gold: How to Invest in Gold, he states, “Owning physical gold is the best way to buy and invest in gold.” In this article he also reveals where to buy gold and the mistakes the average investor might make when investing in gold.
As Ken Poirot explains, “Rather than investing in physical gold, many investors attempt to pick the best gold mining stocks, ETFs, or even try the gold futures market; all these alternatives to physical gold investing could cost investors their potential return on investment.”
In contrast, Ken Poirot says, “When investing in gold, it is best to keep it simple: buy physical gold.”
Furthermore, Ken Poirot documents in his recent article, Gold: Investing in Gold?, “More and more Wall Street gold analysts are coming forward with bullish forecasts for the future price of gold…analysts say $3,000 is assured; $10,000 is likely; $20,000 is possible.” To put these predictions in perspective, today gold is trading at less than $2000 an ounce.
Just like most gold analysts, Ken Poirot has also increased his predicted future return on investment for gold as recorded in a recent press release, Money: Investing in Gold for a Huge Return on Investment in 2021.
Ken Poirot cites the global recession, the crumbling US economy, China’s looming economic collapse, and the Fed’s new willingness to let inflation rise unabated all as factors contributing to higher gold prices. For these reasons he believes investors may double their money by investing in gold over the next year.
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