October 1, 2022
Weekend Reads: Resilience Lessons Learned From Hurricane Ian; How Climate Investment is Shielded from Recession
It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.
From Hurricane Fiona to Ian: How disaster-hit areas can get the power back on and build resilience for next time (World Economic Forum) Extreme weather events such as hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and heat waves, are increasing in intensity, frequency and duration due to climate change. Recently, there has been a spate of devastating storms across the Caribbean and North America, with the latest reports that Hurricane Ian has left two million without power in Florida after shattering Cuba's electrical grid. The example of Hurricane Fiona, which first wreaked havoc in Puerto Rico and then struck the coast of Atlantic Canada, is unusual in that storms do not usually maintain their high wind speeds this far north – highlighting the link between warming seas and rising storm intensity.
This Climate Tech Boom Is Recession-Proof (Bloomberg) Is a global economic recession imminent? That question has been giving many people watching markets sleepless nights. One group, however, seems less worried: climate tech investors. Typically recessions see investors fleeing to safer assets like government bonds and mature companies. And they start investing less in or even divesting from riskier assets, such as venture capital, which bets on early-stage companies fully expecting many to fail and hoping that some succeed wildly. Things are different now, according to Mark Cupta, managing director of Prelude Ventures. “2022 is on pace to eclipse every other year in venture-capital fundraising” with the trend “amplified” for climate investing, he says.
EV sales to hit all-time high in 2022, IEA says, but more work needed to put world on net-zero path (CNBC) Electric vehicle sales are on course to hit an all-time high this year, but more work is needed in other sectors to put the planet on course for net-zero emissions by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency. In an announcement accompanying its Tracking Clean Energy Progress update, the IEA said there had been “encouraging signs of progress across a number of sectors” but cautioned that “stronger efforts” were required to put the world “on track to reach net zero emissions” by the middle of this century. The TCEP, which is published yearly, looked at 55 parts of the energy system.
Dodging Blackouts, California Faces New Questions on Its Power Supply (The New York Times) California finds itself on edge more than ever with a lingering fear: the threat of rolling blackouts for years to come. Despite adding new power plants, building huge battery storage systems and restarting some shuttered fossil fuel generators over the last couple of years, California relies heavily on energy from other states — the cavalry rushing over a distant hill. Sometimes the support does not show up when expected, or at all. That was the case this month, when millions of residents got cellphone alerts urging them to cut their energy use as the state teetered close to blackouts in blazing heat.
Victoria pledges nation’s most ambitious renewable energy storage targets (The Guardian) The Andrews government has pledged to legislate Australia’s largest renewable energy storage targets in a bid to accelerate the state’s transition to renewables and lower power prices. Under the targets, Victoria would reach 2.6 gigawatts of renewable energy storage capacity by 2030 and 6.3 gigawatts of storage by 2035 – enough to power about half of Victoria’s current homes at their peak energy usage. If re-elected in November’s state election, the government would introduce the legislation to parliament next year. Andrews said adding more renewable energy supply would create downward pressure on household power bills, boost jobs and provide certainty to investors in the sector.
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