Mar.26, 2021

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

  • Alberta is expected to see the fastest growth in renewable energy capacity between 2018 and 2023 according to the Canada Energy regulator.
    • By 2023, 26% of Alberta’s electricity capacity will come from renewable resources vs 16% in 2017
    • Alberta will add nearly 2,000 megawatts of renewable capacity between 2017 and 2023
    • Nationally, Canada will hit 71% renewable capacity by 2023 vs 67% in 2018
  • American Petroleum Institute endorsed putting a tax or other price on carbon dioxide emissions (carbon price) as part of a broader plan for combating climate change and to standardize reporting of sustainability efforts and propel emissions-reducing technologies.
  • Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway is lobbying Texas for permission to build $8.3 billion of new natural gas plants to avoid a repeat of February’s blackouts.
  • Record 7% (538,000 bbl/day) of oil imported into the US in 2020 came from Russia vs 522,000 bbl/day from Saudi Arabia.
  • Saudi Aramco is partnering with China to expand and intensify research in areas including hydrogen and ammonia production from natural gas.
  • Mycelium (the root network of fungi) are being used as a substitute for leather and plastic.
    • It is a stable building material when it is no longer growing. Grows in sawdust, agricultural residue etc.
    • It can be used to make bricks like casting concrete. Scientists are experimenting with keeping the fungi alive to fuse bricks together.

BITCOIN

  • Elon Musk announced that you can now use bitcoin to buy a Tesla.
  • IRS says if you use bitcoin to buy a physical item (including but not limited to a Tesla) you will be subject to capital gains tax if you made a profit on your bitcoin.
    • Since 2019, IRS is asking tax payers whether they ‘received’, sold, sent, exchanged or otherwise acquired financial interest in any digital currency. Both gains and losses must be reported.
  • National Bank Financial says that some risks of bitcoin include:
    • Market risks: low liquidity, extreme price volatility
    • Operation risks: risks of fraud and trading manipulation on unregulated or unreliable platforms
    • Information security (cybersecurity risks): loss or theft of personal keys to digital wallets or cyber-attacks
    • Regulatory risks: future regulation may lead to significant implications and in some cases could prevent continued operations.
  • Bank of America says that bitcoin mining accounts for 0.4% of global energy consumption, rivalling that of some developed countries (Netherlands, Norway, Czech Republic) and companies like American Airlines, Conoco-Phillips etc.

TIDBITS

  • Canadian Federal Budget will be released on April 19, 2021, first budget in 2 years.
  • Global auto industry may lose $61 billion of sales in 2021 due to chip shortages.
  • In an effort to improve mental health, Citigroup has banned ‘Zoom’ calls on Fridays and is encouraging its staff to take a vacation.
  • US air travelers topped 1.5 million for the first time since March 2020.
  • Royal Caribbean cruises will resume sailing in the Caribbean in June with vaccinated adult guests.