By David Callaway, Callaway Climate Insights
For all the devastating impact Putin’s War is having on the environment global and global energy prices, it’s amazing that renewable energy stocks are the big winners in the past month.
Yet it’s precisely the war and the surge in oil and gas prices worldwide that is causing investors to flock to renewable energy stocks such as solar, wind, tidal, and nuclear. For all the damage, it may take such a shock to the world to jolt it into finally getting serious about transitioning off fossil fuels. That’s the bet at least, especially in Europe.
Among the biggest winners on the Callaway Climate Index since Russia’s invasion last month are Fusion Fuel Green Plc (HTOO), a Dublin-incorporated green hydrogen company; mineral miner Piedmont Lithium (PLL); and Maxeon Solar Technologies (MAXN), the Singapore-based maker of solar panels.
Of course, the oil stocks such as ExxonMobil (XON) and Chevron Corp. (CHV) are higher also, reflecting the surge in oil prices to above $120 a barrel last week. They have since come down and were last trading just under $100 a barrel.
Investors are pushing the renewable play, however, and big wind companies in Europe, which have faded in popularity in the last year, are suddenly hot again. Almost $900 million was pumped into clean energy ETFs last week alone, according to Bloomberg. with such funds as the Invesco Solar ETF (TAN) and the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN) attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in new funds.
Whether that money will stay in clean energy when the rest of the market begins to bounce back, whenever that is, remains to be seen. But for a clear sign of what happens in the markets when the world faces an energy emergency, as we will certainly do again, this is a rally worth remembering.
More insights below . . . .
Carbon price plunge on war highlights huge disclosure gaps
. . . . For most of the past two years, the emerging carbon credit markets have been a one-way bet: higher. That’s changed with Putin’s War, which led to a spike in oil prices and, unexpectedly, a collapse in carbon credits. David Callaway looks at what happened and why it highlights an urgent need for better transparency and corporate disclosures in these new markets. . . .
This is what college activists want from universities in 2022
. . . . More than 1,500 universities have promised some sort of divestment from fossil fuels in their portfolios in the last several years, representing almost $40 trillion. But university activists want more, writes Abigail Weiss from New York. To begin with, they want proof the colleges are divesting as they say they are. With oil prices all over the map, 2022 is going to be a landmark year. . . .
Tuesday’s subscriber insights: It ain’t easy being green
. . . . It ain’t easy being green, but at least you’re lucky in love. That’s the finding of online dating site OKCupid, which found that more than 80% of potential matches are looking for some sort of environmental awareness in their partners. And watch out, guys, it’s the ladies who are most concerned about warming. Read more here. . . .
. . . . As the Ukraine crisis grows, investor focus is intensifying on tidal energy, particularly in Britain and France. And the often-forgotten renewable has many advantages that wind and solar don’t, as in it never stops. Investors are wading in, with funds going to tidal strategies up more than 50% last year. Read more here. . . .
. . . . China’s renewables schizophrenia continues. On the one hand it now leads the world in many renewable spaces, such as wind. On the other it ramps up its commitment to coal to feed the energy needs of its massive population. Can one country be both a leader in renewables and in fossil fuels? Read more here. . . .
. . . . It’s the flickering. Real or imagined, residents living near wind turbines don’t like what’s called ‘shadow flicker,’ which happens when shadows from moving wind turbines are cast upon homes and offices. And it’s going to grow as more turbines are erected. But a new study finds that the critics of the phenomenon are a small but vocal minority. Still, an unexpected challenge as the world gears up for more wind, and the inevitable protests that will accompany it. Read more here. . . .
Editor’s picks: Deadly flooding from Cyclone Gombe,
Tropical Cyclone #Gombe, which made landfall in #Mozambique on Friday, has caused serious flooding in Mozambique and #Malawi, with loss of life and livelihoods.
Via @IFRCAfrica pic.twitter.com/Mj4k8X69To
— World Meteorological Organization (@WMO) March 14, 2022
New York girds for climate change sea-level rises
In anticipation of sea-level rises and the resulting flood risks, New York City has partnered with federal agencies to create a $1.45 billion resiliency and flood protection area as part of the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. A city official told ABC News that “through science-based analysis, policy and program development, and capacity building, the city’s resiliency efforts are ensuring that New York City is ready to withstand and emerge stronger from the multiple impacts of climate change, including from more frequent hurricanes, higher sea levels, extreme precipitation and more extreme temperatures.” The report also noted the project is expected to be completed by 2025 and will result in a 2.4-mile system of flood walls and floodgates, as well as elevate parts of the region by up to 9 feet, to keep the storm surge out of the neighborhood.
Cut (out) the lawn
Lawns are taking up about half the water used in Colorado’s cities, and state lawmakers are working on a bipartisan effort to launch a “statewide turf replacement program, which would pay homeowners and business owners to replace their non-native, ornamental lawns with plants and landscapes better adapted to the state’s dry climate,” The Associated Press reports. According to the report, 19 Colorado cities, utilities and water districts already have turf replacement programs. The proposed bill would offer matching dollars for those programs, adding to the rebate property owners would receive, and help governments launch programs of their own.