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Timing & trends

Mercedes Benz Plan for Surviving the Auto Revolution


Posted by Nicholas Stecher, WIRED

on Thursday, 03 May 2018 12:45

mercedes

IF YOU'RE THE guy in charge of leading Daimler—you know, the world’s largest luxury carmaker, one of Europe’s most important tech companies, and the inventor of the automobile—into a threatening future, it can’t hurt to have a name that sounds made for a superhero. Good thing it's a guy named Wilko Stark helming CASE (that’s connectivity, autonomous, shared and services, and electric mobility), which Daimler launched in 2016 to address the most promising and troubling trends under one roof. He’s the fellow tasked with forging a 20-year blueprint for Daimler and its flagship, Mercedes-Benz... CLICK HERE for the complete article



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Energy & Commodities

Renewable Energy Storage: The Next Big Power Play


Posted by Morgan Stanley

on Wednesday, 02 May 2018 16:53

batteries

New renewable energy storage technology has the power to turn solar and wind energy into a reliable source of electricity generation for U.S. utilities.

Storage makes renewable energy available when it’s needed the most. Peak electricity usage happens in the early morning and evening, whereas peak production of solar energy is midday and at night for wind. Given the U.S. electric grid’s lack of storage capacity, conventional power plants, including gas-fired ones, are utilities’ most reliable source of electricity.

That could be about to change.  In a new collaborative report, “An Underappreciated Disruptor,” Morgan Stanley’s Utility and Clean Tech analyst, Stephen Byrd and Shared Mobility & Auto analyst, Adam Jonas, argue that the price of both solar and wind energy, as well as new storage units, have reached a point where renewable energy can finally become a dependable rather than an unpredictable source of energy.

 “Demand for energy storage from the utility sector will grow more than the market anticipates by 2019-20,” the report posits. The demand for storage is expected to grow from a less than $300 million a year market to as much as $4 billion in the next two to three years, says the Morgan Stanley report. Ultimately there’s about a $30 billion market for storage units, with capacity for around 85 gigawatt-hours of power storage. That’s enough electricity to light up most of the New York City metro area for a year.

There will be winners and losers. Companies with gas-fired plants might suffer margin compression as utilities increase their use of cheaper renewable sources on tap in battery storage units. Energy storage will also release stored power during periods of high demand in the early mornings and evenings, when power prices are at their highest — another negative to the bottom line of gas-fired plant owners. “Storage effectively provides a low-cost source of power, eliminating the need for the highest cost, least efficient conventional power plant,” says the report.

Companies creating the storage units are the likely winners, although new entrants will find it hard to compete with the two biggest market leaders, say the analysts.

Utilities will have good reason to want to buy the storage units. “We think utilities could deploy storage as a way to enable the growth of renewables and/or defer costly transmission and distribution projects,” says Byrd. Having renewable energy on tap to supplement peak electricity periods will also reduce the likelihood of blackouts.

More affordable battery storage units could also lead to significant utility bill savings for customers with solar panels, as well as those in states where utilities add a “demand charge” to utility bills to recover transmission and distribution grid costs.

As for the grid, the proliferation of electricity storage could eventually transform it into a “plug and play” for the units, used by utilities, solar customers and electric vehicles.

 “The grid of the future is becoming more complex, necessitating improved grid infrastructure to accommodate a proliferation of distributed energy resources,” the report says.



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Economic Outlook

Trumponomics Report Card


Posted by Yahoo Financial

on Tuesday, 01 May 2018 11:28

trumponomics

Yahoo Finance is tracking the performance of the economy under President Donald Trump, compared with six prior presidents going back to Jimmy Carter. We’ve chosen six key economic indicators that directly affect the well-being of ordinary Americans, with data provided by Moody's Analytics... CLICK to see the full report



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Asset protection

Market Talk - Final Day of April


Posted by Martin Armstrong

on Monday, 30 April 2018 15:44

martyface

On the final day in April, we have seen shares rally across the board and not just in Asia. Two major markets were closed today for national holidays and so volumes are traditionally quiet on these occasions. However, we saw a stunning +1.74% return for the Hang Seng as a broad based rally consumed much of the talk. Tech, financials, real estate and the weekends Korea headlines all helped to this strong performance. Japan and China main were off today, but we did see Yen continue to trade lower against the USD even with the late correction in US stocks. SENSEX opened well and kept its bid for the whole day, strong performance. More consolidation for the INR around mid 66’s... CLICK for complete article



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Timing & trends

Amazon Creates New Vancouver Hub


Posted by Canadian Press

on Monday, 30 April 2018 15:40

amazon

Online retail giant Amazon has announced it will expand its Vancouver technology hub and create 3,000 new high-tech jobs. Amazon’s general manager of web services Jesse Dougherty said the new corporate positions will be focused on e-commerce technology, cloud computing and machine learning. The employees will be working in a new 38,000 square metre office tower the company plants to build on the site of the city’s old post office... Click for complete article



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A Change in the Weather

Has Goldilocks left the building?  As 2018 rolls on, markets have become more uncertain about future direction and most have stalled out,...

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