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November 04, 2023


Joe Baylock

It's been a rough month for Green Pork/Energy investing as the news is sprinkled with dead deals on battery plants, wind projects, and ESG branded funds (backing away from the moniker because it is becoming synonymous with underperforming the market). A German court just shut down additional public spending on Green as the budget doesn't exist and they won't allow leftover Covid money to be shifted to Green.

The WSJ had a piece on Monday titled "Americans Fall Out of Love with EVs" that notes Ford and GM have pushed back investments, Volkswagen has put a fourth battery plant on hold and the new UAW contract is going to make cutting EV costs very difficult for the US manufacturers (the ones whose customers get the $7,500 tax credit next year). Only Toyota with its hyrbid-first model is upping investment.

In the meantime, electric grid strain is popping up all over the country driven by data center growth/consumption and higher interest rates pushing out new projects.

Lastly, the public charger business is still foundering with broken chargers, billing software that doesn't work and...higher interest rates. There's more dark clouds on the horizon, but that's enough.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Paloma Ave

Go woke, go broke?

Ram Emanual

Why oh why?



As we listen to the president hype the Earth Day green cash grabs in the Inflation Production Act, I can't help but repost this WSJ editorial from today:

Is offshore wind a perennial infant industry? Despite receiving countless billions of dollars in subsidies over the last few decades, these energy projects are still failing to launch. On Friday three New York offshore wind projects hit the rocks owing to rising costs and technical snafus.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority called off contract negotiations with three wind developers after turbine manufacturer GE Vernova said it couldn’t deliver 18-megawatt turbines for the projects. As a result, the projects would have to be redesigned with more and smaller turbines that would make them noneconomic.

GE’s renewable business had planned to produce the 18-megawatt turbines but last year decided to limit turbines to a maximum of 16.5 megawatts, according to Bloomberg News. Bigger and more powerful turbines have recently been toppling over, requiring expensive repairs. This is one reason GE’s renewable business lost $1.44 billion last year, which was an improvement on its $2.24 billion loss in 2022.

The offshore wind industry received a strong tailwind from the Inflation Reduction Act, which included tax credits that cover 30% or more of a project’s cost. The law also subsidized the domestic manufacturing of components, which New York’s wind developers and their suppliers planned to exploit by making parts at new plants in the state.

But the industry has also faced significant economic headwinds. More than a dozen projects in the U.S. and Europe have been canceled or delayed in the last year owing to rising labor and material costs and higher interest rates. The cost of building an offshore wind project rose by about 60% between 2021 and 2024.

New York regulators recently struck agreements with offshore developers at prices of around $150 per megawatt hour, more than a third higher than those in 2019. For comparison, the wholesale price for natural gas power is around $30 a megawatt hour.

New Yorkers will get stuck paying excessive prices for offshore wind for 25 years to meet their political class’s climate goals. So even if offshore wind costs drop, the state will be locked into exorbitant long-term contracts. Meantime, the state’s grid operator has warned that New York City could face power shortages as soon as next summer owing to the shutdown of gas and nuclear power plants. Another climate-policy fiasco.
For the math challenged: $150/MWh divided by $30/MWh is FIVE times more expensive.


Inflation Production Act - Yes, let us keep voting for our current politicians, because they have been a bang up job?

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