5 min read

Electrifying Everything

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It’s already Thursday!

We hope you’re enjoying the short workweek, at least those of you in the US who were able to take off Monday for Presidents’ Day.

We’ve got power on our minds this week — and not just the kind that comes from wielding a concert ticket monopoly (we feel your pain, Beyoncé fans). In between reading articles about creepy chatbot conversations, we’ve been following a few developments worth sharing from the electricity sector:

  • Rooftop solar’s staying power: As earnings reports roll in from US residential solar companies like SunPower, Sunnova, and Sunrun, we’re getting a peek at the state of the market. According to one BloombergNEF analyst, while the residential solar industry faces serious headwinds (think rising interest rates and a weaker economy), it likely set records for installations last year and may do it again in 2023.
  • Europe’s renewable transition: Efforts to wean Europe off Russian gas have accelerated the continent’s transition to renewables, reports Vox. By the end of 2022, renewables overtook natural gas in electricity generation, and European households and businesses tripled their amount of installed rooftop solar systems compared to 2021. Funnily enough, there’s now a natural gas glut due to warmer winter weather, and shares in producers are falling.
  • Tidal power: It’s not just surfers who draw energy from the waves. SAE Renewables announced a new milestone this week — it became the first company to generate 50 gigawatts of electricity from tidal devices.

We also took a deep dive into the “electrify everything” movement and identified several ways you can invest in it — more on that below.

News you can use

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  • What’s “SUPP”? Activist investor Engine No. 1’s new Transform Supply Chain ETF (which goes by the ticker symbol “SUPP”) is one of several sustainability-focused funds to make their debut in February. Morgan Stanley launched six new ESG ETFs under the Calvert brand. Sprott introduced four focused on critical minerals essential to the generation, transmission, and storage of cleaner energy. Faith-based investors have another option from Timothy Plan, and NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo became the first professional athlete to partner with an investment firm on a fund.
  • United Airlines and its partners are investing over $100 million in greener air travel as flyers grow more conscious about their carbon footprints. The venture capital fund will support start-ups working on making sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Other corporations and even passengers can contribute to the effort — the first 10,000 United ticket holders to do so will each receive 500 MileagePlus miles in exchange. Last year, 300 million liters of SAF were produced globally, but we need to reach 450 billion liters by 2050 to achieve net-zero emissions.
  • Impact investing opportunities are more plentiful than ever, says FWIW’s Jean Case in this interview with the Associated Press. She talks about the expanding opportunities for investors who want to generate both financial and social returns.

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