The energy transition could be one of the investment megatrends this year and beyond as interest rates are likely to be cut, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organizations.
The comments from deVere Group’s Nigel Green come as central banks around the world continue to hold rates steady for the time being, but with growing expectations that they will begin to cut them in the first half of this year.
He says: “Investing in renewable energy infrastructure, such as utility-scale solar and wind farms, demands significant upfront capital.
“As such when interest rates are high, the return on investment for these projects can be adversely affected, leading developers to hesitate and potentially put new projects on the back burner.
“Beyond the large transitional projects, the industrial sphere has been delving into alternatives to traditional fuels with lower carbon footprints, such as the amalgamation of hydrogen with natural gas. This strategic shift is motivated by a dual concern for both environmental preservation and economic viability.
“However, in times marked by elevated borrowing costs, the emphasis tends to pivot more towards economic considerations, potentially impeding the pace of investments in environmentally-friendly technologies.
“Likewise, the transport sector, poised for advancements in electric vehicles (EVs), hydrogen-powered vehicles, biodiesel, and compressed natural gas, has encountered difficulties in rationalizing new projects amid heightened interest rates.”
In addition, escalating interest rates have placed added strain on consumers. The allure of embracing electric vehicles or delving into residential solar investments dwindles in the face of elevated borrowing expenses.
“For consumers, the financial repercussions of these choices become more conspicuous, potentially influencing the pace at which sustainable technologies are embraced.”
Despite the obstacles encountered, a positive outlook persists for the transition towards sustainable energy. “The enduring validity of the long-term investment perspective is underscored, with companies maintaining their dedication to environmental objectives, and governments worldwide offering financial backing to facilitate the transition,” notes Nigel Green.
Looking ahead to the rest of 2024 and beyond, the narrative is likely to shift.
The deVere CEO concludes: “The energy transition has been hit by high interest rates and inflation.
“But now the stage appears to be set for an upward trajectory in energy transition investments.
“This, together with global commitments to environmental sustainability intensifying, 2024 could see the start of an energy transition investment megatrend.”
International Collaboration is Urgent to Conserve Big Cats: Saber
DHAKA, Feb 10, 2024 (BSS) - Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Saber Hossain Chowdhury today said international collaboration is required to conserve big cats for a sustainable future.
"Our collaboration with Saudi Arabia and other nations in the conservation of big cats symbolizes our shared commitment to a sustainable future," he said.
"It is a testament to our belief that together, through concerted effort and international cooperation, we can overcome the challenges that threaten our natural world. Our commitment to the environment extends beyond our national borders, recognizing that the health of our planet is interconnected," he said.
The environment minister made the remarks while speaking at a programme, organised by Catmosphere Foundation of Saudi Government to celebrate International Day of the Arabian Leopard, in Madani Avenue of Dhaka.
He said: "We should remember that the fight to save all endangered species, is a reflection of our values as a global community. It is a measure of our willingness to act for the collective wellbeing of our planet. Let us carry forward the spirit of the Catwalk as a continuous, enduring commitment to conservation and harmony between humanity and nature."
Saber Hossain said Saudi Arabia's initiative to host "Catwalk" is a celebration of life, a call to action, and a reminder of the beauty.
This initiative aligns with the broader goals of the Catmosphere Foundation, which seeks to use the story of the Arabian Leopard, and other big cats, as a catalyst for change, he said.
"By highlighting the link between healthy environments and human health, we can inspire action across sectors and societies," the minister said.
On the occasion of International Arabian Leopard Day, the Saudi Embassy in Dhaka organized this special walk program to create awareness to protect wildlife.
Diplomats, the minister and other invited guests walk from 700 meters to 7 kilometers. Later, the environment minister and the ambassador of Saudi Arabia distributed the prizes and certificates to the winners.