In this issue:
Green buildings securing strong premiums
JLL reports the demand for well-rated commercial buildings now exceeds supply and strong rental premiums are being seen for these well-rated buildings. Unmet demand stands at 65% in New York, 54% in Paris and 84% in Sydney, with unmet demand continuing to at least the end of the decade. The research covered 20 major office markets around the world and reports demand is being driven by tightening regulations and changing expectations among stakeholders.
Energy Efficiency top of mind for CEOs
Decarbonisation is top of mind for CEOs according to the latest global survey by PwC, and the most cited action to achieve it is energy efficiency. 65% of the respondents report actions to improve efficiency are already in train. Investing in nature based climate solutions, however, lags other actions with only 37% reporting activities in progress and 36% indicating they have no plans to do anything.
Future electricity demand growth to be met by non-fossil fuels
The IEA has just published its annual report on global electricity markets. Global growth in demand was 2.2% in 2023 but is expected to average 3.4% over the next three years. It is predicting the growth in demand will be comfortably met by renewables which it is estimating will make up a third of all generation by early 2025, surpassing coal. Demand growth will be lead by China, India and South East Asia.
Uncertainty around offshore wind
Meanwhile, offshore wind is heading for uncertain times. A new report from Westwood Global Energy Group categorises 40% of the estimated 380GW of pipeline projects to 2030, valued at US$883bn (NZ$1,438bn) as “risked”. The report goes on to suggest the riskier projects are those from some of the established oil majors, who are seen as lacking the operational capacity to fulfil.
Is nuclear power coming to NZ?
Well, it might. While grid-scale nuclear power invariably receives a mixed reception in New Zealand, we may see nuclear powered, small batteries creeping into the market. Chinese start-up Betavolt has launched a small, coin-sized battery powered by Nickel-63. The batteries have ten times the energy density of a lithium battery and a lifespan of 50 years.
Self-powered tsunami protection
Like New Zealand, Japan is at risk from tsunamis and rising sea levels caused by climate change. A possible mitigation for these risks is movable sea walls. Scientists from the Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed movable sea walls that are capable of self-generating the power needed to adjust the wall making them more resilient in the event of earthquakes that may interrupt the normal power supply. At some locations they have investigated, the research team believes the sea wall would generate more power than it needs for its own adjustments and be a reliable, local source of power even following a disaster.
Energy from sound
Scientists at ETH Zurich have developed a mechanical sensor powered only by sound. Most sensors are powered by some form of battery and with the EU estimating around 78 million disposable batteries will be added to the waste pile every day by 2025, removing the need for them will save enormous amounts of waste and preserve resources of battery materials. It’s hoped prototypes of these self-sustaining, battery-free sensors will be available by 2027.