How Green Energy Will Transform The Ranks Of The World’s Biggest Electric Generator

The article is written by Christopher Helman

Judging from the hype, the world’s energy sector has embarked on a transitional journey to a clean, green, low-carbon future powered by windmills and solar panels to develop green energy sources. 

It’s going to be a long trip. According to the International Energy Agency, we still derive an incredible 80% of our primary energy from fossil fuels—with oil contributing 32%, coal 27% and natural gas 23%. 

The transition can only occur as rapidly as the world’s utility companies can invest the trillions of dollars needed to cover the world’s hills and pastures with enough photovoltaic panels, wind turbines and nuclear reactors to replace dirty electrons with clean ones. 

Electric industry analyst Hugh Wynne of research shop SSR says that investors have to operate under the assumption that world governments will only move more aggressively to turn the screws on the biggest polluters. Carbon dioxide will be regulated in one way or another, via a carbon tax, cap-and-trade, emissions allowances, something, he says. Those companies with stubbornly high emissions are going to have to pay to pollute — while those with low emissions will enjoy a cost (and profitability) advantage. 

Digging in, Wynne (formerly of Bernstein Research) has run the numbers on the carbon intensity of the world’s biggest utilities, including most of the Forbes Global 2000 utility company components. He found that the “dirtiest” utilities are those with coal-fired fleets in China, Russia and India. According to his calculations, China Resources Power and Huaneng Electric both emit .97 tons of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour generated (roughly enough electricity to provide 1,000 homes with power for an hour). Also in the carbon doghouse are Datang at .94 tons/mwh, Inter RAO at .93 and Zhejiang Zheneng at .90. 

On the other side of the scale, we find utilities heavy into nuclear power: with Exelon at .05 t/mwh and Electricite de France at .08. Spanish renewables giant Iberdrola and progressive southeastern U.S utility NextEra (parent company of Florida Power & Light) are tied at .21. 

eanwhile, some of the more progressively minded utility companies are keen to take advantage of new tools evolving out of advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Forbes Global 2000 companies Southern Company, Exelon, and Dominion Energy for example, are all customers of a startup called Urbint, which was founded by Forbes 30 Under 30 alum Corey Capasso and has raised more than $40 million in funding for its A.I.-driven infrastructure safety platform. “Damages to critical infrastructure are on the rise, and can cause harmful methane emissions and pose a major public safety threat,” says Capasso. “Preventing them is vital to not only the fight against climate change, but also to protect workers and the public.”

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Urbint’s system hoovers up records and blueprints of pipes, lines, conduits and builds a model of the real world. It’s a “most transformative” tool, says Emeka Igwilo, chief data officer at Southern Company Gas, itself a division of Atlanta-based Southern Company (.49 t/mwh, by the way), who explains that the riskiest part of any utility company’s business is when people start digging on their properties without first calling their utility company. Every year Southern Company generates 2.2 million “tickets” where a customer intends to excavate and the company is legally obligated to send someone out to take surveys and mark the paths of buried lines and conduits. Despite the best intentions, humans get tired, rushed, don’t double check the documents, and in Southern’s territories they end up with about 5,000 damage cases every year for green energy. 

Urbint overlays its digital models with historic damage reports, the better to learn where accidents have happened before and might be likely again. The system itemizes for each location the particular excavation risks, even suggesting whether to add more manpower to a job. “The tool expands past what the human brain does in connecting the dots to seemingly unconnected events,” says Igwilo. “Now I don’t have people driving around looking for problems, I can direct them to where they need to go.” Southern rolled out Urbint to its Nicor division in 2019 and to the entire company last year. They are already seeing continuous improvement in reducing incidents. 

Preventing leaks and accidents all helps reduce a company’s carbon footprint. But neither greentech nor A.I. will be enough to save us. “No matter what you do, somebody has to turn a wrench,” says Igwilo. “This is just an augmentation to the physical work. The tool predicts, but somebody has to intervene.” We still need muscle, for now to maintain the Green Energy. 

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CEO Sam Bankman Explains How To Get Best ROI

If greed is a merit, Sam Bankman-Fried is a member of the elite. The 29-year-old creator of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, now estimated at more than 10 billion dollars by having appropriate ROI strategy, earned his money quicker than anybody in contemporary history, even making Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg look more like the turtle than the hare.

An adherent of the increasingly popular “effective altruism” philosophy, which states that evidence should lead the way to which good deeds are executed, Bankman-Fried set out to methodically analyze how he could do the most good with his life. While still in college he briefly considered working for philanthropic causes or Wall Street, before deciding that the best way to get a return on the investment he was preparing to make with his own life, was to get rich.

Speaking on a virtual stage today kicking off the 2021 Forbes Under 30 Summit, Bankman-Fried explained how figuring out how to make the biggest possible donation to the future of humanity led him to crypto, founding one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, and perhaps the largest single store of crypto wealth in the world. “Good is good however it comes,” said Bankman Fried, in conversation with Forbes chief content officer Randall Lane. “And in the end, my goal is just to figure out how I can have the most impact on the world whatever that means with ROI.”

Forbes chief content officer Randall Lane interviews FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried at the kick off of the 2021 Forbes Under 30 Summit Kickoff: Decade of Disruption.

Effective altruism was initially popularized in the late 2000s by Oxford professor Toby Ord, and entered the mainstream in 2015 with bioethicist Peter Singer’s book “The Most Good You Can Do,” published by Yale University Press. While Bankman-Fried earned a degree in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 2014, he says he methodically analyzed his own life to determine whether working for a cause he believed in or founding a company was the best way to do the most good.

A savant trader who initially worked at quantitative trading firm Jane Street, Bankman-Fried became fascinated by the nascent world of cryptocurrency. Frustrated by his experience using traditional exchanges, and what he calls “non-sensical” margining systems that let people trade by borrowing funds and customer funds being lent out to “incompetent risk engines,” he saw an opportunity to make money—big money—by going for a leadership position in the quickly growing space.

In 2017 he founded quantitative trading firm Alameda Research, which manages $100 million in digital assets; cryptocurrency exchange FTX which regularly conducts $5 billion in transactions a day; and Serum a decentralized exchange. Following a similar path set out by cryptocurrency pioneer Changpeng Zhao, aka CZ, founder and CEO of Binance, Bankman-Fried’s three companies form the foundation of a nearly independent financial ecosystem, in which his firms are better able to capture the value they create. 

As a result of his work his net worth is now estimated at $11.5 billion—not counting $23 billion cryptographically locked up to assure users he won’t flood the market—and this year he became the wealthiest member of the tenth Forbes 30 Under 30 class, and the richest known cryptocurrency billionaire. 

In spite of so much of his wealth being locked up he’s already starting to lay the foundation for the eventual landfall that will likely hit his favorite causes including disease control and animal welfare. In February he launched the non-profit FTX Foundation, which has the mandate to give away 1% of FTX net fees and has already earmarked $8.9 million for donations, including six million dollars from other donors looking to follow Bankman-Fried’s lead in ROI.

Bankman-Fried is also establishing himself as a strategic political donor, having given$5 million to a super-PAC supporting U.S. President Joe Biden’s successful 2020 campaign. When Lane asked Bankman-Fried what initiative he’s most “geeked up” about the investor-entrepreneur talked about a different kind of effectiveness: influencing elections by backing candidates. “I had a lot of fun looking at politics last year, doing the math and thinking about what does have impact here? How do you estimate that?” said Bankman-Fried. “I think it was surprisingly effective. And there are more things that we’ll get there.”

Blockinvest Ventures is hereby to help you understand more regarding the investment industry with conscientious advice in ROI. We hope that you can feel the article was helpful and don’t forget to subscribe our website for further news!

Solar energy start-up Aurora hits Unicorn Status after $250 Million Funding Round

Aurora Solar, a software platform for solar sales and design that allows solar professionals to remotely determine various factors key to an installation: from how many solar panels will fit on a property, to the project’s energy production potential and battery needs, to the financial savings that switching to solar will bring to a client. 

Using features such as automated photovoltaic system design, lidar-based shade analysis and AI-assisted 3-D modeling, a solar installer using the Aurora software can save money as well as the time normally required to travel to the location of the installation, capturing its sunlight exposure and processing the results, ahead of providing a customer with a quote. 

Aurora Software illustration
Aurora’s solar design software allows for remote installation planning.

It’s a popular proposition: Aurora claims that more than 40,000 projects are created on its platform each week. Investors are increasingly paying attention, too. Aurora has raised a total $320 million in the past two years after nearly five years of bootstrapping. The startup announced today the closure of a $250 million Series C round—a fivefold increase since its $50 million Series B round announced in November. It is a testament to the increasing attractiveness of the solar industry, where costs for photovoltaic panels have decreased by more than 80% in the past decade, according to some estimates

And even if recent research indicates a reversal in the collapse of solar power price due to rising costs of its key raw material, polysilicon, Aurora’s cofounders say their technology can help push costs related to solar panel installation down further. “If you can be more accurate, and you know what system size fits how much you’re going to produce, what the savings are going to be, you can quote with much more confidence, and this is also going to reduce costs,” says Hopper, adding: “If we can make a dent in soft costs, that would be massive.”

The project was found by Sam Adeyemo and Chris Hopper in 2012 when they were M.B.A. students at Stanford University.

Aurora’s platform, which is powered by a variety of data sources, has been used so far to complete 5 million projects, Adeyemo tells Forbes—95% based in the U.S., with international demand picking up. With every new project, the platform acquires more data. “Increasingly, as our product develops, we’re also generating data that we can use to make the product better. That’s actually one of the most exciting aspects of what we’re doing,” he says. 

The automation potential and its application to other services is also what excites backers like Nomad. “As a software-as-a-service company, Aurora continues to outperform in all traditional metrics and, more importantly, continues to grow at rates that we only see in early-stage companies. The opportunity is beyond their initial SaaS product but in becoming the operating system for the solar industry,” he says.

Solar energy Aurora Cofounders Samuel Adeyemo and Christopher Hooper.
Samuel Adeyemo and Christopher Hooper met while earning their M.B.A.s at Stanford University and founded Aurora in 2013.

This solar energy project is expected to thrive more strongly in the future. Blockinvest Ventures is hereby to help you understand more regarding the investment industry with conscientious advice. We hope that you can feel the article was helpful and don’t forget to subscribe our website for further news!

The Future of Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is one of the most talked-about technologies in business right now. Blockchain tech has the potential to drive major changes and create new opportunities across industries – from banking and cybersecurity to intellectual property and healthcare. But not everyone agrees on what role blockchain should play in the future. What is blockchain, and what impact will it have on business going forward?

The Easiest Way To Invest In Blockchain Technologies

How Blockchain Works

A blockchain is a decentralized database – an electronically distributed ledger or list of records that is accessible to various users. Blockchains use cryptography to log, process, and verify every transaction, making them secure, permanent, and transparent.

There are two general categories of blockchain:

  • Permissionless, which anyone can join
  • Permissioned, which requires participants to be authenticated by the person or group managing it (this category is further divided into private and community blockchain networks)

Who is Using Blockchain Already

Bitcoin is the most well-known example of blockchain technology, but it is joined by a growing number of early adopters. For example, Google, Goldman Sachs, Visa, and Deloitte are investing in blockchain projects. And businesses working on blockchain based services include:

  • Spotify, to manage copyrights
  • IBM, to build a tracking tool for shipping companies and retail chains
  • Eastman Kodak, to create storage for stock photos

What the Future Holds for Blockchain

Blockchain is an emerging technology, so predictions are still mixed about its potential.

In a TechRepublic Research study, 70% of professionals who responded said they hadn’t used blockchain. But 64% of said that they expect blockchain to affect their industry in some way, and most predict a positive result.

A recent Trend Insight Report from analyst firm Gartner made the following forecast:

  • Through 2022, only 10% of enterprises will achieve any radical transformation by using blockchain
  • By 2022, at least one innovative business built on blockchain technology will be worth $10 billion
  • By 2026, the business value added by blockchain will grow to just over $360 billion, then by 2030 grow to more than $3.1 trillion

Cybersecurity is one of the most promising areas of projected growth for blockchain technology. An ongoing challenge for businesses of all sizes is data tampering. Blockchain technology can be used to prevent tampering, keeping data secure and allowing participants to verify a file’s authenticity.

“We believe that blockchain technology will be transformative in the tech and IT sector in the coming years, similar to what the internet did for the world back in the 90s and early 2000s,”  said John Zanni, President of the Acronis Foundation, in Forbes. “Today, part of our storage and backup software lets users notarize any digital data and put that fingerprint on the blockchain to ensure it can’t be tampered with.”

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