Barclays

Barclays And GSK Know What It Takes To Make A Partnership Successful

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Occasionally, to bring innovation and new initiatives to market companies need partnerships, that can offer scalability, productivity and innovation. In 2013, Barclays and GSK formed a new collaboration combining the skills and expertise of a bank and a healthcare company to help increase access to healthcare and improve economic livelihoods in Africa.

Lloyds Bank Publishes Helping Britain Prosper Plan

Helping businesses prosper(3BL Media/Justmeans) – On 16 March the U.K.’s Chancellor of Exchequer, George Osborne, announced his very controversial 2016 Budget.

Barclays And UNICEF Unlock the Business Potential of the World’s Young People

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The world has never been younger. Youth issues have never been more diverse or interrelated.

Forests Play a Complex But Crucial Role in the Climate Change Equation

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Usually when we talk about climate change and what we can do to mitigate its impacts, we talk about ways to cut back carbon emissions through alternatives, or policy actions, or efficiency measures. We usually don’t think about the role that forests play in this equation. The fact is, forests absorb much of the carbon that our cars, and homes, and power plants emit—about a third of it, actually. That means that if we had three times as much forest as we do today, which, of course we did, not that long ago, we wouldn’t have that big of a problem keeping our climate the way it’s been for a long time.

Of course, forests take a long time to grow and we don’t exactly have millions of acres sitting around, doing nothing, that we can turn into forests. If anything, things are going the other way. Forests are continuously being turned into farmland to feed the growing population. The point is to recognize the important role that forests do play in this unfolding tale of our battle against time in the face of a climate that is becoming unstable.

The relationship is a complicated one, but it’s important that people understand it. Because of the vast amounts of carbon stored in forests, that means that all that carbon is slowly released when a forest is cut down, or very quickly released when a forest burns down.  One study found that deforestation was responsible for 8% of the world’s carbon emissions. Another interaction to consider is the fact that climate change is posing a significant threat to forests through warmer temperatures, droughts, and northward migration of insect pests, emboldened by the warmer temperatures. A recent report in the NY Times described a threat to the aspen trees of the American west, brought on by climate change-induced drought. Drought can also increase the likelihood of forest fires.

Barclays, Citing Solar Threat, Downgrades Electric Utilities

(3Bl Media/Justmeans) - Will large capital-intensive power plants become the buggy whips of the 21st century, finding themselves in the undesirable position of no longer being needed?

Rob Wile of in Business Insider seems to think so.  “It’s been a good run,” he says in the closing line of his assessment of the outlook for the electric utility industry. Citing the sector downgrade by investment bank Barclays from “market weight” to “underweight,” which refers to how much utility investment they are recommending for a typical portfolio, he sees trouble ahead.

That trouble comes in the form of residential solar, which is increasingly taking on the form of a perfect storm from the utilities’ perspective. First, the price of installed rooftop solar has plummeted, falling by half since the year 2000. That led to a rising number of installations, but the utilities could still count on continued sales since they continued to serve as the primary source of storage in the grid-connected systems that have been the predominant configuration. But now the cost of battery storage, helped along by the commercialization of electric vehicles, has also dropped. And if Elon Musk keeps his promise about a super-factory for batteries, the price will drop even further. In this case utilities will be the provider of last resort, only used when all else fails. Yet, even that requires the utilities to maintain roughly the same level of infrastructure as they do today, with little in the way of revenue to show for it.

It is somewhat reminiscent of the old saying, “why buy the cow, if you can get the milk for free?”

The problem is, we need to keep the utilities around, at least for the foreseeable future, because we need them to maintain the grid and to continue to deliver power those who can’t generate their own and also to those who can during those long cloudy spells, when the solar panels are idle and the batteries drained.

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