Abu Dhabi-based agency calls for clean energy investments to double

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Saudi Acwa Power-generating windmills are pictured in Jbel Sendouq, on the outskirts of Tangier, Morocco, June 29, 2018. REUTERS
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IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera during a press conference after the 10th session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) council, which gathered international delegates and experts to discuss reports on the advancement of renewable energy worldwide. (AFP)
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Updated 12 January 2020

Abu Dhabi-based agency calls for clean energy investments to double

  • IRENA said that electricity output from renewable sources would more than double over the next decade

ABU DHABI: An international agency promoting clean energy called Sunday for investments in renewable energy projects to be more than doubled, redirecting funds from fossil fuels.
The Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) also said that electricity output from renewable sources would more than double over the next decade.
“The agency’s data shows that annual renewable energy investment needs to double from around $330 billion today to close to $750 billion to deploy renewable energy at the speed required,” it said in a report.
“Much of the needed investment can be met by redirecting planned fossil fuel investment,” IRENA said.
It estimated as much as $10 trillion worth of investments are planned in non-renewables-related energy projects by 2030, risking failure to meet the goals of fighting global warming.
Some $2.6 trillion had been invested in renewable energy projects by end 2019, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.
IRENA director general Francesco La Camera told reporters on the sidelines of its annual assembly in Abu Dhabi that renewable energy programs must be accelerated.
If we want to deal “with the consequences of climate change, we have to accelerate our path. It means we have to go and double our investments in renewables,” he said.
IRENA’s report said additional investment in renewables can achieve substantial savings, including minimizing losses caused by climate change as a result of inaction.
“Savings could amount to between $1.6 trillion and $3.7 trillion annually by 2030, three to seven times higher than investment costs for the energy transformation,” the report said.
Electricity from renewable sources, mainly solar and wind, will supply 57 percent of global power by the end of the current decade, up from just 26 percent currently, IRENA said.
The falling costs of renewable energy has greatly enhanced its contribution.
Over the past 10 years, solar costs have dived by 90 percent and wind turbine prices have halved in the same period, IRENA said.


S&P 500 inches closer to record high

Updated 49 min 26 sec ago

S&P 500 inches closer to record high

  • US stock market index returns to levels last seen before the onset of coronavirus crisis

NEW YORK: The S&P 500 on Tuesday closed in on its February record high, returning to levels last seen before the onset of the coronavirus crisis that caused one of Wall Street’s most dramatic crashes in history.

The benchmark index was about half a percent below its peak hit on Feb. 19, when investors started dumping shares in anticipation of what proved to be the biggest slump in the US economy since the Great Depression.

Ultra-low interest rates, trillions of dollars in stimulus and, more recently, a better-than-feared second quarter earnings season have allowed all three of Wall Street’s main indexes to recover.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq has led the charge, boosted by “stay-at-home winners” Amazon.com Inc., Netflix Inc. and Apple Inc. The index was down about 0.4 percent.

The blue chip Dow surged 1.2 percent, coming within 5 percent of its February peak.

“You’ve got to admit that this is a market that wants to go up, despite tensions between US-China, despite news of the coronavirus not being particularly encouraging,” said Andrea Cicione, a strategist at TS Lombard.

“We’re facing an emergency from the health, economy and employment point of view — the outlook is a lot less rosy. There’s a disconnect between valuation and the actual outlook even though lower rates to some degree justify high valuation.”

Aiding sentiment, President Vladimir Putin claimed Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine. But the approval’s speed has concerned some experts as the vaccine still must complete final trials.

Investors are now hoping Republicans and Democrats will resolve their differences and agree on another relief program to support about 30 million unemployed Americans, as the battle with the virus outbreak was far from over with US cases surpassing 5 million last week.

Also in focus are Sino-US tensions ahead of high-stakes trade talks in the coming weekend.

“Certainly the rhetoric from Washington has been negative with regards to China ... there’s plenty of things to worry about, but markets are really focused more on the very easy fiscal and monetary policies at this point,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.

Financials, energy and industrial sectors, that have lagged the benchmark index this year, provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500 on Tuesday.

The S&P 500 was set to rise for the eighth straight session, its longest streak of gains since April 2019.

The S&P 500 was up 15.39 points, or 0.46 percent, at 3,375.86, about 18 points shy of its high of 3,393.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 341.41 points, or 1.23 percent, at 28,132.85, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 48.37 points, or 0.44 percent, at 10,919.99.

Royal Caribbean Group jumped 4.6 percent after it hinted at new safety measures aimed at getting sailing going again after months of cancellations. Peers Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. and Carnival Corp. also rose.

US mall owner Simon Property Group Inc. gained 4.1 percent despite posting a disappointing second quarter profit, as its CEO expressed some hope over a recovery in retail as lockdown measures in some regions eased.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 3.44-to-1 on the NYSE and 1.44-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 35 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 50 new highs and four new lows.