Musk to offer $100m prize for ‘best’ carbon capture tech

Musk to offer $100m prize for ‘best’ carbon capture tech
CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk reacts following the company's initial public offering at the NASDAQ market in New York June 29, 2010. (REUTERS)
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Updated 23 January 2021

Musk to offer $100m prize for ‘best’ carbon capture tech

Musk to offer $100m prize for ‘best’ carbon capture tech
  • Tesla is also gearing up for an India launch but the US electric carmaker is likely to remain a niche player for years, catering only to the rich and affluent in the world’s second-most populous nation

NEW YORK: Tesla chief and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk took to Twitter to promise a $100 million prize for development of the “best” technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions.
Capturing planet-warming emissions is becoming a critical part of many plans to keep climate change in check, but very little progress has been made on the technology to date, with efforts focused on cutting emissions rather than taking carbon out of the air.
The International Energy Agency said late last year that a sharp rise in the deployment of carbon capture technology was needed if countries are to meet net-zero emissions targets.
“Am donating $100m toward a prize for best carbon capture technology,” Musk wrote in a tweet, followed by a second tweet that promised “Details next week.”
Tesla officials did not immediately respond to a request for additional information.
Musk, who co-founded and sold internet payments company PayPal Holdings, now leads some of the most futuristic companies in the world.
Besides Tesla, he heads rocket company SpaceX and Neuralink, a startup that is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect the human brain to computers.
Newly sworn-in US President Joe Biden has pledged to accelerate the development of carbon capture technology as part of his sweeping plan to tackle climate change.
On Thursday, he named Jennifer Wilcox, an expert in carbon removal technologies, as the principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy at the US Department of Energy.
Tesla is also gearing up for an India launch but the US electric carmaker is likely to remain a niche player for years, catering only to the rich and affluent in the world’s second-most populous nation.
India’s fledgling electric vehicle (EV) market accounted for only 5,000 out of a total 2.4 million cars sold in the country last year. A lack of local production of components and batteries, negligible charging infrastructure and the high cost of EVs mean there have been few takers in the price-conscious market.
It’s also difficult to see how Tesla’s sought-after and expensive autonomous driving features will work on India’s congested roads.
Ammar Master, a forecaster at consultancy LMC Automotive, said he expects Tesla to annually sell only 50-100 of its Model 3 electric sedans in India, at least in the first five years.
“As a country, India is still not so environmentally conscious to pay that much of a premium,” Master said.
“It always comes down to the price point. There will be some high-net-worth individuals like movie stars and top business executives who will look at it for the brand value. But then, how many buyers are there?”
The automobile manufacturer registered a local company in India earlier this month, a step toward its entry in the country, expected to be as early as mid-2021.
Tesla plans to import and sell the Model 3 in India for around $65,000-$75,000 — roughly double the price in the US market, sources familiar with the plans said.
This means it will compete in India’s even smaller luxury EV segment that has recently started seeing interest from the likes of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Daimler’s Mercedes Benz.
The Mercedes Benz EQC, India’s first luxury EV launched in October for $136,000, and has since sold 31 units, according to auto researcher JATO Dynamics. British luxury carmarker JLR, owned by India’s Tata Motors, plans to launch its I-PACE EV before March. It sells in the US for around $70,000.
Although India’s road infrastructure has improved in recent years, traffic discipline — like lane driving — is still rudimentary. Auto analysts say that means many of Tesla’s features like the automatic lane changing function will be tough to deploy on crowded Indian streets.
Stray animals, including cattle, and potholes on the road are a further problem.
“Most of Tesla’s high technology features will be redundant and users will not get the bang for the buck despite paying premium prices,” said Ravi Bhatia, president for India at JATO Dynamics.
Rohan Patel, a senior public policy executive at Tesla in the US, is among those leading efforts around its India launch, the sources familiar with the plans said. The EV giant is looking to hire 15-20 people mainly for sales and marketing, one source said.
Tesla and Patel did not respond to a request for comment.


Fashion firm Rent the Runway aims for nearly $1.3bn valuation in U.S. IPO

Fashion firm Rent the Runway aims for nearly $1.3bn valuation in U.S. IPO
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Updated 7 sec ago

Fashion firm Rent the Runway aims for nearly $1.3bn valuation in U.S. IPO

Fashion firm Rent the Runway aims for nearly $1.3bn valuation in U.S. IPO
  • Rent the Runway plans to sell 15 million shares priced between $18.00 and $21.00 apiece in its IPO

Rent the Runway is aiming for a valuation of nearly $1.3 billion in its U.S. initial public offering, as the fashion rental company looks to cash in on the rising interest in pre-owned clothing.


The company, founded in 2009, lets users rent and shop second-hand clothes and accessories such as handbags and jewelry in over 18,000 styles from more than 750 designer brands. It also allows customers to rent and shop home goods.


Rent the Runway plans to sell 15 million shares priced between $18.00 and $21.00 apiece in its IPO, raising $315 million, according to a filing.


Earlier this month, the Brooklyn, New York-based company disclosed a near 39 percent drop in revenue for the fiscal year 2020. Its top line also took a hit in the first half of this fiscal year, with revenue down 9 percent for the period ended July 31.


Rent the Runway said its active subscribers more than doubled to 111,732 in the first nine months of 2021.


Demand for second-hand clothes has jumped in recent months as customers become increasingly conscious about their carbon footprint, boosting revenues at styling service Stitch Fix and online resale shop ThredUp.


Goldman Sachs & Co, Morgan Stanley and Barclays are the lead underwriters for the offering. Rent the Runway will list its stock on the Nasdaq under the symbol "RENT".


Bitcoin nears record high ahead of futures ETF listing

Bitcoin nears record high ahead of futures ETF listing
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Updated 22 min 45 sec ago

Bitcoin nears record high ahead of futures ETF listing

Bitcoin nears record high ahead of futures ETF listing
  • ProShares' Bitcoin Strategy ETF is expected to list on Tuesday under the ticker BITO

Bitcoin hit a six-month high and was within striking distance of a record on Tuesday as traders bet an anticipated listing of a futures-based U.S. exchange traded fund could herald investment flows into bitcoin and cryptocurrency assets.


Bitcoin, the world's biggest cryptocurrency by market value, rose as far as 1.5 percent during the Asia session to $62,991, its strongest level since the record peak of $64,895 in April.


It is up some 40 percent in October on hopes that the advent of bitcoin exchange traded funds (ETF), of which several are in the works, will allow billions of dollars managed by pension funds and other institutional investors to flow into the sector.


ProShares' Bitcoin Strategy ETF is expected to list on Tuesday under the ticker BITO, provided the U.S. regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, does not object.


Analysts cautioned that the fund will not invest directly in bitcoin - rather in Chicago-traded futures - and so may not have any immediate implications for flows. But speculators have been wagering its launch is a positive signal for spot prices anyway.


Bitcoin futures rose on Tuesday, last trading at $62,690, and spot prices could rise if cash keeps flowing in, said cryptocurrency analysts at Arcane Research.


"This could lead to more constant buying pressure on CME, causing the open interest to rise. This will attract more cash and carry opportunities, leading to buying pressure in the spot market," they said in a note.


Crypto ETFs have launched this year in Canada and Europe amid surging interest in digital assets. VanEck and Valkyrie are among fund managers pursuing U.S.-listed ETF products, although Invesco on Monday dropped its plans for a futures-based ETF.


The Nasdaq on Friday approved the listing of the Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF and Grayscale, the world's largest digital currency manager, is planning to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a spot bitcoin ETF, CNBC has reported.


ProShares ETF is set to begin trade on Tuesday after a 75-day period during which the SEC could object to its listing elapsed on Monday.


Ether the second-largest cryptocurrency, has tracked bitcoin's rise and also traded firmly on Tuesday. It was last up 1.2 percent at $3,790.
 


ACWA Power among bidders of 1,200 MW Saudi renewable energy projects 

ACWA Power among bidders of 1,200 MW Saudi renewable energy projects 
Updated 19 October 2021

ACWA Power among bidders of 1,200 MW Saudi renewable energy projects 

ACWA Power among bidders of 1,200 MW Saudi renewable energy projects 

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Energy announced the list of candidates for bids received from developers, participating in the third phase of renewable energy projects in the Kingdom, consisting of four independent generation projects (IPP) for solar photovoltaic energy with a total capacity of 1200 MW.

French Total Solar and ACWA Power are both candidates for the Wadi Al-Dawasir project with a capacity of 120 MW, while ACWA Power and AlFanar Energy Company are candidates for the Laila project with a capacity of 80 MW, under Category A.


What is the future of food? Dubai forum talks answers

What is the future of food? Dubai forum talks answers
Updated 19 October 2021

What is the future of food? Dubai forum talks answers

What is the future of food? Dubai forum talks answers
  • The UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment Mariam bint Al-Mheiri is opening the first day of the 2-day forum

DUBAI: High-profile personalities in the food and beverage sector gathered at the Dubai Exhibition Center on Tuesday to talk about the future of food. 

The UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment Mariam bint Al-Mheiri is opening the first day of the 2-day forum addressing government efforts in supporting manufacturers. 

Other top executives — from organizations such as Pepsico, Kellogs, and Agthia — will also take the stage to answer questions in food sustainability, supply chain challenges, and other crucial topics in the region’s F&B scene. 


Saudi holdings of US treasury bills fell to lowest in 14 months

Saudi holdings of US treasury bills fell to lowest in 14 months
Updated 19 October 2021

Saudi holdings of US treasury bills fell to lowest in 14 months

Saudi holdings of US treasury bills fell to lowest in 14 months

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's holding of US Treasury securities decreased by the end of August to $124.1 billion, the lowest since May 2020, according to new data from the US government.

The Saudi holdings in August were down by 3.1 percent or $4 billion compared to the previous month.

The holdings declined by 4.5 percent equivalent to $5.9 billion on an annual basis, compared to August 2020, the data showed.