Solar costs jumped in 2021 amid supply chain constraints, report shows

Solar costs jumped in 2021 amid supply chain constraints, report shows
The report’s release comes amid concerns about energy security after Russia invaded Ukraine. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 10 March 2022

Solar costs jumped in 2021 amid supply chain constraints, report shows

Solar costs jumped in 2021 amid supply chain constraints, report shows

RIYADH: Broad economic challenges including supply chain constraints have increased solar costs in 2021 as prices rose as much as 18 percent, the US Solar Market Insight report showed. 

Solar prices increased across all three markets — residential, commercial and utility scale — for the first time since Wood Mackenzie began tracking the data in 2014, it added. 

During 2021, the solar industry established a record 23.6 gigawatts of new capacity, amounting to a 19 percent increase from the year earlier.

The report’s release comes amid concerns about energy security after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The US Solar Market Insight report is a quarterly publication by the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie.


Dollar drops as Fed’s Powell repeats disinflation comments, seen less-hawkish

Dollar drops as Fed’s Powell repeats disinflation comments, seen less-hawkish
Updated 58 min 15 sec ago

Dollar drops as Fed’s Powell repeats disinflation comments, seen less-hawkish

Dollar drops as Fed’s Powell repeats disinflation comments, seen less-hawkish

NEW YORK: The dollar fell from one-month highs on Tuesday after US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell doubled down on statements last week that disinflation has started, saying he expects significant declines in inflation this year.

Powell did not revert to a hawkish stance despite last Friday's blockbuster US non-farm payrolls report, which led investors to believe the Fed is not likely to tighten more than what has been priced in by the market.

The greenback dropped across the board, led by losses versus the yen, Swiss franc, as well as the Australian and New Zealand dollar.

In a question-and-answer session at the Economic Club of Washington, the Fed chief did say the return to the US central bank's inflation goal of 2 percent would be a bumpy process, which would need further rate increases.

Powell, however, declined to equate the surprising strength in the job market shown in the January employment report with an expectation that interest rates would need to be higher than Fed officials estimated late last year.

Friday's US jobs report wrongfooted traders who were banking on an imminent pause in the Fed's rate-hike cycle, and gave the dollar a leg up.

The dollar index, which measures the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, fell to session lows after Powell's remarks. It was last down 0.2 percent at 103.39.

US interest-rate futures show that markets are expecting the Fed funds rate to peak just above 5.1 percent by June, compared with expectations of a peak below 5 percent prior to Friday's jobs report.

In afternoon trading, the euro was little changed against the dollar at $1.0719 after earlier falling to a five-week low of $1.0670.

The dollar dropped 1.2 percent versus the yen to 131.07 yen, after rising to a one-month peak on Monday. The yen was hit by a Nikkei report that said Japan's government has sounded out Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Masayoshi Amamiya to succeed incumbent Haruhiko Kuroda as central bank governor.

Amamiya is seen as more dovish than other contenders.

Sterling was up 0.1 percent against the dollar $1.2035 after tumbling to a one-month low of $1.1974 in the previous session.

Investors are looking for further commentary from central bankers this week following what was viewed as a dovish outcome of the Bank of England's meeting last week. The Australian dollar was up 0.9 percent at $0.6943 after having surged as much as 1 percent after the country's central bank raised its cash rate by 25 basis points and said more increases would be needed, a more hawkish policy tilt than many had expected.


Assets allocated to APICORP’s debut green bond reach $335m in 2022

Assets allocated to APICORP’s debut green bond reach $335m in 2022
Updated 08 February 2023

Assets allocated to APICORP’s debut green bond reach $335m in 2022

Assets allocated to APICORP’s debut green bond reach $335m in 2022

RIYADH: Assets allocated to the Arab Petroleum Investment Corp.’s debut green bond reached $335 million as of Oct.31, 2022, according to the financial institution’s latest green bond report for the last year.

It noted that APICORP’s total portfolio of environmentally linked assets financed in 2022 as of Oct.31 reached $664 million, which makes up 13 percent of the total loan portfolio compared to 3 percent in 2016.

The latest report follows the global best practices to measure the impact of APICORP’s debut $750 million green bond issuance in October 2021, which has been allocated to 10 projects in five countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, and Spain, according to a statement.

The remaining $415 million from the unallocated green bond proceeds was invested into other green assets including securities and funds which comply with the green bond framework.

According to APICORP, the financed projects collectively generate 9.4 terawatt-hours of clean energy for nearly 1 million homes and help reduce annual emissions of 20 million tons of carbon dioxide.

“APICORP follows a rigorous review process for any transaction identified as eligible for green financing under our Green Bond Framework,” said Yasser Gado, treasurer and chairman of the Green Bond Committee at APICORP.

He added: “Through our due diligence process, deployment of proceeds has been challenging given the economic conditions that impact manufacturing and supply chain, but we expect conditions to improve and we can finance high-quality clean energy projects with the remaining proceeds.”

 The global green bond market has been gaining traction in the past decade and is projected to surpass $5 trillion by 2025, driven by increasing demand for sustainable investment options and a growing awareness of the need to address climate change challenges

Established in 1975 by 10 Arab oil-exporting countries, APICORP is an energy-focused multilateral financial institution, which works to support the sustainable development of the region’s energy sector and related industries through a range of financing and direct equity solutions, as well as energy research and advisory services.


Moody’s cuts Egypt rating to B3, changes outlook to stable

Moody’s cuts Egypt rating to B3, changes outlook to stable
Updated 57 min 22 sec ago

Moody’s cuts Egypt rating to B3, changes outlook to stable

Moody’s cuts Egypt rating to B3, changes outlook to stable

RIYADH: Ratings agency Moody's lowered Egypt's sovereign rating by one notch to B3 from B2 on Tuesday, citing the country's reduced external buffers and shock absorption capacity.

The agency changed its outlook for Egypt to stable from negative.

"Moody's does not expect Egypt's liquidity and external positions to rebound quickly," the agency said.

Egypt has continued to face a foreign currency shortage despite allowing the Egyptian pound to depreciate sharply in recent months.

The country's headline inflation is expected to accelerate further in January after surging to its highest in five years in December, according to a Reuters poll.

The agency also lowered Egypt's local-currency ceilings to Ba3 from Ba2.


Oil Updates — Crude steady; EIA says US crude output to rise in 2023 

Oil Updates — Crude steady; EIA says US crude output to rise in 2023 
Updated 08 February 2023

Oil Updates — Crude steady; EIA says US crude output to rise in 2023 

Oil Updates — Crude steady; EIA says US crude output to rise in 2023 

RIYADH: Oil prices were little changed on Wednesday amid subdued movements in the dollar, and as investors waited for more inventory data for more clues on demand trends. 

Brent crude futures rose by 06 cents to $83.75 a barrel at 08.00 a.m. Saudi time, after gaining 3.3 percent in the previous session. 

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures climbed by 19 cents to $77.33, after jumping 4.1 percent in the previous session. 

US crude output to rise in 2023, while demand to stay flat: EIA 

US crude production will rise in 2023, while demand will stay flat, the US Energy Information Administration said in its Short-Term Energy Outlook on Tuesday. 

The EIA projected that crude production will rise to 12.49 million barrels per day in 2023 and 12.65 million bpd in 2024. 

The agency also projected petroleum and other liquid fuels consumption would stay flat at 20.3 million bpd in 2023 and rise to 20.6 million bpd in 2024.

BP makes record profit in 2022 

BP reported on Tuesday a record profit of $27.6 billion for 2022 and hiked its dividend, but infuriated climate activists by rowing back on plans to slash oil and gas output and reduce carbon emissions by 2030. 

The blockbuster profit follows similar reports from rivals Shell, Exxon Mobil and Chevron last week after energy prices surged in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, prompting new calls to further tax the sector as households struggle to pay energy bills. 

BP’s $4.8 billion fourth-quarter underlying replacement cost profit, its definition of net income, narrowly missed a $5 billion company-provided analyst forecast. 

The results were impacted by weaker gas trading activity after an “exceptional” third quarter, higher refinery maintenance and lower oil and gas prices. 

But for the year, BP’s $27.6 billion profit exceeded its 2008 record of $26 billion despite a $25 billion write-down of its Russian assets. 

That allowed it to boost its dividend by 10 percent to 6.61 cents per share, after halving it in the wake of the pandemic, and announce plans to repurchase $2.75 billion worth of shares over the next three months after buying $11.7 billion in 2022. 

(With input from Reuters) 

 


Saudi Arabia calls on African mining industry to invest in Kingdom’s ‘rich, vast natural resources’

Saudi Arabia calls on African mining industry to invest in Kingdom’s ‘rich, vast natural resources’
Updated 08 February 2023

Saudi Arabia calls on African mining industry to invest in Kingdom’s ‘rich, vast natural resources’

Saudi Arabia calls on African mining industry to invest in Kingdom’s ‘rich, vast natural resources’
  • Khalid Al-Mudayfer, deputy minister for mining affairs, told the African Mining Conference in Cape Town the value of the Kingdom’s mineral wealth is estimated at $1.3 trillion

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia called on leading stakeholders in the mining industry across Africa to work together and benefit from the Kingdom’s rich and vast natural resources, to help support economic growth and social development.

Speaking during the African Mining Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, Khalid Al-Mudayfer, the Saudi deputy minister for mining affairs, said the value of the Kingdom’s mineral wealth is estimated at $1.3 trillion, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

He reviewed investment opportunities offered by the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, along with the infrastructure and legislative capabilities of the Kingdom, which he said positions Saudi Arabia as the leading global destination for investment in the mining sector.

Al-Mudayfer, who inaugurated a meeting organized by the ministry for potential investors, highlighted the great opportunities he said were available in the Kingdom, and its efforts to develop its mining sector.

He spoke about the modernization of the mining investment system, which includes regulatory infrastructure for the sector and a clear, transparent and simple environment for investors, along with the availability of geological data for investors, improvements to basic infrastructure, and incentives for those who invest.

The Saudi delegation at the four-day exhibition included representatives from the Ministry of Investment, the National Industry Development and Logistics Program, the Saudi Geological Survey, and the National Center for Industrial Development.

The Saudi pavilion at the event showcases the Kingdom’s continual efforts to develop its mining sector by facilitating access to geological data and updating regulations and legislation to attract investors, build the foundations for sustainability, and develop a mining sector based on integrated value chains.