May 17, 2020

Investment in Solar Stocks Rises Amidst Nuclear Power Plant Crisis in Japan

2 min
Investment in Solar energy stocks soars as nuclear power plants take a dive
The nuclear power plant crisis unfolding in Japan following the massive earthquake last week has the worlds nuclear energy community scrambling, while t...
The nuclear power plant crisis unfolding in Japan following the massive earthquake last week has the world’s nuclear energy community scrambling, while the renewable energy sector reaps the benefits. Various countries around the world, in Europe in particular, are rethinking their nuclear power strategies, and traders are making a bold and dramatic shift toward renewable energy—solar being the number one pick.

Solar stocks are soaring this week, and energy analysts predict that more countries and businesses will turn to renewables and natural gas in the wake of Japan’s nuclear power plant crisis. Nuclear has almost overnight become more expensive than ever, now that new safeguards will need to be considered in their construction. Solar power, on the other hand, is being hailed as a cheaper, faster and more flexible alternative, and may be the key to seeing Japan through their pending energy crisis now that several nuclear reactors will no longer be supplying electricity to the devastated country.


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Ironically, it was just reported yesterday that the solar industry would take a beating from the Japanese earthquake situation since several solar panel companies rely on Japanese components and manufacturing, which has come to a halt. However, the stock market says otherwise, and it seems that investors are taking the earthquake and nuclear crisis as a sign that renewables are the smart investment for the future.

Japanese stocks fell 10 percent in recent days. Europe is down 3 percent, and the U.S. down 2.5 percent on the Nasdaq.

However, trading today shows a remarkable surge in solar power investment, as solar energy companies are on the rise. First Solar (FSLR) is up $3.84 (2.6 percent) to $150.75. Suntech (STP) is up 25 cents (3 percent) to $8.53. SunPower (SPWRA) is up 81 cents (5.6 percent) to $15.31. Yingli Green Energy (YGE) is up 28 cents (2.5 percent) to $11.54. Finally, Canadian Solar (CSIQ) is up 44 cents (4.1 percent) to $11.19.

Leading the solar stock rise is German solar panel company, Solarworld AG, whose stock rose 32 percent. This is undoubtedly related to Germany’s decision to shut down nuclear power activities countrywide.

Perhaps the tragedy that is the earthquake in Japan will usher in a new era in renewable energy, and the risky, dangerous era of nuclear energy will come to its conclusion.

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Jun 7, 2021

Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Commodity trading company Trafigura and Yara International sign MoU to explore developing ammonia as a clean fuel in shipping

Independent commodity trading company Trafigura and Yara International have signed an MoU to explore developing ammonia as a clean fuel in shipping and ammonia fuel infrastructure.

Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050. 

How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.

Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:

  • The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
  • Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
  • Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities

Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.  

There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.

Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.

Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.

Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.

It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.

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