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The Economic Perspective 03/29/2024

The Latest Trending Economic, Environmental and Infrastructure News Curated for You by The Balmoral Group

The Balmoral Group provides practical, professional and precise Economics, Data Analytics, and Engineering Consulting services and is part of a globally integrated team.

Happy Friday!

Hello faithful readers!  Thanks for checking out this week's edition; we have some interesting pieces on conservation progress in Florida, geologic hydrogen, energy transitions, and more.

We hope you enjoy the read and let us know what you think! Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be interested. If you’d like to view previous editions please click here, or to subscribe please click here!

Hope it's a great Easter weekend for you!  See you next week. 


Coral Reef Restoration and Conservation Lands Acquisitions

This past week, Governor DeSantis awarded $9.5 million for 6 projects as parts of Florida's Coral Reef Restoration and Recovery Initiative. These projects are aimed to expand propagation infrastructure and research, outplanting and restoration efforts. Additionally, the Governor approved the acquisition of 28,000 acres of lands for conservation. These include 25,039 acres within the Caloosahatchee-Big Cypress Corridor in Collier and Hendry counties, 1,361 acres within the Yarborough Ranch Florida Forever Project in Seminole County and 1,342 acres within the Lake Hatchineha Watershed Florida Forever Project in Polk County.

Data Center Construction Surge Continues

Between Oracle’s planned $10 billion data center expansion, Google’s new $1 billion data center in Kansas City, Missouri and $576 million data center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Meta’s new $800 million data center in Rosemount, Minnesota, the industry is expanding at a rapid pace. Data center activity, measured in megawatts, rose 46% in the second half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. With the global AI software market expected to grow 31.4% annually through 2027 (from $64 billion in 2022 to $251 billion in 2027), construction workers and supplies will continue to be in high demand. Read More.

Global Rush for Buried Hydrogen

Geologic hydrogen that exists below Earth’s surface has long been billed as a potential green energy source that could play a pivotal role in the energy transition. The problem with hydrogen has been that production has historically been fueled by fossil fuels, and green hydrogen uses renewable electricity for its production, but this is costly. Geologic hydrogen would remove these cost and carbon production issues. The search for hydrogen deposits has been occurring in the U.S., Canada, Australia, France, Spain, and more. Significant deposits have been found in France with the potential for 200 years of projected hydrogen demand potentially discoverable. Read More.

Groundbreaking Study Details Economic Benefits of Marine Conservation

In the most comprehensive review of its kind to date, a newly published study highlights the economic advantages of marine protected areas (MPAs), indicating their significant contributions to fishing and tourism industries worldwide. Spanning diverse ecosystems across 34 countries, the research demonstrates that MPAs enhance both local fishing yields and tourism revenues, debunking misconceptions about their economic impacts. The study underscores the effectiveness of fully protected areas, particularly no-take marine reserves, in generating substantial benefits while aiding in ocean restoration and climate resilience. With global efforts aimed at expanding ocean conservation, the study emphasizes the urgent need to prioritize MPA establishment for sustainable economic and environmental gains. Read more here.

EPA Announces 2024 ENERGY STAR Awards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its 2024 ENERGY STAR awards this past Tuesday. These awards are designated for organizations making “significant contributions in support of the clean energy transition”. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR and their partners have contributed to more than 4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and avoided $500 billion in energy costs. These 211 organizations from 38 states are all making interesting and impactful efforts to reduce GHG emissions on our environment, and pushing the energy sector forward. Winners included large corporations (Food Lion, General Motors, among others) and also included small organizations (like Scott County Schools in Kentucky). Read the organization list, and more information here.

Energy Clients Lack Climate Transition Plans

Citi found that almost half of the energy companies it lends to are lacking comprehensive plans aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The energy companies were ranked from “low” to “strong” based on their plans to reduce emissions across three categories, known as scopes. However, just about 8% of its energy clients had a comprehensive and ambitious transition plan. Citigroup remains focused to work side-by-side with its clients to help them achieve their goals. Read more here.

Data Visualization of the Week

Trillions of Dollars

This data visualization of various trillion dollar amounts helps interpret the context of things like US Healthcare Spending, the Global Cost of Cybercrime, offshore hidden wealth, external debt of low and middle income countries, among others.  It comes from data viz guru David McCandless.  Check it out at


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