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The Economic Perspective 12/16/2022

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

The Latest Trending Economic, Environmental and Demographic 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.

As The Balmoral Group celebrates the holiday season, we are grateful to have such wonderful team members, amazing clients, and to be completing work that positively impacts today’s society.

Looking for fun things to do around Florida this time of year? Go see A Christmas Carol at Orlando Shakes Theatre or hear the Candlelight Processional at America Gardens Theatre. Additionally, you could visit the Henry B. Plant Musuem in Tampa Florida for a Victorian Christmas Stroll to celebrate the warmth and spirit of an old-fashioned holiday, complete with holiday music, cider and cookies.

Or if you're in the Pacific Northwest like me, be sure to find a cozy spot to watch the Christmas Ship Festival just outside of Seattle, where brightly decorated and glowing with thousands of lights, Christmas ships parade through dozens of waterfront neighborhoods. You could also find your way to Leavenworth, the original Christmastown, for their Village of Lights festival, celebrating the season with over half a million Christmas lights, music & entertainment, holiday characters, roasted chestnuts and carolers.

There is no shortage of fun things to do this season, but make sure you spend some time with the people you love while doing them!

This week's edition features articles on electricity shortages, keeping South Florida habitable, and carbon capture, among others.

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!

DOE Puts a Bounty on Carbon Capture

This week the Department of Energy announced some major grant funding for Direct Air Capture (DAC) of CO2. The DOE grants range from $3 million for planning phase efforts to $500 million for construction-ready projects. Ultimately, DOE aims to end up with four DAC locations in the U.S. – each location capable of capturing at least 1 M tons of CO2 annually. Captured CO2 needs to be permanently stored in rock formations or converted into products (concrete, for example). Proponents of DAC suggest that even with dramatic decarbonization, there is still a need to remove legacy CO2. Read more at ScientificAmerican.

Nuclear-fusion lab achieves ‘ignition’: what does it mean?

This week it was announced that scientists at the US National Ignition Facility (NIF) have for the first time achieved the phenomenon known as ignition — creating a nuclear reaction that generates more energy than it consumes. The reactions released roughly 54% more than the energy that went into it and more than double the previous record of 1.3 MJ. It took more than a decade to reach this milestone and it is still a long way before fusion can be a viable way to produce energy as the efficiency of the yield and the rate at which the lasers can produce the pulses need to be drastically increased. Nature

California and the Midwest Face ‘High Risk’ of Electricity Shortages in the Next Five Years

The electrical grid is being pushed past its limits, and California, parts of the Midwest, and parts of couth central US are currently most likely to deal with energy shortfalls. Reasons for this issue vary. In the Midwest few new power sources are being added, while more sources are being retired or shut down. Lack of coordination of renewable energy sources in California are their biggest issues. Supply in California could fall for 10 hours during peak summer months in 2024. Other areas of the United States remain at “elevated risk” and could see issues in years to come. This includes most of the western United States and parts of New England. Read More.

Roads that can Charge EV’s Making Headway in Germany and in United States

Germany’s first public project for wireless charging of electric vehicles started this last week in city of Balingen, just southwest of Stuttgart. The project components consist of a 400-meter-long electric route with two static charging stations in the first phase followed by a 600-meter expansion. The public project is being built with collaboration between Electreon & EnBW, and will charge electric busses, en route to the city. The United States is also testing out wireless electric roads, with the state of Michigan collaborating also with Electreon to install technology for the first wireless charging infrastructure in Motor City, near Detroit Michigan. Similar pilot projects are also being planned for sections of Florida, Utah, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. PEW, TheEVReport

Keeping South Florida Habitable

With increasing concerns over flooding in South Florida as sea levels rise, demand for water pumps has risen in kind. The metal pumps needed to prevent water from flooding homes and businesses during storms and king tides are up to 20 feet tall and weigh as much as 22 tons. Regional authorities expect to spend billions of dollars to install hundreds of stormwater pumps to mitigate flooding risks over the next few decades. Read more from Miami Herald.

Video of the Week

AGC Economist Optimistic About 2023

According to Ken Simonson, chief economist of the Associated General Contractor of America, the overall economy is strong enough to stave off a recession in 2023, and he expects inflation to level off sooner rather than later. Despite a record high level of job openings, Simonson cites continuing strong job growth and positive outlooks for both sales and hiring next year. As for the rise in interest rates, while home building has taken a hit, large markets that are less dependent on interest rates, like infrastructure, power plants or alternative power sources, and manufacturing, are showing strong growth. Read the full interview here


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