Examples of Green-Tech Investments

Hi guys, Scott Asner here.

In my previous blog post, I discussed the possibility of governments using stimulus packages to invest in green technologies that will, in turn, help create new jobs while bringing the U.S. into the forefront of burgeoning industries.

However, it’s easy to just state these claims without giving thought to what that process could look like. So today, I wanted to take the time to go deeper into this topic and discuss a couple of areas where green-tech and green industries can help stimulate job growth.

Building Renovations

Buildings generate nearly 40% of annual global green-house-gas emissions. The two most common sources of energy for buildings are electricity and direct consumption of natural gas and petroleum for things like heating and cooking. This is a large area of energy consumption — which makes it a great area for improvement.

The process of making existing buildings more energy efficient is called “retrofitting.” Often retrofitting involves modifications to existing commercial buildings that may improve energy efficiency or decrease energy demand. Improvements can be done in areas such as lighting, air distribution systems, heating and cooling upgrades, and much more.

Many buildings still need to be “retrofitted” and this could be an area where we invest in higher energy performance commercial building assets while also simulating jobs. It may be worthwhile to increase the current number of buildings being renovated for energy efficiency.

Electric Vehicle Chargers

Bloomberg NEF’s latest analysis predicts that by 2022, there will be over 500 different electric vehicle models available globally. This expanding market will be able to offer dynamic pricing for a spectrum of buyers from luxury to price-sensitive, making EV a viable option for the masses.

The trends show that mass adoption of EV will make its breakthrough soon. According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, the United States will need to invest more than $2.2 billion in charging infrastructure to meet demand for charging by 2025. A breakdown of those numbers shows that $1.3 billion will be needed to make the necessary upgrades to home charging while $940 million would go toward workplace and public charging.

Investments in charging infrastructure are critical to boost EV mass adoption in the U.S., as studies have shown that a lack of charging opportunities remains a top reason why potential buyers aren’t going for these kinds of vehicles.

In instances when the government issues trillions of dollars for stimulus packages – these areas present opportunities for investment. We could help change our infrastructure to support the adoption of these emerging technologies.

These are just two ideas — but the green tech industry is full of great, creative ideas on how we can create new jobs while also bettering our society and preparing ourselves for the world of tomorrow. We can possibly view this challenging moment as an opportunity to propel ourselves forward.

~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

Scott Asner: Thoughts on Investing in Green-Tech

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us what a global economic crisis looks like.

In just the first few weeks of the outbreak, the U.S. economy was pushed to the brink of a recession more severe than the one experienced in 2008. And due to the extraordinary nature of this emergency, policymakers were left working without a playbook and moved forward to issue trillions of dollars in stimulus in an attempt to maintain jobs and drive recovery.

As the world watches where things go from here, the uncertainty of this downturn is echoing the ambiguity of the virus itself. We have no idea when this crisis will end, and what our world will look like on the other side. That lack of confidence shows in our current market situation.

Even with the unprecedented efforts put in place to protect American jobs, will it be enough to truly keep us afloat until this crisis is ‘over?’ Perhaps what we really need is a sustainable, and fast, job-based recovery that can also grow long-term.

One immediate example comes to mind when thinking of an important sector that can accommodate a large influx of new jobs: green industries.

The rationale is simple, and the impact is two-fold: investing in green industries and tech creates a bounty of new jobs — while simultaneously addressing larger universal concerns such as climate change and a shifting energy sector.

A University of Oxford paper published in May 2020 sheds light on the potential success of this approach. The paper claims that renewable energy generates more jobs in the short-run — such as when jobs are scarce in the middle of a recession. The paper also advocates that recovery policies can deliver on both economic and sustainability goals. Given the magnitude of both crises, this would be an admirable mark to shoot for.

While we can understand the logic behind the standard stimulus packages used to prevent economic collapse, we have also seen them fail to help many everyday Americans, and they do little to invest in fixing issues for the long term. They appear to be necessary band-aids that cover temporary wounds, while they could be used for so much more.

Governments could use portions of these stimulus budgets to redirect investments into green technologies and industries, which will allow us to stabilize, grow and lead the economy into the future.

If you need more proof, here are the numbers: in 2011, the World Bank showed that every $1 million dollars of spending in solar, wind and energy efficiency creates almost 3 times more jobs than the oil and gas sectors. Additionally, for every $1 million in spending, 7.5 full-time jobs can be generated in renewable infrastructure, 7.7 in energy efficiency, but only 2.7 in fossil fuels.

The evidence is clear that this sector is extremely capable of providing cost-effective employment at scale, and if we chose to focus fiscal recovery packages to include green industries, then we can use a jobs-based recovery model that also helps us create a better world.

~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

Best Apps to Make Your Life Easier

Hey everybody,

As someone who has always been interested in the tech space – I want to take a moment to talk about apps. They’re everywhere and it seems like more options are coming out every day. There are apps that manage finances, apps to manage social media, and even apps to manage your home.

As the saying goes, “there’s an app for that.” So today, I thought I’d share some of the best apps that I’ve been using recently. Maybe they can help you too.

Brave – a Peaceful Internet

I hate ads. They’re everywhere and advertisers never seem to run out of ways to annoy you with their increasingly intrusive targeting capabilities. If you feel the same way, you should check out Brave – it’s an internet browser that blocks pesky advertisements as soon as you start using it. Say goodbye to obnoxious popups, side panel display ads and questionnaires. It is also worth mentioning that the added bonus of this app is a dramatically improved battery life for your mobile device, as it will no longer be constantly pinging between trackers. If you want a faster, lighter internet experience, I highly recommend this app.

Soundcloud – a Better Way to Listen to Music

Have you ever wanted a way to download and listen to your music, podcasts, shows all in one place? If so, then you should download Soundcloud. This app has apparently been around for a while now, but it is new to me and I find myself using it all the time.

I use this app to catch up on news shows and to listen to some of my favorite music, anytime and anywhere. One of the reasons that I recommend using this app is because the sheer number of platforms and users it has. It has become so popular that anything you’d like to listen to is available through the app.

Nwsty – News Source from One Location

This is a fantastic app that I think everyone could use these days. Nwsty is an app that puts together the biggest headlines of the day and places them all in one location. With this app, you won’t have to go from one news outlet to the next. It’s all just right there, conveniently curated for your interests.

Not only does this make keeping up with current events easier, but it drastically reduces the amount of time that you use for browsing media content. As a news junkie myself, I know all too well how easy it is to get sucked into different news stories – this app keeps me informed, but in a way that doesn’t require a huge time commitment.

My Fitness Pal – Easy Nutritional Guide

This is an app that anyone into healthy lifestyles will enjoy. It’s a combination of a calorie tracker and a nutrition guide. The app comes with a library of nutritional information that stores and tracks your diet – giving you a complete view of how many calories you’ve consumed while also giving you the nutritional breakdown as well.

One of the neatest things about this app is the ability to scan barcodes, which retrieves information directly from their library and places it into your phone. This is a great app for anyone looking to mind their calories or anyone interested in learning about their nutritional habits.

Mint – Automated Finances

This app was recommended to me as a way to keep track of personal finances without having to spend too much time managing budgets. Most people sit down at the end of the month to gauge their spending and income; however, that can be a pain and very time consuming depending on how disorganized the month has been.

With Mint, the user simply syncs their accounts with their bank, and it will automatically keep track of everything for you. Mint automatically groups purchases and incomes into various categories and allows you to view how you are handling your finances. The only thing that is required on your part is to establish your budget and occasionally assign a category to a purchase here and there.

The creators of this app are the same people who made Quicken, so they are trustworthy and are sure to protect your information. The app also allows you to check your credit in real time and offers interesting charts and graphs to give you a visual level of your budget.

Venmo

Keeping in the same area of finance – Venmo is an app that you’ve always wanted but might not have heard about. It allows you to set up an account, link it with your bank information and then send/receive funds to and from other users. In an increasingly cashless society, it’s the digital equivalent of borrowing a dollar from a friend.

This app is a good tool to have in case you need to transfer funds to someone, but in a much faster and easier way than a wire transfer. You can even pay rent and utilities with the platform. You’ll be surprised at how often you’ll use this app.

*****

Hopefully you found these apps interesting and maybe they will help make your life just a little bit easier. Do you have any that you recommend? If so – let me know in the comments.

Talk again soon,

~ Scott Asner Kansas City, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG)