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Booming renewables industry halves wholesale power prices

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Renewable energy’s rapid expansion significantly slashed wholesale power prices in the national energy grid during the latter part of last year.

Prices dropped by more than half in the final quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in the previous year, primarily due to the surge in power generated from large-scale renewables and rooftop solar installations.

For a few hours on New Year’s Eve, South Australia achieved a remarkable feat by relying entirely on rooftop solar panels to meet its energy needs.

A recent report from the Australian Energy Market Operator underscores the increasing significance of renewables in the energy grid, with renewable sources accounting for up to 72% of the total power demand on the east coast during specific intervals over the three-month period.

Regional variations

However, power demand and wholesale prices exhibited regional variations, with Queensland and New South Wales experiencing higher prices compared to South Australia and Victoria.

This disparity can be attributed to an unusually warm spring and summer in some regions of the country.

The national energy market encompasses all states except Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

AEMO’s CEO, Daniel Westerman, emphasized that renewables will continue to exert a growing influence on the energy grid.

He stated, “We are regularly seeing records set for the higher contribution of renewables and lower levels of energy drawn from the grid because of rooftop solar.”

Westerman also highlighted the potential for renewables to push the spot price of power below zero, particularly during daylight hours.

Throughout the three-month period, the spot price in the national energy market was at or below zero approximately one-fifth of the time. AEMO predicts that such opportunities will become crucial in the coming years, particularly as pumped hydro projects like Snowy 2.0 rely on affordable energy to pump water uphill.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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Global markets hit record highs all thanks to AI

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Is AI the main contributor behind the soaring markets in Australia, the US, Japan, and Germany?

Financial markets worldwide have witnessed record highs, creating a wave of optimism among investors.

The surge is attributed to a combination of positive economic indicators, policy developments, and the integration of AI across key economies, including Australia, the United States, Japan, and Germany. #ticker today #featured

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Dune Part 2 sets box office ablaze with $178m worldwide

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As “Dune: Part Two” continues its intergalactic journey on the silver screen, director Denis Villeneuve’s epic sequel has ignited the international box office, amassing a stellar $97 million from 71 overseas markets.

This impressive overseas performance has propelled the film’s global tally to a promising $178.5 million, further solidifying its status as a cinematic force to be reckoned with.

Starring powerhouse talents such as Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, “Dune: Part Two” has captured the imagination of audiences worldwide, earning widespread acclaim and enthusiastic support.

The film’s success in North American theaters, where it secured the biggest domestic opening weekend of the year with $81.5 million, has been complemented by robust ticket sales in international territories.

Large formats

The immense popularity of “Dune: Part Two” has been particularly evident in premium large formats, such as Imax, which accounted for 48% of initial sales, driving up the film’s revenue even further. Mary Parent, producer of “Dune,” remarked on the film’s cultural impact, expressing confidence in its longevity at the box office.

Despite facing challenges due to the hefty production and promotional costs—reportedly totaling $190 million and $100 million respectively—the sequel has already demonstrated its box office prowess, surpassing expectations in its initial run.

With a global audience eagerly embracing the continuation of Frank Herbert’s epic saga, “Dune: Part Two” is poised for a successful box office run.

The film’s international debut marks a significant milestone in Villeneuve’s career, achieving the largest opening weekend in all 71 markets—a testament to its universal appeal. Notable highlights include the United Kingdom, where it earned $11.8 million, as well as France ($9.6 million), Germany ($9.1 million), Korea ($6.9 million), and Australia ($6 million).

With upcoming releases in key markets such as China and Japan, “Dune: Part Two” is poised to further bolster its global box office performance.

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Can’t beat ’em, buy ’em – Will Apple buy an EV maker next?

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Tesla’s competitors, including Rivian, Lucid, and Fisker, find themselves grappling with significant challenges, sparking speculation about potential acquisitions and partnerships within the industry.

Rivian, once hailed as a formidable rival to Tesla, has faced a stark reversal of fortunes.

Following a disappointing quarter and outlook, the company announced a workforce reduction of approximately 10%, while its market capitalization plummeted from a peak of $153 billion in 2021 to $11 billion.

Speculation arose about tech giant Apple considering an acquisition of Rivian, with industry experts citing the company’s low valuation as a potential attraction.

Gene Munster, managing partner of Deepwater Asset Management, suggested that Apple, having recently abandoned its own EV project, might view Rivian as an opportunity to enter the EV market.

Apple’s bad luck

While Apple’s history of acquisitions has been relatively conservative, Munster emphasized the potential significance of such a move for the tech giant.

Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk offered a grim assessment of Rivian’s prospects, highlighting the urgency for cost-cutting measures and operational improvements. Musk’s remarks underscored the precarious position facing Rivian as it navigates through challenging market conditions.

In a similar vein, Lucid Motors has experienced a substantial decline in its market capitalization, dropping from a peak of $91.4 billion to $7.6 billion.

The company’s production targets have been revised downwards significantly, leading to speculation about its future viability. Despite rumors of a potential acquisition by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, no such deal has materialized, leaving Lucid to confront its operational and financial hurdles independently.

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