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Carbon capture is the way of the future



The U.S. government is betting on carbon capture technology to help reduce planet-warming emissions

The U.S. government may soon require natural gas-fired power plants to install technology to capture planet-warming carbon emissions.

That’s according to sources who spoke to Reuters, ahead of an announcement that could come this week as part of President Joe Biden push to decarbonize the power sector in the next 12 years.

The sources said the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA is expected to unveil standards for new and existing power plants, which belch roughly a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Utility companies may need to decide whether they want to build new natural gas plants with what’s known as carbon capture and storage or CSS technology, or zero-emission renewable energy.

Biden has pledged that the power business will decarbonize by 2035. According to the Clean Air Act, the standards must be based on “best system of emission reduction,” technologies deemed affordable and technically feasible.

And the rules will likely be written expecting a major legal battle. Republican-led states and the energy industry will almost certainly push back.

But two recent developments could bolster the EPA’s expected regulations. The Supreme Court ruled last July that while the EPA could not force a system-wide shift in electric power generation, it could issue plant-specific rules.

And the Inflation Reduction Act, which Biden signed into law last summer, created tax credits making carbon capture more affordable, including more than $100 billion in clean electricity tax incentives.

A narrowly-written requirement for new plant technology paired with credits to make the upgrades could blunt arguments that the new rules are onerous or represent federal overreach.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show fossil fuels accounted for more than 60 per cent of U.S. electricity generation in 2022, with 60 per cent of that coming from gas and 40 per cent from coal.

Renewables accounted for a bit over 20 per cent, with nuclear energy making up the rest. #trending #featured

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Workers rush back to their desks over job fears



Workers across Australia are rushing back to their desks, driving office utilisation rates to their highest levels since February 2020.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays emerge as the busiest in-office days, contrasting with the continued reluctance to return on Fridays.

This insight, drawn from XY Sense data based on 18 enterprise customers in Australia employing approximately 68,000 individuals across 127 buildings, reflects a significant shift in workplace dynamics.

The surge in office attendance coincides with a resurgence in workplace attendance mandates and policies linking physical presence to bonuses and performance reviews.

However, co-founder of XY Sense, Alex Birch, suggests that rising job insecurity, rather than these policies, primarily drives this behavioral shift.

“The pendulum has moved towards the employer, and therefore people feel more obliged to go back into work,” commented Mr. Birch.

Job market

Danielle Wood, chairwoman of the Productivity Commission, anticipates this trend to persist as the job market softens.

She notes a disparity between employer and worker perceptions regarding the productivity benefits of hybrid work arrangements, hinting at potential shifts in the employment landscape.

Meanwhile, economists at the e61 Institute observe a partial reversal of the pandemic-induced “escape to the country” trend.

Rent differentials between regional and capital city dwellings, which narrowed during the pandemic, are now widening again.

This trend suggests a diminishing appeal of remote work options and a return to urban commuting.

Aaron Wong, senior research economist at e61, said the emergence of a “new normal,” characterised by a hybrid lifestyle that blends access to office spaces with proximity to lifestyle amenities such as natural landscapes.

While regional rents decline, rents for homes on the urban fringe surge, reflecting evolving preferences shaped by remote work opportunities.

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Why resilient economy is fuelling demand for Australian property



Despite inflationary pressures, Australian house prices have surged to a record high for the fifth month in a row, as indicated by CoreLogic data.

Australian house prices have not only weathered inflation but have also soared to unprecedented levels, marking the fifth consecutive month of record highs, according to data from CoreLogic.

This resilience reflects the enduring demand for property in the country, showcasing the sustained interest of buyers despite challenging economic conditions.

VentureCrowd’s Head of Property, David Whitting, talks how investors can access alternative ways of property investing.

Presented by VentureCrowd #funding futures #housing #economy

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Three reasons why you don’t need to panic about inflation



Inflation in the US has exceeded expectations for the third consecutive month, driven by increases in essential commodities such as oil, electricity, takeaway food, and medical costs.

  1. Despite a 3.8% year-on-year rise in CPI, it’s notable that this figure has decreased from its previous 9% high.
  2. The robust CPI and economic growth numbers suggest a positive outlook for US corporate earnings.
  3. The S&P500 has seen five 1% drops this year, all of which were met with investors buying the dip.

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