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Alternative Market Briefing

Other Voices: The future of energy investment

Friday, March 16, 2018

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Enda Fahy
By: Enda Fahy, Director of Alternatives, Fundrock

The idea of using canaries in coal mines to detect noxious gases is credited to John Scott Haldane. He was known as "the father of oxygen therapy". His research on carbon monoxide led him to recommend using the birds, as they were more sensitive to the gas than humans. If the bird became ill or died, that would give miners a warning to evacuate. The last canary retired in 1986 to be replaced by an electronic smell detector (incidentally the last pit pony was only retired in 1999). Will the coal mine now follow its one time employee, the canary, down the road of redundancy?

The direction of travel in renewable energy is clear. Substantial gains have been made in the productivity of solar panels and wind energy. Recent developments in other fields, such as battery energy, re-affirm these developments. What is becoming increasingly clear is that our model of dependency on oil-based consumption will change. This will have a dramatic impact on the investment world and the small changes that are taking place now will become commonplace in the next 10 to 20 years.

Wind and solar energy are disrupting a century-old market in providing electricity. The huge increases in productivity that were brought about during the Industrial Revolution in the UK, by the use of steam power and its underlying asset coal, are now drawing to an end.

Energy Revolution

The Industrial Revolution might just as well have been called ......................

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