燃煤是不死小強

香港地球之友綠色金融顧問

石化能源在2019年迎來了真正的拐點, 燃煤發電量第一次錄得下跌, 原因可能大家已十分清楚, 自2000年開始太陽能與風能的發電成本不斷下跌, 近年的發電成本已經跌到與燃煤發電十分接近, 甚至有部分地區低於燃煤發電的水平。投資人如單以成本考慮, 現在投資煤電廠需要承受未來數十年的發電成本風險, 絕不可能是一個理想的投資, 很多朋友樂觀地問筆者, 既然太陽能與風能的成本已降到那麼低, 燃煤發電廠是否會在數年內或十年內消失?

可惜這個世界現實往往比理想殘酷, 筆者的答案是在可見將來的數十年內, 燃煤電廠的比例可能會從現在佔全球的百分之四十發電量, 降到四十年後的約百分之二十的發電量, 但不可能會完全消失, 而原因是多方面的。

現時燃煤發電廠主要集中在發展中國家如中國大陸及印度等地, 發展中國家用電的增長率很大, 即使像中國過往十多年風電及太陽能的裝機量世界第一, 但到2019年, 中國的用煤量仍然上升, 停產的煤電廠數量仍低於新建的煤電廠。現實是發電這行業實在太大, 要扭轉整個行業生態, 將現時的舊電廠報廢, 所需要的時間是以數十年計, 這世界沒有神仙棒改變現實。

新能源是好東西, 但新能源有其先天局限, 風能的必要條件, 是有足夠風資源的地方, 調研一個地區的風資源是否足夠, 必須經歷兩年八個季度, 太陽能的情況亦相似, 水電就不用說了, 以上這些新能源, 都受到地域局限影響, 而煤電只要有公路, 就能將煤運到每一角落。風電水電與大陽能, 面對的另一個問題, 是由老天爺控制, 每個時段的發電量都不一樣, 任何電網都不會喜歡現炒現賣一時飽死一時餓死的電供應, 煤電完全百分百可控, 當然更受電網歡迎了。

如果將核能也算成新能源的話, 核能需然與煤電廠一樣發電穩定, 但煤電廠可以隨時關停, 核能一經開動, 關停就非常複雜, 可以說, 煤電集所先天後天優點於一身, 要煤電消失, 實在異常困難。

還有一點鮮為行外人理解的, 是一般煤礦產煤, 有不同等級之分, 最高等級的, 我們稱為焦煤, 其餘的產品是中煤, 煤泥與煤矸石等, 焦煤的主要用途是煉鋼。煤礦產煤後, 都會經過一個洗煤過程, 利用水的旋渦離心力, 將最輕的焦煤選出, 然後再經焦化過程變成焦炭以供煉鋼之用, 其餘所有煤的礦產, 都是副產品, 所以理論上, 即使電煤如何跌價, 煤礦都有必要處理副產品, 新能源如何跌價, 也很難與完全的副產品競爭, 煤電在這角度看來, 確是不死小強。

作為環保人, 我們都必需面對現實, 才能預計未來, 無論綠色經濟如何發展, 筆者相信未來三數十年, 全球發電比例, 風能太陽能核電水電煤電, 最終會各佔百分之十到二十的水平, 石油用量將集中在工業與航天, 要徹底將石化能源的使用踼出地球, 暫是不現實的幻想, 我們若希望進一步減排, 除了節省能源外, 減少吃牛似乎才是最終大招。


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Upcoming Events on Green Finance / 今期綠色金融活動一覽

  1. New Research: Deforestation for Agricultural Commodities – A Driver of Forest Fires in Brazil & Indonesia

    Published by: Chain Reaction Research

    Widespread fires in Brazilian tropical forests were at the center of media attention in 2019. NGOs, politicians and celebrities called for action to stop deforestation for soy and livestock, the main cause of the fires. Indonesia also endured extensive blazes in 2019, often linked to deforestation for palm oil. Forests in Brazil and Indonesia capture carbon, retaining vast amounts of carbon dioxide and regulating global temperatures. Fires release that stored CO2 back to the atmosphere, contributing to further climate change.

    In 2020, Chain Reaction Research developed this report to describe the main drivers of the fires in Brazil and Indonesia, the actors involved, the political context, and the risks for investors. View the link you can download the PDF of the report and watch the recording of a webinar Chain Reaction Research held to discuss their findings.

  2. New White Paper: Responsible Investment in Fixed Income

    Published by: Mercer

    This paper re-introduces Mercer’s RI framework used for other asset classes and applies it to fixed income. The paper is introductory, and highlights the ways in which clients can incorporate their responsible investment beliefs into their fixed income portfolios.       

  3. New Report: Portfolio Climate Risk Management – Case Studies on Evolving Best Practices

    Published by: Ceres in collaboration with AIGCC, IGCC and IIGCC

    As the climate crisis, its physical impacts and the transition to a net-zero emissions economy, all accelerate, global investors are increasingly recognising the material and financial risks to their portfolios. Acknowledging the economic materiality of climate change as investment risks, some leading global asset owners have become early movers in taking comprehensive action to identify, evaluate and manage climate-related risks in their portfolios.

    This report includes case studies which show a range of evolving best practices used by some of the largest global asset owners and financial institutions. Ceres developed these case studies in collaboration with international global partner networks including AIGCC, IGCC and IIGCC.

  4. New Report: The Rise of ESG in Passive Investments

    Published by: USSIF

    While the vast majority of sustainably invested assets are still in actively managed ESG funds, net flows into passively managed ESG funds have in recent years outpaced net flows into their actively managed counterparts.

    This report explores the growth of passive ESG investing and the debate on the effectiveness of passive ESG funds versus active ESG funds.

    It concludes with recommended best practices for passive fund asset managers to deepen ESG approaches and impact, including through proxy voting, company engagement, disclosure about their ESG incorporation techniques, impact measurement and field building.

    The report also includes profiles of ESG ETFs and index-based mutual funds that demonstrate a range of approaches to passively managed ESG investments.

  5. New White Paper: The Purpose of Corporations: A Tale of Two Theories

    Published by: Mercer

    This paper explores the tension between the two theories and explore methods of potentially reconciling the two theories. In a forthcoming Part II of this series we will address how investors can address the implications of this trend in their portfolios and how investors can get more involved in the promotion of stakeholder views as desired.

  6. Job Opportunity: Consultant/Manager (Hong Kong)

    Organisation: ENEA Consulting

    NEA Consulting is an international strategy consultancy dedicated to energy transition. We are based in Paris, Hong Kong and Melbourne and are now expanding our team. Join us to take part in the development of our Asian operations, to work on challenging energy issues, with further opportunities to work in Europe, Asia and Africa. We are looking for a motivated and experienced professional (>3 years of working experience for consultant, >5 years of working experience for manager) with a background in consulting / M&A, a strong interest in energy and a solid background in finance.

    The ideal candidate will be passionate about energy transition and energy access, precise and rigorous, while also demonstrating strong leadership and excellent written & verbal communication skills.

    He / she will be willing to contribute to the expansion of ENEA Consulting in Asia: while originally based out of Hong Kong, he / she will likely contribute to the development of ENEA in Singapore, with a possible relocation in the future.

Visit www.foe.org.hk for more news about Friends of the Earth (HK)!

Webinar – NGO Reserves and Investment (hosted by HKCSS)/網上研討會 – 非政府機構儲備及投資

Earlier in June, HKCSS published “A Concise Guide on NGO Reserves” and “A Concise Guide on NGO Investment”. The guides respectively describe the principles in handling NGOs’ reserves and investment and provide templates and related materials for readers’ reference.

The guides were developed with the advice of an Expert Group formed under the NGO Governance Platform Project. The members, coming from accounting and financial sectors, all have a depth of experience and knowledge in financial governance. In this webinar, we have invited four NGO representatives from the Expert Group, to explain how agencies should manage their reserves and make investment decisions. Speakers will also share on the roles of NGOs’ investment committee and the experience in developing reserve and investment policies.

Details as follows:

Date: 9 October 2020 (Friday)

Time: 6:00 – 7:30pm
The session will be conducted online via Zoom.  

Speakers:

  • Mr Anthony CHEUNG, Honorary Treasurer, Friends of the Earth (HK)
  • Ms Sabrina HO, Chairperson, The Child Development Centre
  • Ms Serena MAK, Board Governor, Friends of the Earth (HK)
  • Mr Peter WAN, Member, Steering Committee of the NGO Governance Platform Project, HKCSS

Language: Cantonese (materials in English)    

Target participants: NGO Board / committee members (top priority), Agency Heads, Advisors, Company Secretaries, Senior Management of HKCSS Agency Members  

Interested parties please register online on or before 2 October 2020 (Friday). Successful registrants will be notified by email by 6 October 2020 (Tuesday).  

For enquiries, please contact the Project team at 2922 9255.


社聯於六月出版了《非政府機構儲備簡明指南》《非政府機構投資簡明指南》,內容分別簡述機構儲備及投資的基本原則,並提供政策文件範例及相關參考資料。

兩份指南由「非政府機構董事網絡計劃」成立之專家小組提供指導編撰而成,成員為會計及金融界專業人士,有豐富的財務管治知識和經驗。是次研討會邀請到專家小組內的四位非政府機構代表,講解機構應如何管理儲備及作投資決定,並分享投資委員會的角色及機構制訂儲備和投資政策的實戰經驗。  

詳情如下:

日期:2020年10月9日(星期五)

時間:下午 6:00 – 7:30
研討會將於網上透過Zoom進行。

講者:

  • 香港地球之友榮譽司庫 張振宇先生
  • 明德兒童啟育中心主席 何智慧女士
  • 香港地球之友董事 麥礎允女士
  • 社聯非政府機構董事會網絡計劃督導委員會委員 尹錦滔先生

語言:廣東話(輔以英文資料)

目標對象:社聯機構會員的董事會及委員會成員(優先)、機構主管、顧問、公司秘書、相關管理人員

有興趣參加之人士,請於2020年10月2日(星期五)或之前按此於網上登記。成功報名者將於2020年10月6日(星期二)或之前獲電郵通知。

如有查詢,請致電 2922 9255 與香港社會服務聯會聯絡。


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What are Blue Bonds?

Green Finance Advisor of Friends of the Earth (HK)

Environmental risks continued to dominate the headline news and extreme weather has been the risk of greatest concern for a very long time. Climate change and the unsustainable use of marine resources are detrimental to the habitats of oceans and those whose livelihood rely on the bio diversity of marine life. In additional to the Green Finance, Blue Economy, especially Blue Bonds are likely to attract more interest and perhaps be the next frontier of some coastal countries’ development.

Blue bonds are debt instrument issued by governments, sovereigns, development banks to raise capital for projects with marine or ocean-based benefits. Blue Bonds aim to deliver financing to support a rage of environmental, social, and economic issues facing the marine sector.  The blue bond support programs of marine and ocean-related activities, financing the implementation of sustainable development goals on marine life as well as the transition towards a sustainable blue economy with a strengthened blue natural capital at its core.

The Aim of Blue Bond and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are becoming more influential as an organizing framework for many investors; private and public investors who are keen to look for a thematic investment approach, are also eager to align their investment strategy with the SDGs. In essence, there are 17 SDGs outlined by the UN, and in the context of Blue Bonds, SDG 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development) is the most relevant in relation to contributing to good governance of the ocean and costal habits, deliver long term value to the ecosystem, reduce carbon emission or strengthen resilient livelihoods of people who depend on oceans and their resources in a changing climate. In particular the targets of this goal also emphasis on:

  • Reduce ocean acidification and pollution of all kinds
  • Restore ocean ecosystems
  • Support sustainable fisheries
  • End overfishing [1]

Seychelles Blue Bond

In October 2018,  with the support of the World Bank, the Government of Seychelles issued the world’s first sovereign blue bond and raised USD 15 million to support marine and ocean-based projects contributing positive environmental, economic and climate benefits to the Islands Nation. The Government of Seychelles recognized the need to build and sustain its use of fish stocks through proper government and management of the sector.  The Seychelles Blue Bond attracted interests amongst institutional and private investors who desire to take a bigger role to ensure the sustainable use of ocean and marine resources. Oceans are under increasing environmental stress, ranging from pollution to conversation of marine life.

Nordic-Baltic Blue Bond

In January 2019, a SEK 2 billion bond was also launched by the Nordic Investment Bank supporting water projects around the Baltic Sea and along the Nordic coastline.  The Nordic-Baltic Blue Bond targets at investors that are conscious of challenges facing the region’s water resources and it is also the first Blue Bond to attract impact investment in Baltic Sea Protection.  The issuance of the bond was a huge success and well received by investors, The bond was twice oversubscribed and in the end 21 investors participated in the issue.

Proceeds of Blue Bonds

Under the Seychelles bond, the proceeds from the transaction will be used to support the extension of marine protected areas, bolster governance of priority fisheries and the development of the Seychelles’ blue economy.  The beneficiaries of the proceeds will be local communities, civil society organizations and businesses who are seeking financing for activities that can support a transition to sustainable fisheries[2].

Similar to the Seychelles Bond, the new NIB from the Nordic- Baltic region targeted at investors who want to help protect the sensitive marine environment in the Baltic Sea and launched its first blue bond in February 2019.    Unlike the Seychelles Bond which emphasised on the remedial of overfishing and restore ecosystem, the Nordic-Baltic Blue Bond was renowned of its support to sewage management, reduction of water pollution and water-related measures coupled to climate change.  One of the most notable project supported by the Nordic-Baltic Blue Bone was the Nya Slussen project in Stockholm.  This project did not only provide clean transport solutions at the Slussen traffic hub, but also redevelop the Slussen water locks.  The expansion of the water locks increased the drainage capacity and accommodate higher floodgates by adding two larger water channels beside the locks.  The Nya Slussen redevelopment is critical to the flooding mitigation measure that will enable Stockholm and the Malar region to better prepare for and adopt to the effects of rising sea levels and more extreme weather conditions in the future.

Conclusion

As coastal ecosystems are increasingly recognized for their important role in balancing carbon emission and thereby mitigating the effects of climate change, it is expected that investment of a particular focus on climate changes and marine life will becoming more popular.  With the raving success of the Nordic-Baltic Blue Bond, it is further confirmed that investors have growing interest to use blue bonds for conversation and environment mitigation measure.  Furthermore, the blue economy is of growing importance and blue bonds offer an opportunity for private sector capital to be deployed to support sustainable investment.

[1] https://www.4climate.com/dev/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Blue-Bonds_final.pdf

[2] https://www.credit-suisse.com/about-us-news/en/articles/news-and-expertise/ocean-preservation-and-sustainable-investing-202006.html


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