According to The Australian Financial Review, Canadian pension fund OMERS has added a substantial renewable energy investment to its Australian investment portfolio, agreeing terms to acquire a 49 per cent of FRV Australia.
It is understood OMERS has agreed to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into FRV Australia’s solar farms, its pipeline projects and operating business.
FRV Australia has solar farms with about 550MW operating or under construction. Its operating solar farms include Moree in NSW, where output is promised to Origin Energy for the next decade, and Queensland-based Lilyvale (Ergon Energy, 10 years) and Goonumbla (SnowyHydro, 15 years).
According to The Australian Financial Review, apartment owners upgrading to detached homes are being forced to dig deeper into their pockets as the premium for houses over units blows out to a record high nationwide because of strong demand and low supply, analysis by CoreLogic shows.
The price gap between Sydney houses and apartments has now widened to 59 per cent – up from 54.2 per cent in July. This comes after house prices jumped by 28.9 per cent in the 12 months to September – more than double the 11.6 per cent gain in unit values.
According to The Nikkei Asian Review, there are more than 370,000 foreign nationals who cannot enter Japan despite having precertification for residence status as of Oct. 1 due to border controls aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19.
About 70% of those who cannot come to Japan are technical intern trainees and international students. While many countries are taking steps to ease immigration restrictions and reopen their economies, Japan, in principle, remains shut to foreign entrants from all countries.
Foreign nationals must apply for a certificate of eligibility before traveling to Japan to stay in the country for more than three months. According to a government source, Immigration Service Agency has issued eligibility certificates to 578,000 people since January 2020, of which 371,000 have not yet entered Japan.
The government imposed tighter border controls in January. Entry is only allowed for returning foreign residents and others with special status, such as spouses of Japanese nationals. Returning foreign nationals are required to take PCR tests and undergo quarantine.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese leading broker of second-hand brand-name goods is using an artificial intelligence-based mechanism to remove fakes from the market.
Komehyo Holdings Co., which buys and sells used articles, said the technology can identify imitations with a probability of “99 percent.”
“With the help of AI, we will eliminate fake products and prepare an environment where products are sold and purchased far more safely,” said Yuya Yamauchi, a Komehyo director responsible for the development of the authentification system.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Providence Asset Group is trialling a hydrogen-lithium battery that it aims to roll out across its 10 owned and operated solar farms in Victoria and aiming to deploy the storage system across its network by 2024.
The firm aims to trial the LAVO hydrogen energy storage system, a battery co-developed with UNSW and manufactured in Australia, at its Stanhope solar farm in Victoria, in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Providence Asset Group co-founder and chief investment officer Alan Yu said the battery has a lifespan that is around three times longer than current lithium batteries and if the trial is successful, the firm plans to retrofit all its Victorian solar farms with the battery, and install it at its proposed 29 solar projects in NSW.
According to The Nikkei Asia, Japan will establish a 100 billion yen (US$ 875 million) fund to help accelerate research and development of advanced technologies and enhance economic security, Nikkei has learned.
The government plans to kick off the fund next year. It will be the country's first fund dedicated to economic security. Investments will go into artificial intelligence and quantum technology, biotechnology, and robotics -- all of which have military applications.
The fund will be formed under Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization and the Japan Science and Technology Agency. Other areas -- fifth-generation networks, big data and semiconductors -- will be included.
Funds will be provided to universities and companies to promote research and development, demonstration tests and practical applications in fields the government deems crucial.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Australian housing construction soared in the June quarter, making a record 64,596 dwelling starts as detached houses soared to a new high and attached dwellings picked up to their highest level in almost three years.
While the now-ended HomeBuilder stimulus payments pushed detached house starts up to a seasonally adjusted 41,276 from 36,530 in the March quarter, the bigger surprise was the 46 per cent quarter-on-quarter jump to nearly 23,000 new semi-detached homes, apartments and townhouses.
According to The Nikkei Asia, Honda Motor's aircraft unit has unveiled a concept for a larger business jet that could fly from New York to Los Angeles without refueling.
The HondaJet 2600 would have a maximum range of 4,862 km, about 80% longer than the current HondaJet -- the bestselling small business jet for four straight years.
The announcement comes as demand for business flights makes only a slow recovery from the travel restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic.
Honda Aircraft, which unveiled a mock-up of the concept on Tuesday at the 2021 NBAA Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Las Vegas, said it would consider whether to move to mass production based on the market outlook.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, a team of Japanese researchers at Kyoto University has created a material capable of storing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide with one of the main ingredients being carbon dioxide itself.
A major problem with utilizing the heat-trapping gas until now has been that high temperature and pressure was needed to synthesize it.
But the team, led by Satoshi Horike, an associate professor of chemistry, created the new material under normal conditions, which could lead to a reduction of one of the major causes of global warming.
“It was been difficult to utilize carbon dioxide, but we have managed to create a new material under very simple conditions,” Horike said. “We want to pursue our research to develop technology that can contribute to alleviating environmental issues, such as storing large volumes of carbon dioxide.”
The group used an amine, a compound consisting of nitrogen, which is known to react easily with carbon dioxide as the link to create a lattice structure within the porous material. A solution was made by mixing the amine with zinc, a cheap metal that allowed greater stability in the structure of the new material.
According to The Australian Financial Review, ASX-listed property players have collected a bevy of gongs in the annual Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark rankings, as Australia faces increased scrutiny on its green credentials ahead of COP-26.
Among them, Vicinity Centres has been named regional sector leader for listed retail centres in Oceania and third globally in the GRESB rankings, a well-regarded global green ratings system for the property sector.
The mall owner, which has a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030 for common areas of its wholly owned retail assets, has improved its energy efficiency by 23 per cent, cut emissions by 44 per cent and reduced water usage by 33 per cent over the past five years.
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