June 20th, 2023 | 07:00 CEST
Real estate - A golden future: Vonovia, BYD, Grid Metals
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"[...] Investors from the rest of Asia, in particular, feel comfortable partnering with Hong Lai Huat to invest in an emerging market like Cambodia. [...]" Dylan Ong, General Manager and Executive Director, Hong Lai Huat
Vonovia and Co.: Networking makes real estate future-proof
Real estate has to be sustainable - this sentence has become a truism. It is, therefore, all the more surprising that according to research by Die Welt, the Federal Government has still allowed oil and gas heating systems to be installed in real estate as late as 2022. In doing so, the state is repeatedly making a mistake that government representatives are currently indirectly accusing many property owners of: They have not kept up with the times and have not adequately managed houses and flats for a long time. When speaking with professionals from the real estate industry, insulation in the course of other renovation or conversion measures in real estate was already worthwhile before the turn of the century. The fact that fossil fuels are becoming more and more expensive was, after all, foreseeable. The fact that the federal government sometimes cannot see the bigger picture is doubly tragic for desperate property owners - as it means that taxpayer money has been poorly invested. The private real estate sector, on the other hand, has come a long way. Vonovia has long been using heat pumps.
Although it became known in May that at that time, around 70 devices of a heat pump offensive launched at the beginning of 2022 were still not connected due to a lack of capacity in the power grid, observers should not overestimate these headlines: Heat pumps already work smoothly in many properties in Germany. Even old buildings can be converted under certain conditions. In addition, new heat pumps are becoming increasingly efficient, and the field of only marginally insulated properties represents a growing niche for heat pump manufacturers. But making properties fit for the future on a grand scale depends on more than just modern heating.
Batteries and dynamic tariffs can reduce energy costs
If, for example, heat pumps and photovoltaic systems are intelligently networked, even higher electricity consumption in existing buildings is of little consequence. Battery storage units in the home can release excess PV energy when it is needed. Such solutions have long been available. Battery pioneer BYD, for example, produces high-performance batteries for houses. Coupled with dynamic electricity tariffs that even allow negative electricity prices depending on the state of the grid, electricity storage in houses could become a future-proof solution - regardless of whether a heat pump consumes 10% more electricity or not. The problem currently still lies with the tradespeople: While a new PV system with electricity storage is quickly installed, solar technicians and installers often struggle to achieve optimal integration with electric heaters, air conditioners or wallboxes.
Technological innovations could ease the fears of many property owners. The prerequisites for this are further falling prices and greater efficiency on the part of the tradespeople in order to reduce costs further. While rising unit numbers at suppliers of home electronics, such as BYD or SMA Solar, should ensure positive effects on costs and margins, the boom in the supply of critical raw materials is reaching its limits. Copper, nickel and platinum group metals, in particular, are urgently needed for electrification. All these raw materials have long been the subject of activities by major mining companies, which extract copper and other metals in large quantities on a daily basis. But since electrification is all the more profitable the more areas it covers, the current production volume is insufficient. Experts from BloombergNEF predicted last year that the demand for copper is expected to increase by around 50% by 2050. Young commodity companies developing new deposits will likely profit from this trend.
Grid Metals wants to profit from electrification
Canadian company Grid Metals is advancing the Makwa Mayville project in the Manitoba district, where it is exploring for nickel, copper and platinum group metals. At Grid Metals, the name says it all: the Company wants to find those raw materials that are increasingly in demand in the course of electrification. At the same time, Grid Metals also offers access to the boom in electromobility with the Donner Lake Lithium Project. Here, there is already an option for cooperation with a nearby producer - the first cash flows from lithium extraction should soon become a reality.
Although Grid Metals is still at a comparatively early stage with its projects, this can also be a great opportunity for the Company's shareholders in the long term - namely when the market prices in a realistic perspective on the production of raw materials. Currently, the Company is valued at just over EUR 16 million. The electrification of many sectors could also boost Grid Metals' share price in the medium to long term. For real estate today, the energy efficiency of properties is more crucial than ever. But having one's own PV system and smart energy management between PV system, heating and wallbox can also be a viable solution.
Conflict of interest
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