Where do you find the energy?
To:Brew Readers
Emerging Tech Brew // Morning Brew // Update
Plus: Climate tech, meet economic climate.
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Morning Brew November 23, 2022

Emerging Tech Brew

Dell

Happy Wednesday. If you need any additional evidence that we’re in the midst of a genuine turning point for EV adoption, look no further—even Domino’s, the pizza megachain, is investing in fossil fuel-free cars.

The company bought 800 Chevy Bolt EVs, primarily to attract more delivery drivers with their zippy new cars but also to help reduce carbon emissions from its operations.

In today’s edition:

How the electrification of everything will reshape cities
Even the fast-growing world of climate tech is feeling inflation woes
Reader Poll: Consumer spending edition

Grace Donnelly, Dan McCarthy

SMART CITIES

City currents

City currents Illustration: Morning Brew, Photo: Future Publishing/Getty Images

Washington, DC, by 2050. Ithaca, New York, by 2030. Copenhagen by 2025.

These are the carbon-neutral goals for a handful of cities, reflective of the broader push to decarbonize and create smarter, more reliable energy systems.

  • Cities generate more than 70% of global CO2 emissions, and the main sources of energy use in cities are transportation and buildings.

“What municipalities and various subnational levels of government are trying to solve for is decarbonization as opposed to electrification,” Duncan Rotherham, vice president of beneficial electrification at global advisory firm ICF, told Emerging Tech Brew. “Electrification is a contributor. It’s a means to an end. Our goal isn’t to electrify everything for the heck of it.”

That said..In 10 or 20 years, largely as a result of these pushes, life and work in cities could be powered differently in both explicit and subtle ways.

Keep reading to learn how the electrification of everything will reshape cities.—GD

This story is part of our new package exploring smart cities—click here to view the full interactive series.

        

TOGETHER WITH DELL

Get your head outta the clouds

Dell

And put it in the cloud. While you’re off daydreaming, cyberattackers are gearing up to get their hands on your biz’s most critical data. It’s time to upgrade your security infrastructure by embracing hybrid cloud solutions—and you’ll need a good pilot to help you journey into the skies.

Expert Dell Technologies advisors help you optimize hybrid cloud solutions so you can focus on scaling your business…instead of worrying about cybercrooks.

Still curious about the advantages of a hybrid cloud solution? Here are just a few things the cloud can do for you:

  • protect your data
  • control your costs
  • minimize your risks

Learn more about Dell Technologies products and solutions, powered by Intel® at delltechnologies.com.

CLIMATE TECH

Climate tech versus the economic climate?

image of renewable energy sources and other climate tech Francis Scialabba

Although inflation ticked down a bit in the most recent US assessment, rising prices are continuing to affect companies across the board—even in the high-growth world of climate tech.

In recent weeks, renewable energy and EV company execs have acknowledged that the current economic environment will likely influence consumer behavior and change the outlook of existing investments.

One example: solar

Deployment of solar power set records in 2021, and while higher interest rates may slow utility-scale installations, residential solar could continue to surge in spite of inflation.

Headwinds, tailwinds: The Inflation Reduction Act includes credits that will cover 30% of the cost of residential solar installations. Along with rising energy costs, these incentives present residential solar installers—like Sunrun, the largest in the US—with an opportunity to pitch their product as a source of long-term savings.

  • With utility prices up more than 15% across the US, Sunrun executives said there is room to further raise prices on solar and still “deliver a strong customer value proposition.”

“We remain in a strong position to respond to further volatility in interest rates as inflationary effects continue to attract customers to our product—one that improves the financial health of households by lowering electricity costs and providing long-term price certainty,” CFO Danny Abajian said on the company’s earnings call.

Here’s how climate tech companies are navigating the difficult economic conditions.—GD

        

READER POLL: CONSUMER SPENDING EDITION

image showing debit card in chains Francis Scialabba

Merry Black Friday eve eve. Only this year, for consumers and businesses alike, it may not be particularly merry.

Zoom in: The darkening economic picture has led some consumers to delay purchases of new technology, per last week’s poll of nearly 1,200 Emerging Tech Brew readers.

  • While 56% of readers said they had not delayed any tech purchases on account of economic concerns, a large portion of respondents—44%—said they had done so.

Compare and contrast: Just over half (51%) of the respondents in a October 2022 survey of US adults by RetailMeNot said that they would buy fewer things this holiday season in general.

Both of these datasets dovetail with reports of weakening consumer demand for devices like PCs and smartphones.

  • Major tech retailers like Best Buy and device makers like Apple have slashed sales and production targets in recent months, and softening demand has also hampered key electronics suppliers like the semiconductor industry.
  • Some tech giants—from Amazon to Google—are even scaling back their hardware teams as they seek to cut costs.

This week’s poll: Cultivated meat received a green light from the FDA last week. Do you think it will ever become more popular than conventional meat?

Yes
No
IDK

BITS AND BYTES

Peterschreiber.Media/Getty Images

Stat: The DOE is officially kicking off its $13 billion grid modernization program, which will fund everything from smart-grid projects to additional transmission lines.

Quote: “If you talk about number of users, I think Meta has better potential. But if you talk about dollars, I think that’s where it could be either one’s game.”—Jitesh Ubrani, senior research manager for worldwide mobile device trackers at IDC, to Emerging Tech Brew, re: Sony’s PS VR2 headset ambitions

Read: A comprehensive guide to every Matter-integrated smart-home device.

Subscribe: Become a personal finance expert with Money Scoop—the free newsletter that makes you smarter about your money. Check it out.

Navigating bond markets: See how MFS strives to generate fixed-income returns by using investing levers to take advantage of inefficiencies in shifting bond markets. Read or listen here.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • TSMC plans to make advanced semiconductors at its new Arizona facility. The vast majority of the world’s cutting-edge chips are currently produced in Taiwan.
  • Chinese EV makers see a big opportunity in the EU.
  • Mazda announced an $11 billion plan to electrify its vehicles.
  • Nuro, the delivery-focused self-driving startup, laid off ~20% of its staff.
  • Continuous glucose monitor startups are the latest tech-meets-wellness trend.

WEEKEND READS

We’re off on Black Friday for some Thanksgiving R&R, so we’ll leave you with a few tech-focused gift guides to help fill the newsletter-sized void in your inbox:

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Written by Grace Donnelly and Dan McCarthy

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