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Weekly Briefing: September 4-8, 2023


Week of September 4, 2023

The $100 Trillion Path to Net-Zero

  • IMF suggests global cooperation for net zero at a cost of 0.5% of 2030 global GDP, with many countries benefiting financially by 2030.

  • Net zero goals include no petrol cars in the EU by 2035, green hydrogen for American industry, North Sea wind farms, and affordable African solar power.

  • This vision relies on a global carbon pricing accord, but less than 25% of emissions are currently priced, making cooperation challenging.

  • Achieving net zero requires massive funding, mostly from the private sector, but green investments may strain public finances, raising concerns about growing public debt versus the cost of climate inaction.



 

FHWA Reallocates $7.9 Billion in Uncommitted Highway Funds to States

  • State departments of transportation are receiving $7.9 billion in annual August redistribution from the Federal Highway Administration for highway and bridge projects, marking a 27% increase from the previous year.

  • All 50 states and the District of Columbia will receive a share of the $7.9 billion, reflecting a high demand for funding due to pressing infrastructure needs.

  • States must quickly allocate this "bonus" funding to projects by September 26, as it comes in the form of obligation limitations, which cap the amount states can commit to projects in a fiscal year.

  • Factors contributing to the increased redistribution include uncommitted balances in FHWA funds, non-formula programs like TIFIA and INFRA grants, and the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which may lead to higher uncommitted obligation limits in the future. Efforts are underway to modernize the August redistribution process to address challenges associated with slow-spending non-formula programs.



 

US Offshore Wind Slammed by Runaway Costs

  • The US offshore wind industry, supported by the Inflation Reduction Act, faces a significant hurdle due to rising inflation and costs, jeopardizing over 10 gigawatts of projects on the East Coast.

  • Developers are reevaluating projects originally planned based on lower costs, with inflation and borrowing expenses causing a shift from projected $77 per megawatt-hour costs to $114 per megawatt-hour.

  • The growth of the offshore wind industry is challenged by the lag in building the supply chain and infrastructure needed to support it, and developers are seeking more government support as costs rise, while some companies are already paying penalties to exit contracts.



 

Energy Department Announces $12 Billion to Help Factories Convert to Electric Cars

  • The Energy Department offers $12 billion in grants and loans to help auto companies transform their gas-powered vehicle factories into electric vehicle (EV) production facilities, aiming to preserve jobs and address labor concerns.

  • This initiative, funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, seeks to support the transition to cleaner energy while addressing worries from the United Auto Workers (U.A.W.) about job security in the shift to EVs.

  • The Biden administration's plan includes $3.5 billion in grants to boost EV battery manufacturing. It aims to balance the interests of automakers, unions, and environmental goals while promoting EV adoption.



September 5, 2023


Godspeed Capital Management LP (Godspeed Capital), a Washington DC-based lower middle-market Defense & Government services, solutions, and technology-focused private equity firm, has acquired Synalovski Romanik Saye Architects (SRS), a Florida-based, full-service design firm specializing in architectural and interior design, planning, development, construction, and contract management services. Under the terms of the acquisition, SRS will join Zyscovich, Inc. (Zyscovich), the Florida-based architecture and design brand operating within Stratus, Godspeed Capital’s multidisciplinary engineering, architecture, and consulting platform. Ahmed Abdel-Saheb, Partner at Godspeed Capital, said, “The addition of SRS to the Stratus platform notably strengthens our presence within the significant and growing Florida market. We look forward to leveraging the strength of the incredible SRS team as we continue to support the growth of Zyscovich and our other leading Stratus brands,”



 

September 5, 2023


POWER Engineers, Inc. (POWER), an Idaho-based engineering and environmental consulting firm specializing in integrated solutions for clients across different industries, has acquired Earth Environmental and Civil, Inc. (EEC), a Virginia-based provider of environmental and civil engineering services. The acquisition of EEC will expand POWER’s geographic presence and will also enable POWER to better serve clients in the electric utility market. "POWER and EEC have already successfully partnered on projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions, so joining our teams is a natural fit," said Maria Gou, POWER's Environmental division manager. “We’ve always been proud to deliver large company capability with small company accessibility,” said EEC President, Jim Lovell. “We’re pleased to join POWER, where becoming part of a much bigger team allows us to deliver more."



 

September 5, 2023


Pape-Dawson Engineers, LLC (Pape-Dawson), a Texas-based civil engineering, environmental, and surveying services firm, has partnered with Costello, Inc. (Costello), a Texas-based civil engineering and surveying firm. The investment in Costello was part of Pape-Dawson's strategy to grow its civil engineering practice within Texas -- particularly in the Houston area -- and across the United States. Sam Dawson, CEO of Pape-Dawson, commented, “This partnership provides added resources and expertise to better serve our combined client base in one of the largest cities in the nation.”



 

September 7, 2023


Universal Engineering Sciences (UES), a Florida-based provider of engineering and consulting services with experience in geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing, building code compliance, threshold inspections, and environmental consulting, has acquired Biome Consulting Group (Biome), a Florida-based ecological consulting firm focused on providing applied ecological studies and environmental regulatory compliance-related consulting services. The acquisition of Biome and its staff further expands UES' ecological and environmental services, particularly in the Florida region. UES CEO, Dave Witsken, said, “Biome’s expertise in ecological services will allow us to further advance our goals to better serve our clients.” One of Biome’s founding partners, Glen Miley, notes, “We have collaborated with UES professionals for years and have the highest admiration and respect for them."




The 2023 Greenbuild Legacy Project, associated with the prominent Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, is set to make a lasting impact on Washington, D.C., from September 26 to 29. Gensler's "Roots to Success" initiative, situated at Kelly Miller Middle School, addresses significant community challenges. The school, with a rich cultural history, serves a diverse student population from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and operates in a food desert. This project targets two key areas for improvement. It enhances the school's on-site urban farm, offering hands-on sustainable farming education and enriching the science curriculum. It also revitalizes the school cafeteria, integrating food sustainability education, art installations, and sustainable furniture. This holistic approach bridges the farm-to-table food cycle, promoting healthy and sustainable food choices while nurturing lifelong skills and alleviating hunger for future generations in D.C.


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