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Fintech CEO: As Lithuania Breaks Energy Ties with Russia, Risk of Cybercrime Further Heightens

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cybercrime - Investors King

This week, Lithuania’s Energy Ministry released a statement which noted that the country is now completely independent from Russian natural gas. It read, in part, “Seeking full energy independence from Russian gas, in response to Russia’s energy blackmail in Europe and the war in Ukraine, Lithuania has completely abandoned Russian gas.” Lithuanian leaders called on other EU countries to make the same move to withdraw from Russian economic influence.

“Lithuania is in a unique position as it abuts Russia’s Kaliningrad Oblast. The country has historic ties to Russia, and that history should carry influence larger than typical for a small country with less than three million people — especially as proposals emerge for a LNG terminal located in Paldiski, which would be an Estonian joint venture with Latvia and Finland. Due to their geography, these countries see a more urgent Russian threat, but as the world continues to divest from Russian energy, there will be a need to find new streams of revenue to finance the war effort,” said Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulus, a US-based developer of ultra-high-performance trading and surveillance technology that powers global equities, derivatives, and digital asset exchanges.

“From this month on – no more Russian gas in Lithuania.Years ago my country made decisions that today allow us with no pain to break energy ties with the agressor. If we can do it, the rest of Europe can do it too,” tweeted Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda.

“If you’re Russia and the world won’t buy your energy resources, where do you turn? It doesn’t require you to stretch your imagination very far to realize that, in a conflict which is actively employing cyberwarfare, the government could find hacking to be an appropriate avenue of revenue generation. Whether that is focusing hackers on digital asset exchanges or engaging more heavily in cyber-based extortion campaigns remains to be seen. However, these exchanges are giant honeypots, and, right now, Russia is the equivalent of a hungry bear,” said Gardner.

“Practically, it will be difficult to extract large amounts of stolen assets to use for homeland activities like paying troops, which may make the endeavor less attractive. However, it would be completely naïve to think that the idea isn’t on the table,” said Gardner.

Modulus is known throughout the financial technology segment as a leader in the development of ultra-high frequency trading systems and blockchain technologies. Modulus has provided its exchange solution to some of the industry’s most profitable digital asset exchanges, including a well-known multi-billion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable institutions, with a client list which includes NASA, NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.

“It is more important than ever for financial exchanges, including those dealing in cryptocurrencies, to be on high alert. For the many exchanges that have historically focused more heavily on marketing than security, now is the time to flip the script and lockdown your security apparatus. Good enough isn’t good enough. Your innovation is only as good as the security that protects it,” said Gardner.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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African Energy Chamber to Host Energy Transition Forum at The 2022 Energy Week  

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Oil

African Energy Chamber (AEC) says it will host the Energy Transition Forum, in partnership with public and private sector organisations, government representatives, energy stakeholders and investors in October. 

In a statement made available to Investors King AEC stated that “The Energy Transition Forum will address critical issues such as the lack of adequate funding, the diversification of the energy mix, workforce development, and regulatory reforms necessary to enable Africa to expand its energy sector to address energy security, affordability, access, and sustainability matters”.

“With some 600 million people across the continent living in energy poverty and over 900 million without access to clean cooking, Africa needs to exploit all of its vast natural resources in order to make energy poverty history by 2030. In this respect, stakeholders across the continent are opting for an integrated approach to developing energy resources whereby every resource is utilized in order to kickstart economic growth and electrification. With over 125.3 billion barrels of crude oil, 620 trillion cubic feet of gas, and nearly 16.4 billion short tons of coal, the continent is well-positioned to drive economic growth,” it added. 

Executive Chairman of the AEC, NJ Ayuk, said: “With nearly 66 per cent of the world’s population living without electricity access based in Africa, the continent needs to ramp up the production of all its energy resources including gas, oil, wind and solar to ensure energy poverty is history by 2030. The AEC is honored to host the Energy Transition Forum at AEW 2022 where an African narrative of a just and inclusive energy transition that is fit for Africa will be developed. We will go from Cape to Cairo with a well-defined African message. Africans and the energy sector have a rare chance to define the narrative and we must.” 

The Energy Transition Forum is bringing together investors, regulatory authorities and energy market players to discuss the role of gas in Africa’s energy future and energy transition. The challenges of limited investments in gas exploration, production, and infrastructure development in gas-rich countries such as Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Niger, and Mozambique will also be addressed.

According to the AEC, climate change continues to impact Africa, leading to an increasing number of African countries such as Nigeria, Namibia, Morocco, South Africa, Uganda, and Kenya introducing policy reforms and initiatives to scale up renewable energy penetration in Africa. 

Investors King gathered that Nigeria has vowed to achieve climate neutrality by 2060 by increasing the share of natural gas and renewables in its energy mix while Namibia aims to make the development of hydrogen central to its energy policy. At the same time, South Africa has introduced its Hydrogen Society Roadmap to fast-forward the development of local content and hydrogen infrastructure whilst Morocco’s Law 13-09 and Egypt’s net metering scheme aims to expand distributed renewables development.

The chamber added that the AEW 2022, under the theme – “Exploring and Investing in Africa’s Energy Future while Driving an Enabling Environment” will feature high-level meetings and panel discussions where government ministers, investors, academia, and energy market stakeholders will discuss how Africa can attract funding to boost exploration, production and infrastructure development to ensure secure supply while remaining a climate champion. 

The African Energy Week is scheduled to take place from 18th – 21st October 2022 in South Africa at Africa’s premier event for the oil and gas sector.

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Siemens Announces Plan to Transit From Fossil to Sustainable Energy

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Siemens

Technology giant, Siemens Energy has announced a transit from fossil to sustainable energy through a management restructuring and shares evaluation.

This comes after the company launched a voluntary cash tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares in Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, or approximately 32.9 percent of Siemens Gamesa’s share capital which it does not already own.

Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Siemens Energy AG, Joe Kaeser, said: “The full integration of SGRE is an important milestone for Siemens Energy’s positioning as a driver of the energy transition from fossil to sustainable energy solutions.

“This will benefit customers, employees, shareholders, and ultimately society. It is critical that the deteriorating situation at SGRE is being stopped as soon as possible, and the value-creating repositioning starts quickly. The Supervisory Board strongly supports the Executive Boards plans for the integration of SGRE”.

According to a statement from the company, starting from October, the former gas and power segment will be divided into three business areas.

The largest of the new business areas, with sales of around 9 billion euros (9.6 billion dollars), is gas services. This included the gas and large steam turbine business and associated services.

It is followed by grid technologies with sales of 5.8 billion euros in the areas of power transmission and energy storage. The smallest business area is the transformation of the industry with sales of 3.9 billion euros.

Here, the focus was on reducing energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions in industrial processes from hydrogen to automation and industrial steam turbines to compressors. Logistics, IT and procurement divisions were to be bundled together.

The removal of some levels of management at Siemens Energy was expected to bring faster decision-making processes. Where there were previously up to 11 levels in the firm’s hierarchy, there would be a maximum of six in the future. This would eliminate around 30 per cent of the previous management positions, Siemens Energy said. The employees affected would be given other tasks within the business, according to the statement.

Siemens Energy claims that after full integration, the combined group could see cost synergies of up to EUR 300 million within three years, owing to lower supply chain and logistics costs, aligned project execution, joint and integrated R&D efforts, and cost savings through an optimized administrative setup.

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40% of Customers Will Face Fuel Poverty By October 2022 – E.On UK CEO Warns

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petrol

One of the United Kingdom’s largest energy suppliers, E.On UK has warned that about 40 per cent of its customers will be in fuel poverty by October 2022, calling on the UK government to help save the situation.

Accordung to the Chief Executive of E.On UK, Michael Lewis, the rise in energy prices is “unprecedented” and a growing number of its customers are in arrears.

Lewis noted that around a fifth of its customers were already in fuel poverty. He however revealed that this figure is expected to rise significantly later in the year.

“In my 30 years in the energy industry I’ve never ever seen prices increasing at this rate,” Lewis noted.

He added that around one in eight of its customers were already struggling to pay their bills, even before the weather turns colder and the new energy price cap comes into force in October, which is expected to rise significantly.

“We do need more intervention in October and it has to be very substantial,” he told the BBC’s Sunday Programme.

Investors King gathered that Energy regulator, Ofgem lifted the price cap on gas and electricity bills in April, adding around £700 to the average household energy bill to take it to £1,971.

For the 4.5 million people on pre-payment meters – which are typically used by people on lower incomes – the price of energy has now risen further, by an average £708, to £2,017 a year.

Due to the rising cost of wholesale gas, however, the price cap is expected to increase and take the typical energy bill to as much as £2,800, if not higher.

Following the rise of gas and electricity prices in April, the UK’s inflation rate reached a 40-year high of nine per cent.

A household is considered to be in fuel poverty if it has to spend 10 per cent or more of its disposable income on energy.

Recently, Shell reported a record £7bn profit in the first three months of this year while BP made £5bn, the highest for 10 years.

 

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