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Smith's Research & Gradings
Volume: 
XXIX
Issue: 
6
Author: 
March 31, 2021

Smith's Research & Gradings

Here Comes the Sun

Here Comes the Sun

Smith's is issuing an Event Risk for Solar Flares (+1) The Solar Cycle 25 reached its lowest level in 2020 and it has started climbing higher in 2021. Forecasts predict the Solar 25 Cycle will peak in 2025.

Research now underway predicts the Sun's activity rises and falls in an 11-year cycle. The forecast for the next solar cycle forecasts it will be the weakest of the last 200 years. The maximum of this next cycle — measured in terms of sunspot number, a standard measure of solar activity level — could be 30 to 50% lower than the most recent one. The results show that the next cycle will start in 2020 and reach its maximum in 2025.

On August 31, 2012 a long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the sun's atmosphere, the corona, erupted out into space. This coronal mass ejection — an immense cloud of magnetized particles — traveled at over 900 miles per second. The ability to forecast these kinds of events on the Sun is increasingly important as NASA prepares to send humans to the Moon under the Artemis program.

Sunspots are regions on the Sun with magnetic fields thousands of times stronger than the Earth's. Fewer of them at the point of maximum solar activity means fewer dangerous blasts of radiation.

What prompts Smith's Event Risk Alert is the combination of increasing solar activity, the weakness of America's electric transmission system (aka the grid) and the spread of residential/commercial electronics (phones/computers,etc).  

The obvious solution is to ground the electric towers, sub-stations, and power transformers. However, copper wire is the preferred method of grounding electric grids, which is often stolen from these facilities and sold as a commodity.

Take notice

Stay on top of the latest global news that can impact your investment strategy.

Clean Energy Needs Reliability Requirement

Clean energy needs to include reliability requirement as new technology advances. Transformation of the energy mix used in electricity generation globally has been focused on development of renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar, but the major stumbling block has remained reliability.

Treasury Secretary to Close COVID-19 Lending Facilities

On Thursday, November 19, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin sent a letter to Fed Chair Powell indicating that he would be allowing most of the Fed's 13(3) emergency lending facilities to expire at year-end, and requesting that the Fed "return unused funds to the Treasury" in order for Congress to "re-appropriate $455 billion, consisting of $429 billion in excess Treasury funds for the Federal Reserve facilities and $26 billion in unused Treasury direct loan funds."

KBRA: State Revenues Beating Predictions

Kroll Bond Rating Agency's (KBRA)review of state revenue was lead by Paul Kwiatkoski, Managing Director. The State revenue losses show the results may be much less severe than originally estimated.

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