Lithium is finite – but clean technology relies on such non-renewable resources Parakram Pyakurel, Southampton Solent University Until we cut consumption, we will only shift problems from one natural resource to another. Replacing conventional cars with electric cars A quick calculation shows that, if all conventional cars (those using petrol/gas or diesel) were replaced by electric cars, the world would run out of lithium in around five decades. I take the total amount of lithium from the US Geological Survey, which estimates there are currently 14m tonnes of proven reserves worldwide. I used industry figures for the total amount of passenger cars sold worldwide – about 69m in 2016. That same year, less than a millionelectric vehicles were sold, even including plug-in hybrids. Now, if we imagine a future where all passenger cars were electric and the number of cars sold per year remains constant at 2016 levels, almost 69m (technically: 69.46m minus 0.75m) electric cars will have to be produced each year even at a very cautious estimate. Our assumption here that the demand of cars will remain constant is actually [...]
Woolworths and Wesfarmers’ liabilities will double, and Myer’s liabilities will treble in 2019 – not because of a major acquisition but because of new accounting rules (AASB 16 Leases). Putting this in very simplistic terms – companies that rent space to sell their goods, record that rental expense in their profit and loss account with other expenses such as wages, electricity etc. However, they would very likely have entered into a lease agreement for a 5 or 6 or even 10-year lease, and it is this commitment that up to now has not been reflected in the accounts of the operator. Companies are now being forced to bring operating leases onto their balance sheets for the first time, from January 2019. Whilst the new accounting standard will improve transparency it will also have a major impact on key financial metrics such as gearing ratios and return on invested capital, as the present value of leases will be represented on the balance sheet as an asset and liability. It becomes a bit more complex as companies have [...]
The Reserve Bank has raised the spectre of widespread mortgage stress against a backdrop of high household debt, rising home loan rates, declining home prices and years of irresponsible lending by banks. The RBA, which revealed that the official cash rate would remain on hold at 1.5 per cent on Tuesday, flagged a potential rise in mortgage arrears.“Banks’ large exposure to a potential deterioration in housing loan performance is expected to remain a key issue.