Renewable Energy may be too Little too Late to Prevent Carbon Catastrophe

Oil Price Daily News Update


Short-Term Politics Stifles Pentagon’s Green Energy Ambitions

Posted: 28 May 2012 03:59 PM PDT

The US Defense Department consumes more energy than any other department or sector in the country, spending around $20 billion annually by some estimates; but ambitious plans to make it the nation’s green leader have been swept under the rug over budgetary concerns that smack of campaign politics. It is an inauspicious development for US energy independence, and indeed a contradictory one. The Defense Department is reeling under higher fuel costs already, which have left it short some $3 billion. A stronger focus on alternative fuels will…

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After Egypt’s Presidential Elections, Can We Expect Changes in Energy Policies?

Posted: 28 May 2012 03:55 PM PDT

The Egyptian presidential election is the most important political development flowing from the “Arab spring,” with enormous implications for the entire Middle East.According to partial results on 25 May American-educated Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice Party candidate, won the most votes in a run-off election in Egypt’s first genuinely competitive presidential election. A Mubarak appointee, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq and Hamdeen Sabahi, regarded as a leftist and a supporter of the nationalist,…

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Making a Big Stink: Is That a Landfill or a Gold Mine?

Posted: 28 May 2012 03:45 PM PDT

Who here likes landfills? Hands up! What… no one? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Almost no one like landfills, and it’s not hard to imagine why. Mountains of garbage, sometimes piled several stories high. All manner of pests including vermin and insects. How about the stench of methane and carbon dioxide? Not only repulsive, but contributing to the greenhouse effect to boot.Oh yeah, and also potentially a source of energy. That’s right, that trash-heap isn’t just a blight on whatever land it’s dumped on — it’s a readily available methane deposit.…

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How Index Buying Effects Crude Oil Futures Prices

Posted: 28 May 2012 03:39 PM PDT

In my previous post I described a new research paper with University of Chicago Professor Cynthia Wu on the Effects of Index-Fund Investing on Commodity Futures Prices. Previously I discussed what we found for the prices of agricultural commodities. Here I review our findings about oil prices.Part of the interest in a possible effect of commodity-index funds on oil prices comes from testimony before the U.S. Senate by hedge fund manager Michael Masters, in which he produced a provocative graph of oil prices against an estimate of the number of…

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The War on Coal: A Lie Invented by the Coal Industry

Posted: 28 May 2012 03:30 PM PDT

Big polluters and their Congressional allies have created a new straw man to knock down with the invention of the so-called “War on Coal.” It is a multi-million dollar disinformation campaign funded by Big Coal polluters to protect their profits and distract Americans from the deadly effects of air pollution on public health.However, with the number of coal jobs in key coal states actually on the rise since 2009, it’s more like peacetime prosperity than war in coal country. The War on Coal is nothing more than a new shiny object,…

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Renewable Energy may be too Little too Late to Prevent Carbon Catastrophe

Posted: 28 May 2012 03:21 PM PDT

The world probably needs to get back to 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere if truly radical climate change is to be avoided. But we are going in the wrong direction fast. In April, the Mauna Loy observatory measured CO2 in the atmosphere at about 396 parts per million, the highest recorded since records began being kept. The level was up nearly 3 ppm in a single year, itself an unusual statistic. Before the Industrial Revolution, at the time of the American Revolution, the level was 280 ppm. The Founding Fathers would already…

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Goldman Sachs Promises to Invest $40 Billion in Renewable Energy

Posted: 28 May 2012 03:18 PM PDT

Goldman Sachs (GS) have just announced that they plan to invest $40 billion in renewable energy projects over the next ten years. According to Reuters, renewable energy is “an area the investment bank called one of the biggest profit opportunities since its economists got excited about emerging markets in 2001.”They invested more than $4.8 billion in clean technology companies around the globe in 2011, so an average of $4 billion a year is actually a decrease, but GS see the potential for great profits as growing economies such as China,…

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UK Government cuts 2020 Solar Targets from 22GW to 11.9GW

Posted: 28 May 2012 03:16 PM PDT

Many people in the UK solar industry have been worried that the sudden cuts made by the government to the solar Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) policy would make it nearly impossible to achieve their 2020 solar targets.The cuts were announced following a report by the consultancy firm Parson Brinkerhoff back in February which claimed that capital expenditure costs for new solar installations would fall by 10-30 percent by the end of the year, a further 5-25 percent by 2014, and continue to fall by small amounts in 2015 and beyond. However a more recent impact…

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Europe is Failing due to the Lack of a Dominant Country to Lead the Way

Posted: 28 May 2012 03:13 PM PDT

We face the danger that the euro, the world’s No. 2 reserve currency, could implode.  Such an event wouldn’t be just another depreciation or collapse of a currency peg; instead, it would mean that one of the world’s major economic units doesn’t work as currently constituted.We are realizing just how much international economic order depends on the role of a dominant country — sometimes known as a hegemon — that sets clear rules and accepts some responsibility for the consequences.  For historical reasons,…

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