Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Alternative Energy News

Oil is up, supplies are down (but still up compared to last year), and Americans are getting hit so hard in the wallet that they actually might start to lose weight. The roller coaster ride in the energy field is far from over, even if the oil bubble popped tomorrow and dropped the price down to $55/barrel. Alternative energy is "IN" and people from all over are trying to get in on the action.

The NY Times article, `‘Feel Good’ vs. ‘Do Good’ on Climate' takes a skeptic's view on the whole global warming debate. Bringing in Dr. Bjorn Lomborg and also taking a look at an area already hit with rising water levels and increase in temperatures, New York. Can we really fight the warming more efficiently by painting the roof tops and roads white? It would be an interesting experiment to say the least.

Where's there is a demand, there is money. It is one of the laws of the universe. The amount of money to be made and thrown at any given project is equal to 2.3 times the amount of good press that doing so would generate, whether it does anything or not. Well, that is my theory anyway. Alternative energy is hot right now. Governors are touring ethanol plants to appear to be sensitive to issues rather than really being sensitive to getting enough good press so that the next election is easier.

On the money side, big companies like Citi (was Citigroup) are getting involved. In their case their involvement is to the tune of $50 billion dollars US (over the next decade) into green house gas reductions. That's a lot of money going into the market. Of course things like that is leading NYMEX to launch new alternative energy equity index futures even though some professionals are starting to wonder if there is a bubble here and whether it is going to pop on us (hate it when that happens, the gum gets stuck to your nose and sometimes your hair, it is a mess).

The real question though, and one without a clear answer, is which technology will lead us to renewable nirvana?

The big question beyond that though is will the solution be able to save the polar bear?

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