Monday, 31 January 2011
The Beginning of the End for the Green Energy Movement
Public carbon trading is now dead in the USA says Watts Up With That? The Chicago Carbon Exchange has closed with a closing price of a nickel per ton of CO2.
To add to the misery of the green movement, huge new discoveries in gas, oil and rare mineral deposits see major investors and governments bail out of a collapsing green energy movement. In December pro-green Spain slashed funding for wind projects by 35% and declared photovoltaic plants would be cut by 45%. France then announced a four-month freeze on all solar projects. Then Germany announced it may discontinue the solar industry's sweetheart tariffs in 2012. The German Energy Agency called for Germany's drive towards solar to be 'cut back quickly and drastically'.
According to the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), Dr faith Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency, told an assembled London audience that it was now 'impossible' to meet targets to restrict agreed limits on emissions of carbon dioxide. She conceded that as the eco-energy market stumbles the traditional energy sources show a sudden surge in reserves and blames the shale gas boom in the US that has led to a 50% drop in investment in renewable energy.
"There's suddenly much more gas available in the world than previously thought."
One notable investor at the head of the rush is Bill Gates who thinks that there is better money to be made in advanced oil exploration technologies.
China's vice-minister of land and resources announced at a national conference in Beijing earlier this month that Chinese geologists have detected 'super-thick' oil and gas-bearing stratums in the northern part of the South China Sea. The ministry confirmed that new finds had also increased the reserves of iron and aluminum by 41% and 39% compared with the levels of 1999. China is the world's biggest consumer of coal, steel, alumina, copper and cement and rare metals, particularly neodymium, associated with the production of wind farms.
New research from Brazil further suggests experts are changing their opinions over the concept of 'peak energy'. Oil deposits have been discovered below a layer of salt in the Atlantic Ocean holding at least 123 billion barrels of reserves which are more than double previous government estimates.
More oil has been found in the North Sea and the Scottish-based company Cairn Energy continues successfully around Greenland and elsewhere.
Such news must make uncomfortable reading for environmentalists and green investors, who may be tempted to cut and run, causing carbon trading businesses to collapse. The closure of the Chicago Carbon Exchange is only the beginning.
Update: Just prior to publication I noticed a fellow blogger has expanded the neodymium issue with his usual vitality. The Scottish government should take note.