- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
While governmental around the world have expressed a desire to push a policy of increasing the use of alternative energy, there are signs that a wall of resistance is growing. Countries and companies are having difficulty making investors confident enough to hold to their investments. As the values of those investments continue to decline, more people are pulling their money out of the markets. Projects are being put on hold.
For example, T. Boone Pickens of the United States leased thousands of acres of land to erect wind-driven electricity generators in West Texas. He produced a huge advertising campaign to let the public know what he planned and why. However, he recently told a group of reporters that the project was currently on hold and that fuel prices would have to rise again to make it economically viable.
Governments have lost huge sums of money in tax revenue as unemployment has increased. That has meant that subsidies for renewable energy projects have dried up. Countries such as Italy, Poland and China are discussing curtailing some projects and returning to coal.
Thiolia, a large alternative energy company in France, has canceled its plans to start up a new subsidiary devoted to emerging markets. It also reduced its forecast for energy production in 2009.
Now the world leaders have to make some decisions. They can again drive up fossil fuel prices and force alternatives but continue down the recessionary road. They can insist that everyone make the switch to the more expensive alternative sources and continue down the recessionary road. Or, they might just try to continue to educate people and let market forces make the supposed inevitable march toward alternative energies as we can afford it.
Since this is a blog, I get to give my opinion. In my opinion, there is room for fossil fuel to stay on the market right now and let the poor live. There is no good reason they should not be able to afford a warm home to live in or buy the food and medicine they need. Government can still be involved to write rules and regulation for the responsible production of these materials and have regular inspections and reports. Hefty fines are appropriate for those companies that think they don’t have to follow the rules. Rather than spending trillions of dollars in a few months to develop a market and infrastructure for alternatives that may or may not be reliable, they could spread it out. Make 5-, 10-, 25-, 50- and 100-year plans. Fund construction projects as needed to grow the needed structures.