Thursday, April 25, 2013

Futurists' projections part II

The New York Times is chiming in with a whole section on Energy today. One of the articles is about predictions, and there are some fun ones in there. The first is that the US might become an energy exporter by 2030. Think about that for a minute: how wonderful the loss of power and influence of nutballs like Saddam Hussein and Hugo Chavez who've done crazy things on the world stage. Unfortunately it's not like petroleum suppliers will no longer matter- they will still be rich and successful and depended on by many, just not as extremely influential as they are now. Also, non-hydro renewable energy will account for over 30% of growth in overall power generation. That's something to look forward to!

Some of the less bright sides are in trying to figure out how to bring power to developing countries like China and India. This blog has recently discussed pollution in China, and though efforts are underway there to wean themselves from coal, the alternatives are costly. The government there is investing heavily in alternatives but who knows what will turn out to be the best new thing? Markets do a better job with that than governments, but energy markets currently don't do a good job of taking into account all the relevant costs, so government has a role to play.

All in all, energy in the US has a bright future! Yuk yuk yuk.

1 comment:

  1. Nicholas S. BrownMay 9, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Is there a theme here in regards to energy markets? Both this blog post and the previous one on carbon trading mention energy markets when talking about emissions caps and future projections of energy production/use. Prof. Manley mentions that the carbon markets are somewhat artificial while the article in this blog post talks about how energy markets fail to take into account externalities and other several costs. If these markets don't take into account important economic factors then how in the world are people(firms) participating in the trading of energy sources (i.e. carbon credits)?!