The recent swings in the spot price for crude oil — especially in light of the currently rapid rising spot prices are cause for alarm. Noting that the current run up of prices looks a lot like period leading up to the sudden price spike that occurred in the summer of 2008. It goes on to argues that the global economy needs a better market regulating mechanism that can help manage these swings and reduce their amplitude so they become less damaging to the world’s economies. The energy business — whether it is alternative energy or oil, gas or coal exploration and development — has huge up front capital needs. This needed capital is much harder to raise in a climate of such extreme near term price uncertainty.
Using financial data from 1,833 firms with US revenues of more than $1 billion in 2008/09, independent analyst firm Verdantix finds that spending on 29 sustainability initiatives will grow from $28 billion in 2010 to $60 billion in 2014. Over the 2009 to 2014 period the US sustainable business market will experience a 19% compound annual growth rate. The sustainable business market forecast finds that growth of 11% in 2010 will increase to 16% in 2011 and 24% in 2012. Growth in spending is driven by improved economic growth, risk drivers, competitive dynamics, innovation diffusion, higher oil prices, state-level GHG regulations and renewable energy policies. The study covers all industries and all sustainability initiatives from energy efficiency to spending on strategy, risk and brand.
The debate surrounding global climate change has been a very hot button issue for the past few years. In most cases the average person doesn’t know enough about the science behind this issue to make an informed decision. The fact is that climate change will become a major issue within the next two decades and will have a host of environmental as well as economic impacts in the United States. Climate change will play a major role in the way our economy functions as well as the way our legislators make decisions.
The Obama administration announced $350 million in stimulus funds to help expand geothermal resources and break down technological barriers. This is a huge jump in funding, dwarfing all previous government commitments and is more than all the funding for geothermal energy put together over the last 20 years. It also represents a dramatic reversal of previous trends of diminishing funding for this often overlooked renewable energy sector.