Oil prices neared 27-month highs yesterday, and analysts are expecting the run to go on and on. A survey of analysts yesterday by Bloomberg found they expected 2011′s average price to be the second highest ever.
Today, Barclays Capital has added to that sentiment, producing its list of five predictions for the oil price for 2011. Not one of them reads well for consumers.
Here are the bank’s five expectations for this year.
While the rest of the climate-change world went to Cancun to watch the UN just about rescue its process, a team of intrepid HSBC researchers travelled to China, from where they returned with bullish news on clean energy.
In a mammoth report entitled Low-carbon China, the team found that the country was on track to outstrip its own targets on clean technology by a long way. This chart below shows the bank’s forecasts for solar and wind for 2015 and 2020 at around 50 per cent and 65 per cent above official targets.
Picture by Vestas
In this week’s readers’ Q&A session, Ditlev Engel, CEO of Vestas, the world’s biggest wind turbine manufacturer, answers your questions on the future of wind power.
In the first of two parts, Ditlev defends his industry’s government subsidies, explains his company’s decision to axe 3,000 jobs and discusses the major global obstacles to developing wind energy.
In the second part, to be published later this morning, he will talk about the inefficiencies of wind power and the impact of the recession on Vestas.
Next in the hotseat is Yvo de Boer, the former head of the UN’s climate change boyd and the man who led the UN at Copenhagen. He is now an advisor at KPMG and will be answering your questions on this site next Friday, December 10th. Send in your questions for consideration by the end of Monday, December 6th to firstname.lastname@example.org.
But for now, over to Ditlev:
Last week I wrote about the spike in Chinese demand for coal, which was driving a boom in coal M&A deals.
The phenomenon has not gone unnoticed by environmental campaigners, many of whom are quoted in a piece today in the New York Times.
The paper reports:
At ports in Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Colombia and South Africa, ships are lining up to load coal for furnaces in China, which has evolved virtually overnight from a coal exporter to one of the world’s leading purchasers.
Just two days ago the Wall Street Journal picked up on Chinese state media reports that the government was worried it might run out of coal. The paper reported:
State-run media reported that Beijing is considering capping domestic coal output in the 2011-2015 period, partly because officials worry miners are running down reserves too quickly to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding economy.
Those signals have been picked up by companies around the entire world, who are now clamouring to meet that demand.
A fascinating (and ever so slightly gruesome) story from Leslie Hook, reporting from Beijing in today’s FT.
The Chinese government’s commitment reduce energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 per cent from 2005 levels has led to power rationing, which in turn has fuelled a boom in diesel-powered electricity generators.
India may be catching up with China in terms of GDP growth but it still lags far behind on electricity provision. The contrast between the two global heavyweights is stark: nearly 404m Indians currently live without any electricity at all, compared to 8m Chinese.
What’s more, while China is projected to achieve universal electrification by 2015, India won’t be fully electrified until 2030, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.
China suffered its largest-ever oil spill in July and the danger it poses has not yet gone away: problems flared up again at the weekend when an oil tank caught on fire during ongoing cleanup efforts at the Xingang port in Dalian.
The newspaper headlines and front-page images of the inferno blaze, which was put out Sunday night, have brought the disaster back into public view. And for some in China, the public attention will be welcome.
Nearby fisherman who have been unable to work since the oil spill have yet to receive any compensation after attempting several lawsuits, and media attention on their cause is on the wane.