Power Struggle

A look at how the market and governments regulate power and how the green energy industry is disrupting it via The Economist article Wind and solar power are disrupting electricity systems

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Key takeaways:

  • Solar and wind only provide 7% of global energy consumption
  • Solar and wind are growing faster than any other energy type and prices are falling to competitive levels with fossil fuels
  • Requires significant investment over the next 10 years ($20 trillion)
  • WE NEED TO RETHINK HOW CLEAN ENERGY IS PRICED
    • Government subsidies have distorted the market
    • Green power is intermittent
    • Renewable costs are negligible or zero… aka meaning that the more used, the more depressed the prices and revenues
    • Markets do not determine energy company success and failure; politicians do
    • Small, modular power plants can help with intermittent supply as well as moving network power around more efficiently

Recommendation: 

Markets should reward those willing to use less electricity to balance the grid, just as they reward those who generate more of it.

Disaster Foretold

20151107_irm920Last month, The Economist posted an article about El Niño and the how the offsets of the disasters can be deceiving when it comes to preparation, especially for poor countries.

“El Niño sees warm water, collected over several years in the western tropical Pacific, slosh back eastwards when winds that normally blow westwards weaken, or sometimes reverse. America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says this year’s Niño could be the strongest since records began in 1950.”

 

Better Ways to Pay for College

20150822_LDC481The Economist outlines two of the 2016 presidential contenders’ plans on fixing the “paying for college” problem.

“America’s presidential primary campaigns are proposing serious ideas for how to deal with real economic problems. High among them is how to fix the country’s broken system of university finance.”

Private Education in Poor Countries

20150801_LDP001_0This is worth a read: today The Economist featured The $1-a-week School about the politics involved in the crumbling and seemingly unfix-able issue of viable education in poor countries.

“By and large, politicians and educationalists are unenthusiastic. Governments see education as the state’s job. Teachers’ unions dislike private schools because they pay less and are harder to organise in. NGOs tend to be ideologically opposed to the private sector. The UN special rapporteur on education, Kishore Singh, has said that “for-profit education should not be allowed in order to safeguard the noble cause of education”.

This attitude harms those whom educationalists claim to serve: children.”

Glitch Perfect

“For a moment, the stoppage seemed like grounds for panic. It did not help that a mysterious computer glitch had caused United, one of America’s biggest airlines, to ground all its flights shortly beforehand. The excitable speculated that a coordinated cyber-attack was under way.” – The Economist 

I wouldn’t necessarily call myself one who takes conspiracy theories to heart, but this is more than a little coincidental. Check out this The Economist article from today!

US Economy: The struggle has been long and arduous

“Having fought off the effects of the financial crisis, governments and central banks are understandably eager to get back to normal. The way to achieve their goal is to allow the recovery to gather strength first.”

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http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21654053-it-only-matter-time-next-recession-strikes-rich-world-not-ready-watch