The International Energy Agency reports that new coal fired power plants are struggling to fill the gap between growing energy needs and the flagging investment in unreliable energy. Who is surprised? Incidentally our own AEMO predicted declining demand for power in Australia as a part of their Grand Plan for the Future. They referred to energy efficiency and I don’t think they meant de-industrialization although that is more likely the way things are going.
Global energy investment stabilised in 2018, ending three consecutive years of decline, as capital spending on oil, gas and coal supply bounced back while investment stalled for energy efficiency and renewables, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest annual review.
Still, even as investments stabilized, approvals for new conventional oil and gas projects fell short of what would be needed to meet continued robust growth in global energy demand. At the same time, there are few signs of the substantial reallocation of capital towards energy efficiency and cleaner supply sources that is needed to bring investments in line with the Paris Agreement and other sustainable development goals.
Follow the money. Warren Buffet was quite clear that he only put money into wind for the tax breaks. Now he is backing Occidental Petroleum with 10Billion to help them buy Anadarako, described as “one of the big Permian Basin players” in Texas.
Today the Centre for Independent Studies conducted an informative and entertaining lunchtime discussion of the future of classical liberalism and conservatism in a world where 60% of millennials are socialists and probably even more think that climate change is the greatest issue of our time. The guest speakers were Sir Bill English (former New Zealand prime minister), Sir Craig Oliver (former director of politics and communications to British prime minister David Cameron and currently a Principal with global CEO advisory firm Teneo) and Jennifer Hewett (national affairs columnist with the Australian Financial Review).
Jennifer Hewett looked at the Australian situation in the wake of the seismic weekend events. She was good although for my money Bill English stole the show. See the event if it is on line at CIS. On the Millennial Issue he was helpful, pointing out that some of their concerns are valid (cost of housing) and some are not (leaning to socialism and climate alarmism). So a measured response is required. They need to know that their valid concerns will be addressed and they have to be encouraged to learn a bit more about economics and the cost/benefit equation of climate policy.
Craig Oliver is professionally engaged in spreading the word that capitalism is a Good Thing, against the tide of popular opinion at present, especially among the young. Certainly he is young at heart himself, opining that “you only have to believe half of what the IPCC says” to know that we are going to be in big trouble with climate change.
It depends which half you believe. There is some good solid science in the supporting papers in the big volume that hardly anyone reads and the thinner summary volume is carefully crafted to maintain alarm. In the solid part the paper on Health indicates that there are no striking reasons for alarm and the paper on extreme weather events notes the very well documented fact that there has no been increase in these phenomena in recent times (possibly the reverse).
There is also an admission that their models run too hot, but that does not stop them from using the over-hot projections to generate scary scenarios. Like the idea that the Great Barrier Reef is on the brink of collapse and will be gone in our lifetime if we persist in burning coal. I hope Craig checks out the Reef while he is Down Under.