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Alternative Energy

  • Iranian Nuclear Talks To Continue Until July

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna before talks on November 24, 2014. Iran and six world powers have agreed to extend talks on Tehran's nuclear program until July 1, 2015, after failing to seal a deal before a midnight deadline on November 24. Diplomats said that under the terms of limited agreements reached after six days of high-level talks in Vienna, a political accord is to be completed by March 1, with final details contained in annexes to be sealed by July 1. It was the second time the negotiators…

  • This Solar Company Keeps Reporting Losses But You May Want To Buy It Anyway

    We all know that logically we should assess the value and prospects of any stock based on the profitability and prospects of the company. That is investing 101, but sometimes other factors take over. In the case of SolarCity Corp (SCTY), buyers seem to be motivated by anything but profitability. The company has never made a profit since the IPO nearly two years ago, but even so, despite losing a lot of ground since the high back in February, SCTY is trading at over five times what it was then. The gut reaction of any value investor when looking at…

  • The Cold, Hard Truth About Renewables

    Does the recent climate accord between US and China mean that many countries will now forge ahead with renewables and other green solutions? I think that there are more pitfalls than many realize. Pitfall 1. Green solutions tend to push us from one set of resources that are a problem today (fossil fuels) to other resources that are likely to be problems in the longer term. The name of the game is “kicking the can down the road a little.” In a finite world, we are reaching many limits besides fossil fuels: 1. Soil quality–erosion of topsoil, depleted minerals, added…

  • Iran’s Murky Nuclear Past May Disrupt Its Future

    In sorting through Iran’s nuclear supplies, P5+1 must decide how to handle illegally gained materials and equipment. How not to steal a deal: Representatives of Permanent Five Security Council members and Germany try to reach deal with Iran (top); one solution is to use Russian-made nuclear reactor under IAEA supervision; Sergey Kirienko, head of Rostatom, (right) and Ali Akbar Salehi, chief of Atomic Energy Agency of Iran, sign deals on Bushehr reactor WASHINGTON: As the clock ticks towards the November 24 deadline for concluding a deal with Iran to shut down its weapons-related program, a critical dimension of Iran’s nuclear…

  • Renewable Energy Will Allow Communist Party Of China To Hold Onto Power

    News about the US-China climate change deal was met with an equal measure of praise and doubt. Many observers cheered the fact that the world’s two largest economies had come together on an issue as important as climate change and vowed to take real, measurable steps in curbing emissions. Still others saw the announcement as a paper tiger, an agreement that allowed Beijing to gain some credibility while having no intention of ever following through with the terms of the deal. The National Review was particularly virulent in making the latter point. It wrote that there “was abundant reason for…

  • End Of Life Costs For Nuclear Power A Real Concern

    Nuclear power stirs considerable controversy but we have broadly been a supporter of the technology in part because of its low emissions and running cost, but the industry had arguably their biggest challenge starkly highlighted this week in the International Energy Agency’s annual report.Related: Three Possible Outcomes Of Iranian Nuclear Talks By 2040, the agency said, almost 200 reactors are due to be shut down with considerable uncertainties over the decommissioning costs. An FT article quotes $100 billion for plant dismantling but the extent to which this is just the beginning is highlighted by a quote from Paul Dorfman of the…

  • Three Possible Outcomes Of Iranian Nuclear Talks

    The likely outcomes of the Iran nuclear deal, the impacts on economic prospects for Iran, and how international investors are likely to position themselves in the coming months. With the November 24th deadline for the conclusion of a permanent agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program fast approaching, it is still unclear if negotiators can clinch a final deal. Others have extensively covered the key issues at stake, whether the P5+1 or Iran has been the party unduly obstinate in the talks, and the resulting impact on regional stability. Whatever the final outcome, however, we know that it will significantly affect the…

  • 8 Countries With Nuclear Power Plants Most At Risk Of Tsunamis

    The tsunami that destroyed a nuclear reactor at Fukushima, Japan, caused a major re-think of nuclear power, which up to the accident in 2011, had been considered a relatively safe, clean form of electricity generation. The tsunami that followed shortly after a 9.0 mega-quake off the east coast of Japan was shocking in its magnitude - killing close to 16,000. But it was soon apparent that another disaster was in the making, when the surging waves inundated pumps used to cool down the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex. The resultant fuel meltdown and leakage of radiation led…

  • How Global Fossil Fuel Dependence Hasn`t Changed In 20 Years

    Whilst enjoying the good natured exchanges on this blog concerning the pros and cons of new renewable energy sources I decided to dig deeper into the success of Green energy policies to date. Roger Andrews produced this chart the other day and the low carbon energy trends caught my eye. It is important to recall that well over $1,700,000,000,000 ($1.7 trillion) has been spent on installing wind and solar devices in recent years with the sole objective of reducing global CO2 emissions. It transpires that since 1995 low carbon energy sources (nuclear, hydro and other renewables) share of global energy…

  • How A Solar Revolution Could Be Near

    Credit: ShutterstockCan we build enough carbon-free energy fast enough to avert catastrophic climate change without having to power this energy transition with fossil fuels that would undermine the whole transition? The answer is “yes,” and here’s why.The “global solar photovoltaic industry is likely now a net energy producer,” concluded a Stanford study released last year. That was followed by a very detailed analysis, Energy Balance of the Global Photovoltaic (PV) Industry, by post-doc Michael Dale and Global Climate & Energy Project director Sally Benson. They examined how much energy is consumed during the entire lifecycle of the production process for…