If the world boycott of Iranian oil is having any effect, it doesn’t seem to be registering in the Persian Gulf. Iran claimed to be the world’s #1 exporter of fuel oil and South Korean imports of Iranian oil are up 24 percent. Finland is hoping to boost ties with Iran on energy and industry. The good news is that putting Somali pirates in prison (above) has brought piracy way down on the Gulf trade routes. Kuwait and Iraq are putting aside their old Gulf War hostilities and agreeing to collaborate on energy development. But IPOs are still in a lull in the Gulf states.
Reid Wilson argues in the National Journal that coal country votes are shifting toward the Republicans and that bodes ill for the Democrats. But didn’t Mitt Romney prove that strategy didn’t work very well? As long as you’ve got the votes in the cities, who needs coal country?
The Abu Dhabi Conference on renewable energy is producing lots of proclamations about renewable energy’s future. But Tim Carney, interviewed in The Examiner, says that the loss of subsidies is cutting into renewable projects. Nonetheless, Google has contributed $2.6 million to renewable and conservation research.
Africa is the world’s fastest growing energy market, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Somalia is promoting itself as a future energy hub. But so far most of the action seems to be limited to extraction. India is seeking to wrap up Mozambique coal and Pura Vida has bought oil and gas rights off Morocco. But Stephen Mullennix, vice president of SolarReserve, says his company has had success in developing two solar power projects in South Africa.
Newport, Oregon will be the site of the new Pacific Marine Energy Center, which will test extracting energy from wind and wave. A conference is being held in Rhode Island and the British Crown has just announced it will invest £20 million in developing the technology. Ocean Power Technologies, a New Jersey company, is testing a new type of buoy offshore but most industry people say wave and tidal power is still deep in the research stage.
Finally, Robert Bradley, of MasterResource, reminds us that energy is a tale of creative destruction (see Schumpeter, Joseph). Legislative analyst Mac Taylor chides California Jerry Brown for his green spending spree in the Los Angeles Times. And Brad Plumer of the Washington Post says we’re on a pace to heat the US mainland by 10 degrees over the next century. Nobody will have to move to Florida anymore.