Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Yes interest rates are low, but I think that the market for renewable energy tech in the US is being seriously undermined by shale gas.

In the new issue of Wired, Julie Eilperin writes that clean-technology investment is in the throes of going bust, at least in the United States. That includes solar, wind and biofuels. A U.S. presidential election year and the continuing Solyndra bankruptcy scandal are combining to seriously undercut federal subsidies, she reports. As usual, China is providing stiff competition (the New York Times' Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher produce a long, must-read dive into why China and not the U.S. is likely to continue to dominate manufacturing). But the main culprit is cheap natural gas, Eilperin asserts. The shale gas boom, allowing for electricity prices of 10 cents a kilowatt-hour, has eroded the chances of solar and wind to compete.

As discussed over the weekend, Citi Group analyst Edward Morse concludes that shale gas (pictured above, part of a hydraulic fracturing operation in South Montrose, Pa.) could fuel a U.S. industrial renaissance, specifically in energy-intensive products such as chemicals, plastics and housewares. But to the degree that Morse is right, it is coming at a cost, which is a "clean tech meltdown."

Iberdrola just dropped 50 jobs from their American operations. Despite the favorable finance situation, I think that shale gas has changed the demand situation for renewables in the US. I've been thinking that a diary on this is in order. Shale gas is a relatively mature technology in the US, but it's still in its infancy in Europe.  Poland is potentially a huge source of shale gas for the rest of the Continent.  If there's a spike in shale gas production in Europe like in the US, my impression is that the market for renewables would sour as well.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Jan 25th, 2012 at 01:07:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series