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Author Topic: AL GORE WINS NOBEL PEACE PRIZE!!!  (Read 396 times)
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« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2007, 12:34:20 pm »

                                Gore's Nobel win should boost alternative energy

By Timothy Gardner
Fri Oct 12
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The winning of the Nobel Peace Prize by Al Gore and the U.N. climate panel on Friday should give a push to alternative energy technologies that are already enjoying their best year ever, experts said.
The prize could spur change in the energy industry that coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power dominate.

"It's a quiet revolution," said Sarah Emerson, the managing director of Boston-Based Energy Security Analysis Inc, which has advised clients about fossil fuels for decades. "Gore's winning makes it a little louder."

Gore's Oscar-winning movie "An Inconvenient Truth" and book of the same name, and the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report this year outlined global warming's threat and blamed it on gases emerging from the smokestacks and tailpipes of the world's hydrocarbon economy.

They also highlighted that the comparatively tiny industries of biofuels, wind and solar power, and energy-sipping compact florescent lightbulbs, could over the coming decades help limit output of heat-trapping gases belched out by fossil fuels.

The technologies have a long road ahead of them before they would help slow and then reverse output of greenhouse gases. The two largest emitters of heat-trapping gases, the United States and China, have plans to build hundreds of power plants that run on coal, the heaviest emitter of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas.

"Gore has helped a whole lot of people see how critically important it is we address the climate crisis," Ted Nordhaus, an adviser to environmental groups, said in an interview.

"Where we and he need to go next is to define an agenda that is focused on building the new energy economy, not just tearing down the old energy economy," said Nordhaus, the co-author of "Break Through," a book about how the world should fight global warming.

In the United States, the world's top energy consumer, renewables only generated 3 percent of electricity in July, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

But wind and solar power are growing at about 30 percent or more every year. And U.S. capacity to make ethanol has grown 28 percent this year.

Global investment in renewable energies jumped to a record $100 billion in 2006, and will likely rise to about $120 billion in 2007, the U.N. Environment Program said this summer.

Still, many of the technologies may suffer bumps on the road to development. Solar power may be hurt by low supplies of refined silicon and the U.S. ethanol industry has transportation bottlenecks that could lead to a glut in the heart of the country and thin supply on the coasts.

Fortunately for Gore and the IPCC, the peace prize comes during a time of record prices for oil, cheap supplies of which are harder and harder for major oil companies to find. Oil hit a record high above $84 per barrel on Friday amid supply concerns ahead of the Northern Hemisphere winter and tensions between northern Iraq and Turkey.

Adam Bergman, a clean technology investment banker at Jeffries in New York, said the peace prize and record oil prices should push the U.S. public to vote for politicians that would regulate greenhouse gases and provide strong incentives for renewables. He said incentives have helped put renewables on a level playing field with fossil fuels in European countries such as Germany and Spain.

"U.S. investors have put a lot of money in clean technologies ... but we don't have the incentive structures in place to make them competitive with traditional fossil fuels right now," he said.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2007, 12:56:40 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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