The Investor’s Climate Change Conundrum: Is It Worth Watching Your Hamptons Beach House Sink Beneath the Waves Just to Make a Few Bucks from Carbon Emitters?
|Dec 13th, 2011 | Filed under: Alpha Strategies, Infrastructure, Today's Post | By: dfriedenberg||
We recently attended a talk by Dr. Keith Crane of the Rand Corporation concerning the challenges, opportunities and costs of renewable energy, through the courteous invitation of Ziad Abdelnour, head of the Financial Policy Council.
Dr. Crane began his comments by noting that renewables currently begin to make sense only if America’s policy goal is the reduction of carbon emissions. Given the acknowledged need for emission reduction and the current available technology, improvements in non-renewable plant efficiency are likely the optimal means to deploy additional capital at present. But it’s a ticklish problem when you consider that, excluding environmental costs, coal-fired power costs about one third of typical renewable energy costs.
He pointed out that mankind has known for over 100 years that an increased level of carbon in the atmosphere leads to an increase in the temperature on Earth. The use of coal accounts for roughly 80% of all carbon emissions associated with electricity generation here.
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Doug Friedenberg has a knack for taking esoteric financial topics and rendering them merely obscure. He is principal of www.jigsaw-capital.com, which arranges asset-based finance for small and mid-sized businesses.