And although the broad commodity market finished up 17.6% on the year, the performances of individual commodities were all over the map. For those familiar with the sector, that’s pretty much par for the course.
For all of 2019, December has been a magnet.
Between 2009 and 2015, solar PV module prices fell by 80%, ushering in a new era of affordability. Solar powered mini-grids don’t just have the potential to bring electricity to new markets, it can also replace the diesel-powered generators commonly used in Africa.
In a world working towards reducing its dependence on fossil fuels, what will happen to countries that depend on oil wealth when demand begins to dwindle? Countries can no longer assume their oil and gas resources will translate into reliable wealth — instead, it is how you manage what you have now that counts.
According to most accounts, even if questionable, the US checked with Russian partners about Russian forces being present there before engaging in the firefight at the Conoco oil plant. If true, the most probable solution to this mystery is that the Russian military did not know that Russian contractors were present near the plant that day.
Once there’s a warning that a storm is inbound and likely to take out the power in your area, it’ll be too late. Stock up throughout the year, when things go on sale. Not only will you save money, but you will also already be prepared for the power outage and won’t have to rush to the store.
Utility companies are pretty jazzed about this, too. Knowing exactly when their customers use their gas and electric 24/7 and what for gives them the opportunity to try to sell their customers additional products and services. Utility companies can also sell this private data to third parties and then they can also try to sell these utility customers other products.
For those in Japan and Germany celebrating that the exit from nuclear is providing an opportunity to embrace solar and wind energy, a sad slap of reality has also occurred. Not only have energy costs skyrocketed wherever green energies been built, but the toxic waste caused by those photovoltaic cells far outpaces anything produced by the dirtiest nuclear reactor.
European tensions are growing. There is Brexit, a directionless and over-extended Germany, an ambitious but weak France, and a growing regional divide. But the main danger to the European project is democracy. What is the European Union? The closest concept I can come up with is that of a liberal empire. An empire is a hierarchically structured block of states held together by a gradient of power from a centre to a periphery. At the centre of the EU is Germany, trying more or less successfully to hide inside a “Core Europe” (Kerneuropa) formed together with France. Germany doesn’t want to…
The election victory was clearly a triumph for both the style and substance of Prime Minister Scott Morrison. But the most important post-election issue now is the battle to control the narrative surrounding the causes and meaning of the result. The advantages the PM enjoyed over his opponent are now obvious. These included his mastery of policy detail, his capacity to speak directly to the aspirations of middle Australia, and his authenticity and ‘ordinary everyman’ persona in expressing everything from footy fanatism to his Christian faith. Tax policy — given the targeting of Labor’s franking credits, CGT, and negative gearing…
On Tuesday May 21st, US energy secretary Rick Perry made headlines after paying a visit to the newly elected administration of Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The visit itself wasn’t the cause of the headlines but rather Perry’s hubristic attack on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline and prophesying that a sanctions bill against western companies building the pipeline will pass into law in the immediate future. Perry said: “The United States Senate is going to pass a bill, the House is going to approve it, and it’s going to go to the President and he’s going to sign it, that is going to put…