Teksan Jeneratör | Enerji Gazetesi Haberleri Tanıtımı

Renewables Poised To Clean Up From Oil’s Price Spill

Kategori : ELECTRICITY ENERGY NEWS, ENERGY AGENDA NEWS, SOLAR ENERGY NEWS, OIL & FUEL SECTOR NEWS, WIND ENERGY & RES NEWS - Tarih : 27 March 2020


Saudi Arabia abruptly altered its oil production strategy in early March and began to flood the market with cheap oil. Financial markets worldwide hemorrhaged value at the prospect of a protracted and painful price war, and American oil firms immediately cut back spending and dividend payments as the price for their primary product halved.  As of this morning, WTI Crude (a pricing benchmark tied to U.S. supply) was barely north of $20/bbl, prices not seen since 2002.

This sudden tumult represents an opportunity for the renewable energy sector.  At first glance, this may sound counterintuitive. After all, oil prices seem largely unrelated to the prospects of wind, solar, and other renewables in the electricity generation sector, because in the United States the primary fossil source of electricity is natural gas.  Natural gas prices have been largely uncorrelated with the price of oil since 2007, when large-scale domestic shale-gas production began to come online (see chart). In other parts of the world, coal drives electricity generation, which is similarly decoupled. Virtually nobody uses oil as a primary electricity source, except in certain very specific locations, such as Hawaii, where the demands of unique geography and supply logistics align to make oil the best bet for power production.

Oil’s link to renewables instead comes through competition in the financing marketplace.  As new projects are developed and financing is sought, the infrastructure funds that provide capital to enable these developments naturally prefer projects that promise the most attractive financial returns.  With relatively high prices over the last decade and unmatched value as a transportation fuel, oil exploration has beaten out renewable project development on the financial metrics time after time.


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