Tag Archives: All things GREEN

Chart Of The Day: Food & Agriculture Demand And Supply

What this screams is the urgency of leveraging Africa’s arable land potential. I wonder how Africa would stack up against the righthand chart:

2013.04.03.Food-Agriculture demand supply

From @CamboRobert.

Super Bowl XLVII, Hangover Edition

There was a lot to admire and a lot to mock in last night’s noise riot in fairly equal parts. But amid all the spectacular excess that this annual contest has become, one element of it stood above everything and absolutely blew me away, and it was an advertisement of all things: Dodge’s farmer ad. I swear I am not being paid to pitch this, but I really have not been left so speechless in a very long time. The ad was apparently refashioned from a 1978 speech by the late radio broadcaster Paul Harvey, and it is poetry. Below, the ad that ran last night, followed by a previous visualization attributed to farms.com, and a transcript of the original speech.

Wow.

The transcript of the original speech:

Continue reading

Quote of the day: The real problem with electric cars

Dr. Richard Mignogna, renewable energy guru, writes:

“Much has been written in the popular and technical press lately about the emerging electric vehicle, both pro and con. In spite of wishful thinking, don’t expect significant penetration any time this decade. There is probably a role for EVs but it is not the widespread consumer market. Rather, it is more likely to be various fleet applications such as delivery vehicles or limited urban transit applications. For all but the most dedicated clean energy afficionados and hobbyists, or those who can afford a third vehicle, how many consumers can afford to pay the prices being charged for a vehicle with such limited capability? Most cannot. Second, there is still the issue that, in most places, the electricity used to recharge an EV will come predominantly from coal. So, the environmental benefits, at best, are muted. But, cost and performance aside, there is another difficulty with an electric transportation infrastructure that few seem to speak about. If you loved Big Oil, you will really love Big Monopoly Electric Utility extending its dominance to the transportation sector. Gasoline prices have at least been shown to be sufficiently elastic that they respond to consumer demand. And, within a limited range, consumers still have a choice of providers. Hence, there is at least some semblance of a free market at play — even if it is an oligopoly. In contrast, a consumer’s only choice for recharging that overpriced EV is the local monopoly utility and to pay whatever its regulator-approved rate is. Good luck there. So, there is a use for electro-motive transportation. It just isn’t the one everyone is talking about.”
Continue reading

What Peru’s electricity market says about its economic prospects

During a project a few years ago in Ghana, a government official there told me that one of the unofficial ways his agency attempted to measure informal economic activity was by tracking electricity usage. At the time, I had previously heard that such–no pun intended–off-the-grid methods were on the rise for certain frontier markets as a supplement to more textbook approaches for tracking economic activity, but that was the first time I had actually met someone who was an active practitioner (Dr. Friedrich Schneider of Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, whom I have never personally met, has a sizeable body of work in this niche, this presentation being one example; Hernando de Soto’s work of course goes without saying).

Two recent items have reminded me of that conversation. One is Continue reading

Renewable energy is #1 for foreign direct investment

The big story from FDI intelligence’s global greenfield investment trends report this year is clearly the increase in renewable energy investments, available for download here. Since I’m in a bit of an infograph kick lately, here’s another for you:

And here’s how renewable energy compared to other sectors for 2011:

Continue reading