Going green--here come the investors!!

Discussion in 'Environment' started by MaggieMae, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. MaggieMae
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    MaggieMae Reality bits

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    Big Oil Goes Green for Real
    By Rana Foroohar | NEWSWEEK

    Published Sep 19, 2009
    From the magazine issue dated Sep 28, 2009

    Remember back in 2001 when BP went "Beyond Petroleum"? It was a brilliant marketing campaign, but it had less to do with changing the company's business model than positioning Lord John Browne as the Teflon oil executive. All but a tiny fraction of BP's revenue came, and still comes, from oil. So how should we take the spate of new green announcements from the world's major oil firms? In July, ExxonMobil announced big plans to grow green algae to fuel cars; last week, Chevron unveiled the world's largest carbon-sequestration project in Australia; and in recent months, Valero, Marathon, and Sunoco carried out a series of acquisitions that resulted in Big Oil controlling 7 percent of the U.S. ethanol business.

    The list goes on. And this time it's the real deal. It's not just that these projects involve bigger money, which will grow exponentially if new technologies work. That's still peanuts for oil majors, which put only 4 percent of their total 2008 profits into alternative-energy investment. It's that companies are actually beginning to think about alternatives not just as a tool for greenwashing (throw up a few solar panels here, sponsor a conference on wind energy there) but as real businesses that might one day turn real profits—or at least help make fossil-fuel production more profitable. The catalyst is that governments are moving to force industry to cut carbon emissions, creating a new "long-term regulatory reality" that favors alternative energy, says PFC Energy chairman J. Robinson West. Meanwhile, President Obama's green-stimulus efforts and China's massive investment in alternatives have created a serious market for green technologies.

    The fact that nations like Russia and Venezuela are pushing out big oil companies also gives CEOs an incentive to consider green alternatives. So does the fact that oil companies are among the world's biggest energy users, and will ultimately need to offset emissions. "I believe the large integrated oil firms will eventually become major players—perhaps even the dominant players—in alternative energy," says Don Paul, a former Chevron executive who now runs the University of Southern California's Energy Institute.

    This doesn't mean that wind and solar, which currently provide less than 1 percent of the world's primary energy, will replace fossil fuels, which provide 82 percent. In fact, while companies like BP and Shell are cutting back on commercial projects in wind and solar, Big Oil is taking a closer look at how they might be used to increase efficiency internally, or to free up increasingly profitable fossil fuels, like natural gas, for commercial sale. For example, Valero is building windmills to power refineries, and Chevron is using solar power to make steam to extract tough-to-reach oil. When you consider that the top 15 oil and gas companies have a market capitalization of $1.9 trillion, it's clear that these firms themselves have the potential to be major renewable customers.

    Oil companies are also taking a harder look at how to make their own business models work in the alternative sector. Paul notes that Big Oil's key assets—giant pipes, huge swaths of land with existing industrial-use permits, geo-engineering expertise, and extremely deep pockets—are "tailor-made for developing and delivering biofuels." Hence ExxonMobil's $600 million research foray into car fuel made from pond scum, and Shell's decision to freeze all other investment in renewables to focus on biofuels. Likewise, companies like Chevron are capitalizing on geological expertise to build large geothermal businesses.

    Big Oil is going to be an increasingly important investor in alternative energy. Venture-capital money has dried up. But with oil at $70 a barrel, the internal venture arms of the major oil firms are increasing the amount and percentage of investment going to alternatives. Historically, when Big Oil spends a dollar on research, it will spend many hundreds more to bring a product to market. If the new projects coming online this summer are any indicator, alternatives may soon be awash in black gold.

    Find this article at
    Big Oil Goes Green | Newsweek Environment | Newsweek.com
     
  2. Mr. H.
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    I'm surprised the term "Big Oil" is still used today. Another gift from the Carter era.

    7% of ethanol business hardly amounts to "control", but attach a relationship to a petroleum company and it evidently becomes a big deal.

    Obama's "green stimulus efforts" hinge on syphoning $62 billion from the U.S. petroleum industry. Do we really want to do that? Any idea what will happen to domestic drilling and production? Jobs? They will all decrease. The increase in green energies and jobs will come nowhere near replacing what will be lost in the petroleum sector.
     
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  3. CryGlennCry
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    Well good!
    We put far to much effort and money into this.
    ALTERNATIVE ENERGY IS KEY, PEOPLE!!
    We don't need NEW drilling, we need to build solar panel factories and start cranking them out until we can cover every roof in America with them. And the jobs in oil are easily replaced by alt energy jobs. Panels, new bullet trains, and such.
    Then we STOP making 20mph gas guzzlers.
    All electric. And since there is a solar panel on EVERY roof, the fuel is pennies on the dollar.
    We then take ALL the power from Arab nations.
    Pretty much ending terrorism.

    Thank you in advance for MY 2010 Nobel Peace Prize nomination.
     
  4. Mr. H.
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    Don't forget to paint your roof white.
     
  5. Oddball
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    Yeah, "going green" as in going for the taxpayer subsidies.
     
  6. MaggieMae
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    Why are people stuck that the only alternative is "ethanol"?? It's many alternatives, too numerous to list. And YES subsidies will be needed in order to help fledgling entrepreneurs get up and running. Drilling for oil, and refining, etc., are being ignored by investors. They know where the future lies and they want in on the action because alternative (green) energy is where profits are to be made and where good paying jobs will be. This is a good resource guide.

    Job Trends Index
    Listing of Recent Reports on Labor Forecasts for the Renewable Energy Industries

    Prepared by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council

    Since 2003, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has been tracking reports on labor forecasts and job trends. This Index is usually updated once a year. If you know of other reports that should be added, please contact info@irecusa.org.

    Recent Reports

    Green Collar Jobs in the U.S. and Colorado: E3conomic Drivers for the 21st Century (January 2009)
    The renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE) industries represented more than 9 million jobs and $1,045 billion in U.S. revenue in 2007, according to this report. The renewable energy industry grew three times as fast as the U.S. economy, with the solar thermal, photovoltaic, biodiesel, and ethanol sectors leading the way, each with 25%+ annual revenue growth. American Solar Energy Society and Management Information Services, Inc.

    Manufacturing Climate Solutions: Carbon-Reducing Technologies and U.S. Jobs (November 2008)
    This report presents new research linking U.S. jobs with selected low-carbon technologies that can help combat global warming. In the series, the authors ask, “In a new global economy increasingly affected by the threat of climate change, what are the U.S. job opportunities in technologies that can reduce carbon emissions?” Gary Gereffi, Kristen Dubay and Marcy Lowe, Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness, Duke University.

    Green Jobs Guidebook (October 2008)
    The Guidebook is an expansive listing of green jobs throughout the California economy that includes job descriptions, salary information, minimum education requirements, potential certifications, employer types, job market growth potential and more information. Authored by the Environmental Defense Fund in partnership with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.

    Current and Potential Green Jobs in the U.S. Economy (October 2008)
    According to this study, the U.S. economy currently generates more than 750,000 green jobs—a number that is projected to grow five-fold to more than 4.2 million jobs over the next three decades. Prepared by Global Insight, Inc. for the US Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Center.

    Carbon-Free Prosperity 2025 (October 2008)
    In this report, the authors highlight how Oregon and Washington can create green jobs, deliver energy security, and thrive in the global clean-tech marketplace. Published by Climate Solutions and Clean Edge, Inc. Authors, Ron Pernick, Clint Widler, Dexter Gauntlett.

    Green Recovery.† A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy (September 2008)
    This report outlines a green economic recovery program to strengthen the U.S. economy
    over the next two years. The authors†detail how to expand job opportunities by stimulating economic growth, stabilizing the price of oil, and making significant strides toward fighting global warming and building a green, low-carbon economy. Robert Pollin, Heidi Garrett-Peltier, James Heintz, and Helen Scharber, Department of Economics and Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Kit Batten and Bracken Hendricks, Project Managers, Center for American Progress.

    Economic Impacts of Extending Federal Solar Tax Credits (September 2008)
    http://www.seia.org/galleries/pdf/Navigant Consulting Report 9.15.08.pdf
    The purpose of this study was to analyze the gross economic impact on the U.S. economy of extending federal tax credits for solar technologies - photovoltaics, solar water heating, and concentrating solar power. This study analyzed an 8-year extension of the current federal Investment Tax Credit for solar technologies. Navigant Consulting, Inc.
    †
    Greener Pathways (2008)
    This report details current economic and workforce development opportunities in three leading industries: energy efficiency, wind, and biofuels. It talks about†the kind and quality of jobs in the clean energy economy; the skills needed to fill these jobs; and how existing plants and their workers can move to the center of the clean energy economy. Sarah White & Jason Walsh, Center on Wisconsin Strategy in partnership with the Workforce Alliance and the Apollo Alliance.

    Job Opportunities for the†Green Economy:†A State-by-State Picture of Occupations that Gain from Green Investments (June 2008)
    This report provides a snapshot of what kinds of jobs are needed to build a green economy in the United States. The authors focus†on six key strategies for attacking global warming and highlight some of the major “green jobs” associated with each of these approaches. Robert Pollin & Jeannette Wicks-Lim, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

    California’s Solar Industry Workforce (April 2008)
    This report identifies solar firms in California, identifies solar occupations that are most relevant to community colleges, develops projections of future employment growth and defines skill sets and education requirements needed for solar occupations. Economic Workforce Development through the California Community Colleges.

    Defining Energy Technologies and Services (March 2008)
    This report addresses the energy workforce needs by providing educators with information needed to develop relevant curriculum that prepares students for energy technologies and services careers. One of the most widely used tools in the report is the "Energy Technologies and Services" careers chart, which provides a snapshot of the occupational areas and jobs. The Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC).

    Green-Collar Jobs in America’s Cities (2008)
    This publication outlines strategies for developing green-collar job initiatives and pathways out of poverty at the local level. The report describes a 4-step approach for local initiatives. It includes 14 case studies of successful green-collar job training or policy in 11 communities on both coasts, the Midwest, and the South.† Green For All, in partnership with the Apollo Alliance, Center for American Progress, and the Center on Wisconsin Strategy.

    Growing Green-Collar Jobs: Energy Efficiency (December 2007)
    This is a first in a series of reports that explore how sustainability can be an economic engine for New York City. Prepared for the New York City Apollo Alliance, each report in the series is based on secondary research and interviews with business, labor, civic, community and environmental leaders. Following reports will include Clean Energy: Renewable Energy systems (which will include photovoltaics and solar thermal). Urban Agenda.

    Road to Energy Independence (October 2007)
    This report documents the potential of a national Renewable Electricity Standard to create thousands of jobs making parts for wind turbines, solar panels and other clean energy technologies.†There are summary reports for Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin. There are more detailed reports for California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Produced by the Blue Green Alliance and the Renewable Energy Policy Project.

    Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Census (August 2007)
    The census identified 556 entities in Massachusetts engaged in renewable energy, energy efficiency and demand response, consulting and support, and university research related to clean energy. Employment in these firms, most of which are young and small, was estimated at 14,400, with an annual projected job growth rate of 20 percent. Prepared by Global Insight of Lexington for the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s Renewable Energy Trust. (Check for the updated 2009 census.)

    Opportunity on the Horizon: Photovoltaics in Texas (June 2007)
    This white paper discusses the potential for economic growth in Texas through the creation of a solar power industry. The report concludes that the state could create 123,000 new high-wage manufacturing and electrical services jobs by 2020 by actively moving toward solar power. IC2 Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.

    Other Report

    The Work That Goes Into Renewable Energy (November 2001)
    This report uses survey data to estimate direct jobs created by wind, photovoltaics, and biomass co-firing energy projects. Jobs are reported by skill type and occupational category. Renewable Energy Policy Project.

    Labor Calculator
    A tool that calculates the number of direct jobs resulting from renewable energy development under Renewable Portfolio Standard legislation or other programs to accelerate renewable energy development. Renewable Energy Policy Project.

    Wind Turbine Development: Location of Manufacturing Activity (September 2004)
    This report shows that a substantial portion of the benefits from wind energy will result from manufacturing the equipment and will flow to those states and localities that either have or can develop the firms to supply the subcomponents. Renewable Energy Policy Project.

    Solar PV Development: Location of Economic Activity (January 2005)
    Development of solar PV will lead to jobs and investment in areas of the country that manufacture the parts that make up a PV system, in addition to locations that install the systems. Renewable Energy Policy Project.

    Renewable Energy and State Economies (May 2003)
    The Council of State Governments.

    Energizing Michigan’s Economy: Creating Jobs and Reducing Pollution with Energy Efficiency and Renewable Electric Power (February 2007)
    Environment Michigan Research & Policy Center. Travis Madsen, Timothy Telleen-Lawton and Mike Shriberg.

    Putting Renewables to Work: How Many Jobs Can the Clean Energy Industry Generate? (April 2004)The Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at University of California, Berkeley. Daniel M. Kammen, Kamal Kapadia & Matthias Fripp.

    Component Manufacturing: Ohio’s Future in the Renewable Energy Industry (October 2005)
    Renewable Energy Policy Project State Report.

    Component Manufacturing: Wisconsin’s Future in the Renewable Energy Industry (January 2006)
    Renewable Energy Policy Project State Report.

    The Economic and Environmental Impacts of Clean Energy Development in Illinois (June 2005). University of Illinois at Chicago.

    Renewable Work: Job Growth from Renewable Energy Development in the Mid-Atlantic (Spring 2004)
    NJPIRG Law and Policy Center, Dave Algoso and Emily Rusch, authors.

    Economic Impact Analysis of a 20% New Jersey Renewable Portfolio Standard (December 2004)
    Center for Energy, Economic and Environmental Policy at Rutgers.

    Economic Impact of Renewable Energy in Pennsylvania (March 2004)
    Black & Veatch for the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.
    State Incentives – DSIRE: DSIRE Home

    The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and selected federal incentives that promote renewable energy. Incentives are listed by state and type.

    Summary tables provide an overview of state, local and utility incentives available in each state with links to incentive summaries. The Financial Incentives table provides federal government incentive information as well.

    Color-coded maps have been developed using the DSIRE database to provide a geographical view of the availability of selected financial and regulatory incentives across the U.S.


    Index last updated: March 17, 2009


    The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process that is referred to or linked to in this web site. Reference in this web site or in any links to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply IREC's endorsement or recommendation. The views and opinions expressed in this web site do not necessarily state or reflect those of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
     
  7. MaggieMae
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    MaggieMae Reality bits

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    Yet is was okay to subsidize Big Oil, even though they all made record profits.
     
  8. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Right...The old "as long as I get mine" moral relativism of the moocher.

    How pedantically unsurprising.
     
  9. MaggieMae
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    MaggieMae Reality bits

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    Tell you what: When the rest of the world is using other means for energy, we'll try to separate the little nitch you've carved out for yourself and allow you to survive all on your own using whatever archaic means you can find. You and your livestock can live off the land, but good luck powering up your computer.
     
  10. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Sorry....I don't buy into your shameless moral relativism and situational ethics, no matter how you try to deflect from or rationalize them.
     

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