Gordon Brown’s trip to the Middle East was a clear example that non oil exporting states are still very much affected by OPEC’s decisions. While OPEC nations continue to brazenly collude consumers have passed the tipping point and have made concerted efforts to cut OPEC’s impact out of the equation. Consumers have seen the impact on their economy and environment. Politicians have now realized that we will vote for them if they highlight their green credentials, and we know that by supporting locally sourced energy we are developing local employment and business opportunities.
The reality is that it will be hard to finance projects that are purely based on predictions for increasing prices. What green investments need are the foresight of people and entities that believe that their technology will yield considerable margins even under low oil prices – in the future if not immediately. These investors are out there; BP (formerly British Petroleum and now “Beyond Petroleum”) and Chevron have already shown a push towards becoming broader energy companies by investing in solar, geothermal and biofuel concerns. Companies like Monsanto beginning to play in the BioFuels game. Cynics might tout that this is good for marketing, and it is – but these companies understand investment in research and development. They have an appetite for risk, exploration is not cheap, and investing in exploration of different technologies as opposed to new oil wells has a similar cash flow profile.