Oil Dialectics

Optimistic as always about the rise of renewable energy, Juan Cole provides a new list of developments in this arena under the name of “Top Ten Reasons Fracking won’t Last Long.”  All intriguing, but I was most intrigued by #7:

Algeria wants to go solar, aiming for 650 megawatts of solar energy by 2015 and a massive 22 gigawatts by 2030. The Desertec Foundation has big projects in Egypt and Morocco, and Algeria, an oil producer, has decided to join in. Theoretically, a small portion of the Saharan desert could power the entire world. Desertec plans to turn North Africa into a clean electricity-producing zone that could meet nearly a fifth of Europe’s energy needs. Algeria is eager to turn to renewables because its rapidly growing population is using more an more of its petroleum production, which is declining.

Cole has pointed out the same of other big oil producers like Saudi Arabia and even Iran.  He argues that Iran is most likely pushing forward with refining its nuclear capacities not to make a bomb (though more on that, perhaps, another time) but to have an alternate source of energy so its own growing economy doesn’t suck up all its oil.  Perhaps a strange byproduct of the world’s addiction to oil really will be a stronger move toward renewables, at least in some parts of the world.

Photo by now picnic

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