Will Energy Efficiency Become a New Investment Class?

by | published October 9th, 2015

We don’t usually think of the European energy sector as being the testing ground for a genuinely new energy investment initiative. But that may be changing… and fast.

Over the past two weeks, word has emerged that moves to the more efficient use of energy are now the new darlings of European investment houses. As Clare Anne Taylor wrote for CleanTechnica late last week, “Energy efficiency is the new black.”

So what’s holding the banks back from piling in en masse? The problem hardly seems to be raising the funds. Rather, the stumbling block is on the other end of the pipeline.

Here’s what’s holding back investments… how this barrier can be demolished… and how this development will affect everyday investors…

Why Russia Just Cried Uncle

by | published October 6th, 2015

Over the weekend, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak announced that Moscow is ready to meet with both OPEC and other oil producers to address the low price of oil.

For the first time in nearly 11 months, geopolitics is likely to give support to higher crude, and oil prices saw a new push.

Ever since OPEC decided last Thanksgiving to defend market share rather than price, crude has been in a swoon. That has had a major negative impact on countries relying upon the sale of oil to balance their central budgets. All producing countries have been affected as oil declined from the triple digits to around $40 a barrel.

And even U.S. producers have taken it on the chin. The American scene may be accentuated by huge new reserves of shale and tight oil, but these are more expensive to extract, requiring an average price of well above $70-75 a barrel.

But since last year’s OPEC decision, little has been done on a geopolitical scale to correct oil prices. So why has Russia just cried uncle?

Here’s my take on why Russia’s planning to meet with OPEC… and what the outcome will be…