Economic Viability

Decent Essays

As debates continue to escalate regarding climate change, many countries agree that action is needed, but few are quick to act. The countries involved have to carefully consider the economic viability of alternatives, respond to various political influences, as well as cater to their growing populations. This complicates the issue and makes it unlikely that we will see any significant unified efforts anytime soon.

Converting from a widely used energy source can an expensive endeavor. One must consider the costs of establishing the new infrastructure to support the energy source. Despite these high startup costs, most subsidies are offered for established non-renewable forms of energy. In fact, many countries even have plans to reduce …show more content…

For comparison, the petrochemical industry requires an investment of $220,000 per job. Not only does ethanol production require a smaller investment, it boasts a yield of jobs per unit of energy produced that is 152 times that of the oil industry. The immense economic benefits to both the producers and consumers of ethanol fuel have led Brazils to embrace ethanol and approach energy independence. (Goldemberg, Coelho and Guardab 2008)

As stated in class, national as well as international politics also play a large role in energy source choice. Germany’s use of natural gas is heavily influenced by its relationship with Russia. Germany is the second largest importer of natural gas in the world at 79 billion cubic meters, and it relies on Russia, the second largest importer of natural gas in the world, for 39% of its natural gas. As a result of this energy dependence, Germany’s relationship with Russian can have significant impacts on its energy use. (Guillén 2017)

The politics of energy use can be felt just as strongly within a country. In the United States, companies spend millions of dollars a year lobbying Congress. Between 2009 and 2014, there was a total of $3.1 billion spent on lobbying environmental issues. Pacific Gas and Electric is one of the greenest utilities in the county and in 2008 it spent $27 million lobbying Congress which was only second to Exxon Mobil which spent

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