Monday, October 27, 2008

A Volatile Market

"I think $100.00 a barrel is a fair price" - OPEC oil minister on where he thinks oil should be priced.

Do they just pull these numbers out of their collective asses or what? What ever happened to "market fundamentals" like supply and demand? Hey Jack, if there's no demand for oil because the global economy has tanked, then oil is worth whatever the market will bear, not whatever you think is "fair". These guys don't even realize that by artificially raising the price, that they'll just delay an economic recovery, and thus demand for oil.

This kind of volatility is what drives me to drive a car that doesn't play the Oil Game. I'm so mad at energy producers that I'm really, really trying to figure out how to get my hands on some solar panels. I consume 360-400 kWh per month of electricity for driving. If I generated that much with a solar, grid-tie system, I am essentially driving on sunshine. Of course, if I were really bitter, I'd fork out $40k for a system that generates 1400 kwh/month and eliminate my electric bill completely and be off the grid.

I see 2 silver linings in the current economic failures:

1. People have not yet reverted to their normal, wasteful driving habits. SUV sales are still down, small car, hybrid sales are still up...for those who can actually secure a car loan.

2. People are listening to these assholes at OPEC talk about raising the cost of energy in the middle of a recession when people are struggling and it's making them angry. That means that alternative energy development hasn't yet collapsed in the face of cheap gas prices.

People definitely need to understand that the market is volatile, the pundits are lousy at predicting the future, and you could get pump shock again in the near future, especially if it's a really cold winter. We need to keep pushing, keep developing, and not slack off just because gasoline prices have dropped 40%. If anything, this is a welcome breather while we come up with solutions to wean us from the petroleum tit.