I noticed that Uzbekistan is less than
1998 the price (current dollars) of petroleum dropped to an all time low, even less than before the First Energy Crisis in 1973. The price of oil needs to drop by a factor of 5 today to reach that kind of low. However, if the current $84/barrel sinks only to $50/barrel, many of those renewable energy companies will go out of business. When Gaddhafi falls, look to see a "dangerous" drop in the price of the Brent Spot Price.
So, we complain about gasoline costing too much (USA = $3.58/gallon regular and$3.82/gallon premium--Hawaii = $4.10/$4.27), about 13% higher in Hawaii, when there should be a march on HECO, which, as approved by the Public Utilities Commission, charge ratepayers 300% more for electricity than the U.S. average. This cartoon is typical against Big Oil, but have you seen one trying to embarrass HECO? Actually, I found one:
What can you do about it? If you believe that Peak Oil will someday mean 50 cents/kWh electricity, then install a solar hot water and PV system. There are Federal and Hawaii tax incentives to help you out. With them, it makes sense to put in a PV system today. Without them, it still can be recommended because of that 300% factor. Heavens, don't install a windmill on your roof, as homes aren't built where there are good winds (you need about 17 miles/hour average over the whole year to consider this option).
As the power increases with the cube of the wind speed (thus, the same wind device at 20 MPH will produce almost 10 times the power of the same at 10 MPH) though, what about certain condominiums taking advantage of wind amplification using wind energy conversion systems? Technically, this could be profitable, but social reasons (noise, safety, the Audubon Society, whatever) will stop you. Vertical axis devices might be more appropriate.
Hurricane Irene, now at 80 MPH, is strengthening, even after rolling over a few small islands. It looks like she will be a Category 3 by Thursday: .