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Ukraine .vs. Energy Policy July 22, 2009

Posted by Bipin Agarwal in Future of transporation, Global Economy, Politics and economy.
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Energy policy will be increasingly important for every country, starting from OIL producing to OIL consuming countries. Ukraine, is dependent on Russia for its OIL and they have to navigate their policy carefully, and not let US define their policy based on what is important for US.

Bipin Agarwal

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SOLAR GOLD rush .vs. Saudi Arabia July 19, 2009

Posted by Bipin Agarwal in Future of transporation, Global Economy, Politics and economy, Real Estate Development in Global Economy, Recession.
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Decoupling of Oil from world economy article on my blog received overwhelming response from all over the world. Reactions were all over the map from denial to skepticism to curiosity. Mission accomplished, at least the conversation started.

One of interesting question came from a university in UK, inquiring about the impact of OIL decoupling on Saudi Arabia. As we all know there is no other country more synonymous with OIL than Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia current reality
Saudi Arabia is in an interesting position in the context of money, world economy, and politics. US president recently said that middle east peace is the hardest problem to tackle. It is further complicated by the nature of the government and demographic of the country.

Relationship between developed countries and Saudi is based on mutual benefits; OIL is the backbone of developed countries domestic economy, and foreign policy. Saudi is a buyer of lot of defense equipments (defense industry is critical for developed countries) that are of no use for Saudi.  However it seems that US (largest developed country) has a little upper hand because OIL is priced in Dollar. We all know that pricing of the OILis dependent on the relationship between Middle East and US, not demand and supply as lot of economist or people would like to believe. Without the support of developed countries OIL will be trading at dollar twenty a barrel.

How Saudi Arabia can play the game
Saudi Arabia should continue to have strong relationship with developed countries, and generate as much reserve as possible using OIL export. Saudi Arabia needs to pursue aggressive SOLAR strategy as well. From a branding point of view it means, they need to position as an Energy supplier of the world, not an OIL supplier. Some of thoughts are outlined below:

  • It is very important that Saudi Arabia make huge investment in SOLAR energy plants and Technology Company all over the world.
  • They currently have lot of dollar reserve. I would argue that lot of reserve should be directed to building and owning SOLAR energy capacity all over the world. Dollar will eventually lose value and they should not wait.
  • Energy grids, the way electricity is transported, is a critical component of the infrastructure that requires massive investment. This is a huge investment opportunity for Saudi Arabia. Best thing is that this investment will have no resistance from the receiving country. Off course the country has to be friendly, otherwise they can seize the asset. It is a pure investment play.
  • Significant number of countries in the world will welcome Middle East investment if it is meant for SOLAR energy production.
  • Saudi Arabia will reduce it dependence on OIL as the only source of revenue. Remember there will be lot of opposition from the developed countries, because they will lose influence over Saudi Arabia,
  • I think Saudi Arabia should not encourage lot of real estate development in their country. Currently this is a big source wasteful expense.

Summary
Every country will have to adjust to this reality of SOLAR GOLD over time. Middle East countries with significant reserve can take advantage of the SOLAR GOLD opportunity by investing in SOLAR power generation, solar technology company, and infrastructure  for electricity grid.

It is not possible to discuss every country in detail in this article. If you would like to discuss a county of your choice, please send me a note @bagarwal.india@gmail.com

You have a question, about Global economy, Real Estate, and Politics correlation, feel free to ask by sending email or writing a comment.

http://www.redhawkinvestments.com

Bipin Agarwal

bipin.agarwal@redhawkinvestments.com

https://twentyminutelifestyle.wordpress.com/abou

De-coupling of OIL from world economy July 9, 2009

Posted by Bipin Agarwal in Future of transporation, Global Economy, IT Offshoring - Future Direction, IT offshoring and Real Estate development, Politics and economy, Quality of Living, Real Estate Development in Global Economy, Real Estate Development in India, Real Estate development in USA, Recession.
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4 comments

OIL Power – OIL, the dominant source of energy has impacted the world economy and power struggle among countries for a long time.  The effect has been more visible for last twenty five years. Middle East, Russia, other Oil producing countries have enjoyed unprecedented boost to their economy and foreign reserve  because of high oil prices. We all know that it is not a pure supply and demand dynamics. This game has worked well because there was no other significant sources of energy that was easily and readily available.

Past Effort to Change – There have been lot of attempts to create new sources of energy including nuclear power, wind energy, bio-fuel, and clean coal. All of these efforts have been successful to some extent, but none of them significant enough to change the dynamic of world economy and power status. Lot of that has to be with the economics of the particular method (bio-fuel, clean coal), time it takes to set up the plan and disposal of waste (nuclear), predictability of the energy generation (wind). As a result, none of the method so far have emerged as a challenge to OIL energy.

Off-course like everything else, corporate interest and desire to maintain power status by countries has further compounded this challenge. Both OIL and defense industry (selling arms to protect the supply of OIL sources) has played a significant role in creating hurdles. Politics has played a big role as well. Keeping the OIL price high forces the poor country to spend their significant resources for buying oil, hence limits investment in other areas for productive growth. Further, the market for automobile has been too large for these corporate to let it go easily.

What Has Changed – It is fair question to ask. There is lot of new dynamic from developing countries to developed countries. Growth in the developing countries India and China have changed the market dynamics for Oil consumption. These countries cannot afford to import OIL they need to support the economic development.  Economic development is putting a lot of pressure on the politicians to find alternate source of energy. Developed countries, US and part of Europe have so much debt that they have to figure out a way to reduce OIL consumption. US is suffering the most from OIL dependence. There is lot of domestic pressure in US to end Oil dependence.

Solar, the GAME Changer – We all know that SUN is, as predictable a source of energy as far as humans are capable of visualizing. The capability to harvest this energy on a large scale in a economic way has been a major barrier to solar becoming a challenge to OIL.

Good news is that now we do have a scalable and reasonable economic solution to harvesting solar power.  Significant reason for this change is because we can cost effectively manufacture the devices capable of harvesting this energy as opposed to conventional means of either drilling (oil and gas), digging (coal), or changing the course of rivers (Hydro). Recent decision by US government to review sixty seven thousand acres of land for solar power generation is a further validation of the direction of solar based energy. Large corporation currently own large tract of land to participate in the opportunity, I call it SOLAR GOLD. Gold is not black any more.

Impact on World economy and Power – Every country will feel the impact of this change (SOLAR GOLD) differently. It is not possible to discuss every country in detail in this article, So I will talk about some regions, countries. If you would like to discuss a county of your choice, please send me a note @bagarwal.india@gmail.com

Middle East and Russia, there have been a lot of conversation that OIL at dollar eighty a barrel is what they need. It cost about couple of dollar to produce a barrel of oil. Why do you think world will come to the rescue of Middle east and Russia if Solar is available.  While Russia is better positioned then Middle east because of their defense capability, but that is not good enough.  President OBAMA is playing the card right by going to Russia, putting the arms control pact and engaging Russia for nuclear issues so that defense capability (industry) becomes a  non-issue. These are not well positioned for long term.

China & India – Both countries are heavily dependent on importing Oil and Gas currently. China has been pro-active in securing the oil supply like USA has done for decades. This does change the long term picture. Both countries will resort to using Solar in big way and this position them very well in the long term.  These two countries are currently not dependent on Oil Export for their economic prosperity and it will be huge advantage in the long term.

Other developing and emerging countries – This is a mixed bag. Some of the developing countries have OIL export in combination with other industries (Mexico – OIL and manufacturing). Other countries in this block have lot of domestic economy. It is unlikely that any of these countries will ever become a super power. There will be wide range from being no effect to significant impact for each of the country.

Europe – There is part of Europe that is well developed, West Germany, UK, France, Denmark, etc. then there is part of Europe that is still developing such as Eastern Europe. It is unlikely that any country in Europe will be a Super power in the long term, However Europe as a block (European block) has the potential to be a significant player, that is only if they can stay together which is very unlikely. It is human nature. US, China and for that matter some of the countries within Europe will do everything possible to make sure that Europe is divided and chances are that they will be successful.

USA -It is interesting. USA is a huge importer of OIL but also is superpower. How did that happen? Dollar as a world currency has helped USA more than anybody is willing to admit. Defense capability, other industries such as financial services, technology  helped USA to be the dominant world power. Immigration policy of USA to attract the brightest from all over world has played a key role. USA is also taking big steps to reduce dependence on the OIL. USA is pushing for electric car as a transport mechanism and pushing Solar to produce bulk of its electricity. Since all this is being done in the private sector with government incentives, USA is moving at a fast pace to maintain the Superpower status.

Summary

Every country will have to adjust to this reality of SOLAR GOLD over time. If you are a  country that is largely dependent on Oil export only, there is lot of work cut out for you.  Country currently importing huge amount  of Oil (USA, lot of European, developing countries), there is a significant opportunity for you to position yourself for success. It will require a focused effort, a combination of policy, investment, and incentives both in the area of energy production, education, and infrastructure.  A country with a population base (critical mass) will have an inherent advantage (USA, China, India) to play in the super power league.

You have a question, about Global economy, Real Estate, and Politics correlation, feel free to ask.

http://www.redhawkinvestments.com

Bipin Agarwal

bipin.agarwal@redhawkinvestments.com

https://twentyminutelifestyle.wordpress.com/abou