Reader Mail: Solar Energy Dependent on Cheap Oil

How about some reader mail?

“Hi Dan,

“I would just like to point out that the reader who pointed out that cricket was British is probably English. Englishmen often confuse England for Britain – especially when they are on the losing side!

“Keep up the good work,


Are your savings insured? Many readers asked the question after Britain’s Northern Rock (LON:NRK) episode last month.

“Dear Dan,

“Concerning Oz banking. There are no govt guarantees but logic suggests that Fed govt would support the four pillars. Rather than take this chance the only AAA rated bank left in the world is RaboBank, which is offering 7.25% on call. The last place to be would be a credit union or building socy if there is a paper collapse. Criticise Oz as well as the U.S. all you like – it does us good to see ourselves from another perspective. Where the U.S. citizen has no idea that the Fed Reserve Bank is privately owned and run, the average Aussie has no idea that our Constitution is invalid and our Taxation Act has never been gazetted, and thus all commissioners etc are acting illegally. What hope the poor dumb investor with govt and bureauRats like this!

“Colin Barnes”

Oil is a kind of “solar income,” we have written in the past. It represents decayed organic matter, which itself converted sunlight into matter. That matter is converted into energy. In fact, you can view oil as concentrated sunlight…which can also be stored, transported, combusted, and used to make pretty smells. Is it irreplaceable?

“Dear Dan,

“One of the largest problems with solar is that current generation solar technology is highly dependent on cheap oil to produce and transport, it is intrinsically built into the cost of solar (which is just beginning to become competitive with government rebates).

“You could look at any alternative energy source and nothing is going to come close to the price point of cheap oil, at least not in the coming decades. Fundamentally it is basic chemistry, you have energy inputs and outputs and fossil fuels provide an incredibly rich and abundant (for how much longer?) source of concentrated energy.

“Professor Ian Lowe (“A big fix”) talks about the weak links in the industrial chain of modern economies being entirely dependent on cheap oil, and he predicts that industrial production will collapse without it.

“We have multiple problems on multiple fronts. Overstretched credit is running out of steam and causing an economic slowdown, but there are signs that the resources we depend on (food, oil, mineral) are in more demand than the market can supply. The rise of the cost of wheat is a serious danger signal and reflects the changing nature of the global food economy. We are headed for a double whammy in 2008 high cost of living, and a credit crunch. Position yourself well to avoid the fallout.”

And another reader perspective.

“Today’s DRA was spot on.

“Your conclusion, that we need to harness the power of the sun, is exactly right. No other source of energy can match the sun… and recent initiatives linking panels directly to the grid, show it can be done efficiently.

“Our primary school already powers its inverter reverse-cycle air-conditioners using 18 solar panels… and we’re buying another panel after each of the kids’ Friday night discos.

“A small example which has increased student comfort for the next few decades… completely paying for itself in three years, as we’ve ditched expensive (and flammable) bottled gas in classrooms.

“Thank you for your vision!

“Paul Bradstreet,
Margaret River”

Dan Denning
Dan Denning examines the geopolitical and economic events that can affect your investments domestically. He raises the questions you need to answer, in order to survive financially in these turbulent times.

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3 Comments on "Reader Mail: Solar Energy Dependent on Cheap Oil"

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Hi Colin Barnes! Just a quick question on your interesting post. What about the Australian constitution is invalid in your view? Cheers!


manhatten project # duece ?

he is referring to the constitution wasnt correctly validated according to the rules of law that they are governed by, a few high court judges and lawyers were recently jailed for using this little piece of inconvenient fact to avoid paying tax since they made the bar.. government got some sticklers in to take them down as an example. This and some other point of rules arcana about our lovely tax system is floating a little bit in an area of no law but the “we said you should” variety. Just stuff that should of been fixed and sealed off… Read more »
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