Blips on OPEC's Radar

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted June 7, 2006

Hugo Chavez, that jolly little dictator with a hatred for capitalism, (but conveniently enough, a love for oil money), recently announced that he has opened a new film studio in an effort to counter Hollywood’s movie “dictatorship” with a whopping $11 million.

That’s a Hollywood catering budget!!!

I can’t wait to see what kind of propaganda they’ll be able to churn out at that price. Clearly, Steven Spielberg is shaking in his boots!

Though while Chavez poses for his latest photo ops in someone else’s director’s chair – his buddies at OPEC would most likely prefer the overzealous leader conduct his anti-American initiatives behind closed doors – like the rest of them.


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Hushing Hugo

Last week, despite the wishes of OPEC ministers to keep politics out of business (Even Iran and Iraq were able to conduct business at the same table during the 1980s), Hugo Chavez took his time in the spotlight, not to discuss realistic ways to help all the poor he seems to care about so much – but rather to attack the United States and it’s so-called “Imperialism”.

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I suppose his campaign to hijack profits from foreign investors is less imperialistic and more revolutionary!

Suitable semantics aside, Chavez isn’t doing OPEC any favors with all his anti-American rhetoric these days.

Especially when you consider they’re already dealing with an even more erratic dictator in Iran that’s been very vocal about wanting nothing more than to wipe Israel off the map and bring the US to its knees.

While OPEC President Edmund Daukoru has continuously called for dialogue and the need for a harmonized world view, particularly with regard to energy, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told the West on Monday that if it makes any mistake (punish or attack Iran), shipment of energy from the region would be seriously jeopardized.

Listen, I learned at a very early age, you can only poke a dog so many times before it will show its teeth. And that’s the only warning you get!

Daukoru knows this and is now verbalizing his concern in such a way that is drawing attention to an issue that all leaders understand – and that’s money!

If you think ANWR supporters, like the American Petroleum Institute and Pork King, Ted Stevens hate the possibility of renewable energy integration into the nation’s energy infrastructure – imagine how OPEC sees it.

Daukoru recently stated that he was concerned about high oil prices, “because at a certain psychological level, alternative competing fuels would start to divert investment that should otherwise come to the oil sector.”


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Blips on OPEC’s Radar

Now I’m not saying OPEC’s running scared of solar initiatives, renewable portfolio standards and increases in ethanol production – but the fact is, renewable energy investment has increased so dramatically over the past few years, it’s now significant enough to register on the OPEC radar.

Last year, a report that was released at the Beijing International Renewable Energy Conference showed global investment in renewable energy hit a record $30 billion in 2004. That accounted for between 20 and 25 percent of all investment in the power industry.

The report also found that the fastest growing energy technology in the world was grid-connected solar photovoltaics (PV), which grew in existing capacity by 60 percent per year from 2000 to 2004. Second was wind power, which grew by 28 percent from 2002 to 2004, with almost 17 gigawatts installed as of 2004.

Today, only two years later – there is a total of 59.1 GW installed!!!

Clearly this impressive growth has signaled a shift in attitudes from the investment community – as none of this growth would be possible without the funding coming from venture capitalists and investors.

According to market researchers at Clean Edge, Inc., U.S.-based venture capital firms invested $917 million in new energy technologies last year – representing 4.2 percent of total VC investments. Now while this might not sound like much, consider that venture capitalists invested less than 1 percent in new energy technology only six years ago.

And don’t disregard the increase in successful renewable energy IPOs we’ve seen over the past few years either.

Last year, the hottest IPOs were solar. And this year, we’re already looking at four new ethanol IPOs.

How will these perform?

Well, look at it like this…

Most of the countries that control the world’s supply of oil want us dead, Americans are still going to run their air conditioners at full blast this summer, despite increases in utility costs and nearly every politician running for election this year is promising some kind of legislation to offset the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

Yeah, it’s looking real good!

So while the non-believers continue to convince themselves that ethanol is nothing more than a bubble about to burst – we’ll be loading up on the stuff while it’s still cheap!

To find out more about the latest ethanol IPOs, visit Green Chip Stocks now.

Until next time…


Jeff Siegel

Managing Editor, Green Chip Stocks