A concern we’ve been voicing lately is: what effects will the economic crisis and lower gas prices have on renewable energy development. Due to the freezing of the credit markets, economic slowdown, and plunging price of oil and natural gas, alternative energy companies are facing hard times. Stock values for companies in this sector have fallen even faster than the rest of the market, and some companies, such as Tesla Motors, have been forced to put production plans on hold and to lay off workers.
For wind energy to be competitive with gas fired plants, natural gas prices must be at least $8 per thousand cubic feet. In July, natural gas was around $13.50, by this week it has fallen to below $7.
As we’ve said before, yes, times are tough right now. But we need to take this hardship as a wakeup call and an opportunity to fundamentally change the way we think about energy, the environment, transportation, and our dependency and over consumption of oil. Europe has shown what real leadership in these hard times can do, now the question will be: will the next president follow suit, or just follow the status quo?