Saturday, November 26, 2016

A couple of powerful snippets from this week's Economist

On climate change and the changing energy mix:

"The costs of clean energy are tumbling. The cost of batteries in electric vehicles has fallen by 80% since 2008; the bill for offshore-wind energy has more than halved over the past three years in northern Europe. Solar power is closing in on gas and coal as an attractively cheap source of power. China plans to have nearly 150 gigawatts of installed solar capacity by the end of the decade, triple what it has today as the world’s biggest solar generator.

As this week’s special report points out, such developments will curb demand for oil and coal in decades to come. Last year was the first in which renewable energy surpassed coal as the world’s biggest source of power-generating capacity (although natural gas will remain an important complement to renewables because of the vagaries of sun and wind). These are epochal changes..."



On the Japanese economy:

"As commentators have noted, Mr Kuroda can print money, but not people. Overshadowing the economy is Japan’s ageing, shrinking population. With far more deaths than births, it has fallen by about 1m since 2010. Government projections say the labour force could collapse by 40% by 2060. Meanwhile, public debt has grown to 246% of gross domestic product, the highest such ratio in the world."


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