All posts filed under “Energy

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Oil Prices Rise After Conflicts In The Middle East Heat Up

The oil prices have continued to surge in the last few weeks, and have hit the highest point since November 2014. The price of a barrel of crude oil has reached $71 because of increasing turbulence in the Middle East. One of these ongoing conflicts is the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, which flared up in April, as seen in the big surge in the chart.  Moreover, the increase of uncertainty regarding the position of Iran, and the escalating conflict between Israel and Syria, have caused the uncertainty to grow in the last weeks. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, high oil prices can lead to higher gasoline prices on a microlevel, but can lead to inflation and a reduction of economic growth on a macro level.

Figure from NY Times

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Power to the People?

Though the number has been dropping (see graph), about one in seven (some 1.1 billion people) had no access to electricity (2014 data). Access to electricity (and other forms of preferably clean energy) is fundamental to improving people’s lives, writes The World Bank on a site dedicated to sustainable development indicators: ‘Lighting a single room allows a child to read or do homework at night, while continuous power can support larger appliances, keep food cold, and allow businesses to flourish.’ Access to clean energy prevents diseases and premature mortality. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region where electrification has not kept up with population growth.(source)