Die Neuerfindung der Energie

NEW YORK: Die Weltwirtschaft ächzt derzeit unter steil angestiegenen Energiepreisen. Während ein paar wenige Energie exportierende Länder im Nahen Osten und anderswo Riesenprofite einheimsen, leidet die übrige Welt: Der Ölpreis übersteigt inzwischen 110 Dollar pro Fass, und der Preis für Kohle hat sich verdoppelt.

Ohne reichlich vorhandene und preiswerte Energie sind alle Aspekte der Weltwirtschaft in Gefahr. So steigen etwa die Nahrungsmittelpreise analog zu den in die Höhe schnellenden Ölpreisen, teilweise aufgrund der erhöhten Produktionskosten, zugleich aber auch, weil Agrarflächen in den USA und andernorts von der Nahrungsmittelproduktion auf die Produktion von Biokraftstoffen umgestellt werden.

Für die Ölpreise gibt es keine schnelle Lösung. Höhere Preise spiegeln die grundlegenden Bedingungen von Angebot und Nachfrage wieder. Die Weltwirtschaft wächst rapide – insbesondere in China, Indien und anderen Teilen Asiens –, was zu einem steilen Anstieg der weltweiten Energienachfrage führt, insbesondere für Strom und Verkehr. Doch das weltweite Angebot an Öl, Erdgas und Kohle hält damit trotz der Entdeckung neuer Vorkommen nicht ohne Weiteres Schritt. Und an vielen Orten gehen die Ölvorräte zu Ende; alte Ölfelder sind erschöpft.

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