Reinventar la energía

NUEVA YORK ­– La economía mundial está siendo sacudida por precios energéticos marcadamente más altos. Mientras que unos pocos países exportadores de energía en Oriente Medio y otras partes recaudan ganancias gigantescas, el resto del mundo sufre como consecuencia de una suba del precio del petróleo a 110 dólares por barril y del carbón al doble.

Sin energía abundante y de bajo costo, cada aspecto de la economía global se ve amenazado. Por ejemplo, los precios de los alimentos están aumentando de la mano de los precios en alza del petróleo, en parte por los mayores costos de producción, pero también porque las tierras de cultivo en Estados Unidos y otras partes se están convirtiendo para pasar de producir alimentos a producir biocombustibles.

No existe ninguna solución rápida para los precios del petróleo. Los precios más altos reflejan las condiciones básicas de la oferta y la demanda. La economía mundial –especialmente China, India y otras partes en Asia- ha crecido rápidamente, lo que generó un pronunciado incremento en la demanda mundial de energía, especialmente para electricidad y transporte. Sin embargo, el suministro global de petróleo, gas natural y carbón no puede dar abasto fácilmente, a pesar de los nuevos descubrimientos. Y, en muchos lugares, el suministro de petróleo está declinando a medida que se agotan los campos petroleros.

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