First I want to talk about some good news: China is accomplishing its wind power goals ahead of schedule. After doubling their wind capacity each of the last two years, many predict another doubling in 2008 that brings the country close to 10 GW or into the top four countries in cumulative capacity. Just a few years ago, China set a 5 GW by 2010 goal. Having achieved that early, they doubled it to 10 GW. Now they are aiming for 100 GW by 2020. Even those goal posts may change if fossil energy prices remain high as many believe they will. In the larger energy picture, wind growth is still a small fraction of the enormous coal annual capacity growth which has hovered around 100 GW the last couple of years. But it remains a hopeful sign of progress toward the sustainable energy transition ahead.
The dollar slid further today, helping to boost oil and natural gas prices. And real factors contributed to the 2.5-4% price increases as well. The President of OPEC again discussed the possibility that some members will cut production in the second half of 2008 and that prices may be $150-$170 later this summer. Oil responded with a record high above $140 for the first time on NYMEX. In natural gas, US storage levels rose slightly lower than average and remain below last year and the five-year average, 15.8% and 2.7% respectfully.