Monday AM May 4th, 2009

image of KPMG

Sixty-three per cent believe energy independence will not be attainable until after 2030, despite the emphasis on domestic energy sources.ξ And despite the increased focus on alternative energy sources in government policies, survey respondents say mass production of alternative energy is not viable in the short term.ξ KPMG's Bill Kimble says about a third believe wind energy will be the biggest winner as a result of Obama's policy.

"And we asked them which alternative energy source would be most viable for mass production by 2015, and 52 percent came back and said, really none of the alternatives — biodiesel, ethanol, hydro, solar, wind.ξ Wind, 17 per cent said it would be, you know, probably most viable for production by 2015, and that was followed by biodiesel at ten per cent.ξ You know, what's interesting is that we saw ethanol decrease from (the) prior year."

But energy executives expect alternative and renewable sources to receive the most focus in President Obama's energy policy.

"All of the alternative energy sources really need something in addition to just the economics to get them there.ξ So you know, wind—you have a tax credit, right?ξ Ethanol—you have subsidies.ξ That's what's coming into play when you look at the results of the survey."ξ

The KPMG survey is based on long-term expectations in the energy industry, and not based on current economic conditions.

"The credit markets really aren't coming into play and we didn't ask the question so that the, you know, you took into play the credit markets.ξ This is really just based on those sources of energy and, you know, the respondents' view on how credible they were in the near-term."

Executives still rate commodity prices the most significant challenge facing their companies in the coming year.ξ

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.


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