The future of carbon control is certain. It is here and it is working worldwide. Point Carbon, an international carbon broker, pegs market price through 2020 at around $15 per ton. The other established air quality commodities sulfur and nitrogen trade for around $750 per ton. Carbon is cheap, plentiful and easier than thought to switch away from. Yet vested interests will maintain the grip of carbon fossil fuels for hundreds of years in the future. Fossil fuel is economically inexpensive, has a well built and maintained support structure from exploration and recovery to distribution, worldwide.
Non-carbon sources are relatively new and are expensive. Government mandates and Energy Technology varies from region to region and nation to nation. Clearly, a hot button political, personal and pretty much any reason you dream, for or against, carbon control and non-fossil fuel. But we know carbon based fuels are finite, and becoming more expensive to harvest. The Gulf of Mexico oil tragedy is unfairly pinning BP and the oil industry with the sin of the car, personal mobility and economic choice. In a few months it will pass from the glare of the masses and politicians.
Investors in non-carbon energy are few. If you invest in non-carbon research firms, treat it like Vegas money. The odds are way stacked against its market penetration and the return in your life time, in any value, is limited. Governments, most Free Market any way, can not create non-fossil energy industries. China and Europe, are though, and will dominate non-fossil fuel technology and deployment markets, as they do today, for the foreseeable future. Carbon energy is just too complex for consensus and meaningful bi-partisan policy, sustained over decades to come, in most nations, to create a self sustaining non-carbon energy industry. It is happening, just slower than the more pleasurable digital industry that went from the lab to the masses within my adult lifetime. Non-carbon fuel will not be prevalent as a source in many communities during my lifetime, either for transport or power.
But we try. Many have, and will continue, study, research, and apply ways to make non-carbon energy available to the masses. Many will lose their money, careers and family for a dream still years away. These blazers are knowledgeable and passionate. They will prevail eventually, when, we do not know. Even a Manhattan style or push for the Moon, as the United States has achieved quickly before, would not solve this hexing security, safety and mobility handicap. But we try. We falter. Better try, and take two steps forward on non-carbon fuels, and once in a while a step back. Progress on carbon control is here, its real, and its march is clear, regardless of how you feel.