The Economy and the Job Market – Searching For Growth in Troubled Times

The economy is clearly not in good shape. We may or may not currently be in a recession, and while conditions won’t get nearly as bad as the Chicken Littles of the world would have us believe, they most certainly won’t improve either. Well, dramatically, anyway.

The economy has been under a three-pronged siege of falling housing prices, rising commodity prices and an ever weakening labor market. And each aspect of this siege appears inextricably linked. What makes the current situation so difficult is that all three of these issues are and will continue to have meaningful impact on the average American’s pocketbook. Rising food and fuel costs coupled with lower wages yields a cash flow problem that we will not be able to ignore. That is what makes our current situation so different than that of 2001. That recession, spawned by the “.com” bubble burst, saw peoples overall stock portfolios and retirement accounts diminish or disappear. But in all honesty, who pays any considerable attention to that? Thanks to an increasingly innovative financial market and its willingness and ability to redistribute risk, lenders were right there to lend. And borrowers there to borrow. Consumer spending barely dipped, mortgage applications spiked, and we spent our way out of the 2001 recession.

It seems, then, that the current downturn is much more an extension of the 2001 disaster than a unique, separate situation. Can you ever really exit a recession if you borrowed the money to do so? Our economic doldrums have been a long time in the making, providing a solid base for what figures to be an extended period of zero to slow growth. And that’s why things don’t figure to improve too soon.

To exacerbate all this, the lumbering political machine in Washington has begun talking about the economy, and, more specifically, increased regulation of financial markets. This will only make things worse. It isn’t that taxes and regulations are altogether bad, it’s just that Congress has little, if any, idea how to brandish these tools. What we should expect is a weakened ability for different industries to tap into investment capital, inhibiting their ability to rebound from their current crises, and weakening the outlook overall in financial well-being for fiscal quarters to come.

So which industries stand to improve? To answer this question we need to think critically about what glaring problems the current economic situation has uncovered.

The most striking of these problems is America’s source of and need for energy. As mentioned, oil prices are high and should continue to go higher. China and India, with their burgeoning economies and swarming populations, are now dominant players in the international demand for fuel. And supply isn’t even constant; it’s falling. Our reliance on oil is clearly a very, very expensive habit. Setting aside environmental concerns (which are important), we simply cannot afford to rely on fossil fuels as we once did. The industry with the most long-term growth potential, then, is the renewable energy category.

Renewable energy is comprised of dozens of sectors, each giving rise to yet more sub-sectors. Wind, solar, and hydroelectric power are all growing, not just in the US, but around the globe. Bio fuel seems the heir apparent to gasoline (just look at Brazil), and carbon emission legislation stands on the brink of being passed. Each of these areas, and there are many, many more, represents tremendous job opportunities with long-term growth. And what’s more, they call for a broad spectrum of backgrounds.

Scientists and agriculturalists are obvious. It will become important to devote time and money into research projects, such as ethanol yield from various crops (i.e., corn, sugar, algae, etc.), and what type of return we could and should expect from each.

Carbon emission regulation would force big business to manage a certain number of “carbon credits.” Carbon credits are simply an accounting tool businesses will likely have to adhere to, by law, in an effort to keep their carbon footprint in check. Companies expecting to exceed their carbon credit limit must buy additional credits from companies willing to sell them – companies, of course, who are expecting a carbon credit surplus. Therein lies a marketplace, much like stocks and bonds, where finance and accounting professionals will clearly be in high demand.

Most importantly though, as it relates to career paths and job opportunities, small companies will be born to capture different pieces of this emerging world of renewable energy. And these companies will need the same things as any other company. Human resources, marketing, administration, law, and management are all areas that will see growth – so long they’re within the right business – as these are professional areas that will always be in demand. Exactly how much depends more on a specific company’s positioning within the greater economic landscape than it does the actual current economy.

For my money, any company with a business model that incorporates forward looking thought regarding renewable energy will fare well in the short, medium and long term.

Aiden was born and raised in northern New Jersey. He attended New York University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. He currently lives in New York City and works in the equities trading division of a large investment bank. –Aiden Quinn

Making Biodiesel at Home – What Exactly is It?

Petroleum prices are rising across the globe. Escalated prices are giving nightmares to common man. Consequently some people are looking towards substitutes. An excellent alternative to fossil fuel in this category is biodiesel. Biodiesel is a clean burning fuel and more importantly, it is a renewable energy source. Environmentally this fuel has proven to be a much less pollutant than its counterpart, the standard diesel. The regular diesel has components such as sulfur and aromatics. This fuel is made out of vegetable oil and costs considerably lesser than the conventional fuel. Because of this property it is easy to make biodiesel at home.

Biodiesel is outcome of the process called transesterification. In this method the fats are removed from the vegetable oil thus leaving behind byproducts like glycerin and biodiesel. In view of the fact that biodiesel does not contain sulphur and aromatics, it burns cleaner leaving very few traces of contaminants. These characteristics make biodiesel surpass the conventional petroleum fuel.

The most fantastic feature about biodiesel is that you can make biodiesel at home. The equipment required for the entire process is simple and can be accessed at any local store or even from your garage. You would require steel or plastic drums, a pipe, a valve, a motor and a temperature gauging instrument.

Initially you should manufacture little amount of oil so that when you become acquainted with the process, you can make biodiesel at home at a larger scale.

The compounds needed for the reaction to take place are vegetable oil, lye (caustic soda) and Methanol. Lye has to be mixed with methanol first. This mixing should be done quickly because lye absorbs water from the atmosphere. This water content can produce impurities in the entire process. Methanol and lye combine to yield sodium methoxide. Now add vegetable oil to the blend and shake it with the help of a motor. Once the blending has taken place, the mixture is set aside to stand for at least 8-12 hours. This way the glycerin will sink underneath and biodiesel will emerge on top of it. The reason behind this phenomenon is the difference between the specific gravities of the two compounds. The glycerin can be removed from the bottom with the help of a pipe whose flow is controlled by a valve. Glycerin can further be utilized in making soaps and biodiesel for your vehicles.

Using the process mentioned above you can effortlessly make biodiesel at home.

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Renewable Energy From Solar Grids and Wind Generators

When you think of energy sources, you think of natural gas, oil and coal. Though they have been providing energy to us for a number of years, they may not be available for ever as supplies is limited. It is estimated that at present the energy sources are available just for another 7 decades to meet our energy demands. Renewable energy is considered to be the best alternative solution for this problem.

The most commonly used renewable energy sources include energy from solar grids and wind generators. They are known as clean energy sources and as non pollutants. Neither greenhouse effect nor global warming is caused by such natural sources of energy. The cost of operating your own renewable energy is low, as they require very little maintenance.

In solar grid energy, energy is derived and utilized from the sun. The solar energy systems can be installed on your home, shed or garage without using additional land. With the a wind generators it can be easily build and installed on a pole and away from your home to get the best wind power.

Due to heavy dependence on electricity and gas, there is a constant price rise in the recent past, with oil prices soaring higher than ever in the past. The price rise on energy also directly affects the price of consumables. Use of renewable energy is the only way to control price rise. Renewable energy sources are the only best and viable alternative to the problem, which has to be vigorously pursued all over the world, with more seriousness than ever before.

Isn’t it time you got started on your own installation project? Just think, no more electricity bills, just Mother Natures Clean Renewable Energy. Click Here to learn more about Solar Power Grids and how they can help you.

Obediah Marsh
http://solarwindpower.info

Renewable Energy – The Future Resource Stock

Renewable Energy is the key to our global energy needs in the future, as we run out of our supply of fossil fuels and uranium or the cost of these fuels rises for economic or political reasons, the cost of renewable energy may become much more competitive. Using current technologies, most ocean energy is not cost-effective compared to other renewable energy sources however the ocean remains one of the important potential energy source for the future. Both renewable and non-renewable energy sources are used to generate electricity, power vehicles, and provide heating, cooling, and light.

Renewable Energy is energy created from resources that are regenerative – or renewable – meaning they cannot be depleted. These resources are safe for our environment and produce energy without the harmful pollutants and emissions associated with fossil-fuels.

As the this industry expands, the expertise of these support industries is being tapped to provide the support and infrastructure needed for the advancement of renewable energy production globally. The reason for the massive growth is global companies are looking for green or renewable resource technologies and companies to invest in, fund, acquire, license or strategically partner with. Priority is given to technologies that are patented or commercial products with existing or near term revenue streams. Renewable energy systems encompass a broad, diverse array of technologies, and the current status of these can vary considerably. Some technologies are already mature and economically competitive.

Globally we recognize that utilizing renewable resources has the potential to provide us with cleaner air, a more diverse energy portfolio, and less dependence on foreign fossil fuels. Currently renewable resources accounts for only 3.4 percent of total global power generation. The International Energy Agency recently issued a report estimating that in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2050, global investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and carbon sequestration will need to reach roughly US $45 trillion dollars by that date.

It is expected that 60% of all our energy will come from renewable resources by the year 2070. The sooner we employ the attitude that today is better than tomorrow, the greater the opportunity to increase this figure to 80%. Renewable energy is sustainable energy that comes from the natural environment. Renewable energy, or green power, is power that comes from renewable resources such as the sun, wind, hydro-electric dams and organic matter (biomass). These resources are constantly replenished by nature and are a cleaner source of energy.

Shane Taylor is the co-publisher and co-editor of TheStockReporter.com, a site that provides many resources and articles for individuals wanting to start investing in the stock market and learn about investing in renewable energy.