The broad stock market monitors roared back during this four-day trading week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting its highest level (+1.23% to 12,506) since June 2008. Clean energy and energy efficiency companies turned in mixed performances, led by the EnergyBoom Efficiency Subindex (+1.34%) and Guggenheim S&P Global Water (+1.36%).
Australia has the fastest growing liquified natural gas (LNG) industry in the world and is on track to eclipse Qatar as the world’s largest producer by the end of the decade. It is, therefore, ideally positioned to fill much of the energy void in Japan if that country reduces its use of nuclear energy in the aftermath of the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Australia, the world’s largest exporter of coal, relies on the inefficient and dirty resource to supply over 80% of its own electricity. But the cheap and plentiful sedimentary rock's high carbon output happens to be a major contributor to climate change, something that hasn't gone unnoticed by the government (Australia emits more greenhouse gases per capita than any other country).
A week after the Australian Senate rejected Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme the government moved ahead and approved a bill which mandates 20% of the country's energy to come from renewable sources by 2020.