World Boom

MANILA , Philippines - Last week we talked about a construction boom in this country. This week we focus on a potential world boom in the next two or three years. The main reason for this is the price of energy is coming down. The price of oil may or may not come down but the price of energy will come down because of liquefied natural gas. Great advances have been made both in sourcing enormous amounts of this natural gas both in surface shale and in trapped natural gas ten thousand feet below the ground and in distribution facilities. Many cars and trucks are now using canisters of liquefied natural gas. And this trend will keep growing. The price of natural gas is about a fourth of petroleum. Last month the inflation figures in the country came down just because petroleum price went down less than 10%.

With the lowering of gasoline prices the savings we make we can use for something else. In about two years our transport costs will come down at least 50%. But not only that, soon solar panels may also bring our electricity costs. Ten years ago to produce a photovoltaic panel for 100 watts had a cost of about P80 but now it has gone down to P18. When the cost goes down to half of this, our electricity bills will come down to a third of what we now pay. There will be no more need for transmission and distribution cost since we will be producing electricity on site. This will be especially helpful for our isolated islands.

In the next five to ten years, North America will be producing tremendous amounts of natural gas and a good part of the distribution facilities will be in place. Here the bulk handling facilities already exist in Batangas for Luzon and if this administration is able to do what they want, there will be storage facilities in Cagayan de Oro for Mindanao and the Visayas. Then we can import natural gas from Indonesia and Australia. Both of whom have tremendous supplies of natural gas. And we should be able to find our own deposits of natural gas west of Palawan.

Since we will be producing energy at a much cheaper cost for the whole world, the demand for this will also be there from with the middle class arising in China, Africa, South America, and the tigers of East Asia. There will then be a boom around the globe In spite of the present financial troubles in Europe and other developed countries. Our problem has now shifted to how to make sure that the buying power in these emerging countries be in the hands of those who need it. People will need jobs which may no longer be in manufacturing or communications although there is need for these jobs. Most new jobs will be in the arts. A man without a job cannot buy what he needs. Our problem then is distribution of earning capacity.

New jobs will come not only in manufacturing or communications but also in the arts and leisure trade. It is a fearless forecast that a boom is coming shifting our problem partly from job creation to proper distribution. <emeterio_barcelon@yahoo.com>

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