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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

In reconsidering nuclear, countries could re-shape the world's energy costs, consumption

Since the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant earlier this year, many countries have been reconsidering their use of nuclear power.  By way of reference, here’s a story that ran in March from CBS News (click to link). 

Yesterday’s New York Times featured a story about Germany’s decision to eliminate all nuclear power plants within the next 11 years (click to link).  

Implications:  The expanding economies of China and India were already putting demand pressure on the world’s limited oil supply.  Now, with major economies like Germany, Japan and others considering a move away from nuclear, one can only assume that fossil fuels will carry at least part of the burden.

Of course, the reason I’m thinking about it is the natural inflationary effect this might have on anything that is manufactured, shipped or used… using petroleum.  Costs are simply quite likely to rise steadily over the next few years.  Not just for gas… but for everything from food to textiles to home furnishings.  Price-point advertising will still matter, but it will be important to establish the worth and value of the products and services you sell.  (The power of price could be diminished if prices rise across the board.)

This potential shift from nuclear power could also lead to greater development and use of alternative, sustainable energy sources.  A story about that possibility also ran recently on CBS news (click to link).  Is your company in a position to brag about your sustainable energy practices?  Are those claims authentic?

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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