If any industry ought to be seeing silver iridescence in the dark slick of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, it is renewable energy.
However, since what is perhaps the biggest environmental disaster America has yet seen erupted at BP’s Macondo prospect on April 20th the RENIXX index, which measures the world’s 30 largest publicly traded renewable-energy companies, has fallen by 15 percent.This is even worse than the 12 percent fall in the MSCI world stockmarkets index in that period. Moreover, it continues a longer-term decline of more than two-thirds from the index’s all-time high in December 2007.
The oil spill might have been expected to revive a sense of urgency that the world, and America in particular, should reduce its dependence on oil, not least by switching to cleaner, greener sources of energy. Instead it is increasingly common to hear investors asking gloomily, “Is green dead?”