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Oil slump may not harm green energy prospects

Cost stability of wind power, UN plans for global warming cap and awareness about dangers of fossil pollution all work in its favour

Paris

SINCE the 1970s, the renewable energy sector has usually trembled each time oil goes through the "bust" phase of the commodity cycle.

When crude was dear, users became interested in wind, solar and hydro. But when oil became cheap, they gorged on it once more, turning their backs on novel, cleaner but costlier alternatives.

Today, oil is again in the doldrums. It plunged by 60 per cent in price between June 2014 and January, falling to just over US$40 a barrel, before pulling back to around US$60 on Friday.

So does this herald another crisis for green energy, further complicating the fight against carbon pollution? Not necessarily, say observers.

Lower oil prices may indeed lead to more emissions...

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