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[经济学人] [2008.06.19] The power and the glory 能源与荣耀

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发表于 2010-4-28 23:45 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
先把坑挖好,慢慢埋……



_______________________________________________



The power and the glory 能源与荣耀

Jun 19th 2008
From The Economist print edition



The next technology boom may well be based on alternative energy, says Geoffrey Carr (interviewed here). But which sortto back?

杰弗里·卡尔说,下一次技术荣景很可能基于替代能源,但是会是哪种呢?

EVERYONE loves a booming market, and most booms happen on the back of technological change. The world’s venture capitalists, having fed on the computing boom of the 1980s, the internet boom of the 1990s and the biotech and nanotech boomlets of the early 2000s, are now looking around for the next one. They think they have found it: energy.
谁都喜欢一个繁荣的市场,而且多数繁荣源于技术变革的支持。世界上的风险投资商早就以此为生:1980年代的计算机,1990年代的互联网风潮、21世纪最初几年的生物技术以及纳米技术,现在,又在寻求下一个目标。他们认为已经找到了,那便是能源。

Many past booms have been energy-fed: coal-fired steam power, oil-fired internal-combustion engines, the rise of electricity, even the mass tourism of the jet era. But the past few decades have been quiet on that front. Coal has been cheap. Natural gas has been cheap. The 1970s aside, oil has been cheap. The one real novelty, nuclear power, went spectacularly off the rails. The pressure to innovate has been minimal.
过去的许多繁荣都是基于能量反馈的:煤炭驱动的蒸汽机,石油驱动的内燃机,电力的崛起,甚至喷气时代的大众化旅游。但是最近的几十年里,前面的定律已经不怎么起作用了。煤炭一直很低廉,天然气也是。除了1970年代,石油也是一直很便宜。真正属于新鲜事物的核能,却发生了失控和混乱。创新的压力微乎其微。

In the space of a couple of years, all that has changed. Oil is no longer cheap; indeed, it has never been more expensive. Moreover, there is growing concern that the supply of oil may soon peak as consumption continues to grow, known supplies run out and new reserves become harder to find.
在短短几年的时间里,一切都变了。石油不再廉价,的确是从来没有过的高价。更甚的是,由于消费持续上涨,石油供应可能迅速见顶,已有的储备逐渐耗光,新的储量越来越难以发现,人们对此的忧虑不断上涨。



The idea of growing what you put in the tank of your car, rather than sucking it out of a hole in the ground, no longer looks like economic madness. Nor does the idea of throwing away the tank and plugging your car into an electric socket instead. Much of the world’s oil is in the hands of governments who have little sympathy with the rich West. When a former head of America’s Central Intelligence Agency allies himself with tree-hugging greens that his outfit would once have suspected of subversion, you know something is up. Yet that is one tack James Woolsey is trying in order to reduce his country’s dependence on imported oil.
相较从土地上挖洞来抽出石油,种点什么作物来满足汽车油箱的念头看上去不再是不符合经济常规的疯狂念头。这并不是说要你将汽车油箱拆下换个电插头。世界上大多数的石油掌握在对西方富国没有丝毫同情的某些政府手里。当前中央情报局局长与激进的绿色组织结盟之时,其组织一度被怀疑要去搞颠覆,随后发生的事情大家就知道了。那也是詹姆斯•伍尔西为了降低美国对于进口石油的依赖而做出的一个努力。



关于tree-hugging:Tree-hugger 这个词来源于七十年代初的印度。当时因为地产商为盈利开发土地,危害到印度Chamoli 地区的岑林和生态平衡,当地的人们自愿加入“Tree-hugging” 运动,用身体保护百年老树。这个词传到了美国,慢慢变成了liberal 的同义词,成了开放派(相对与保守派)的近意词。现在的tree-hugger 们,不一定会是住在树上报护大树的嬉皮士,而是很多爱好和平,关注自然生态平衡的人们。

关于詹姆斯·伍尔西可以看另一篇译文,在


The price of natural gas, too, has risen in sympathy with oil. That is putting up the cost of electricity. Wind- and solar-powered alternatives no longer look so costly by comparison. It is true that coal remains cheap, and is the favoured fuel for power stations in industrialising Asia. But the rich world sees things differently.
天然气的价格也同石油一起上涨,并促使了电价的上涨。风能与太阳能作为替代能源相比较而言看上去也不再过于昂贵。煤炭价格的确还处于低位,而处于上升期的亚洲地区发电厂最普遍的燃料便是煤炭。但是富国看问题的角度是不同的。


In theory, there is a long queue of coal-fired power stations waiting to be built in America. But few have been completed in the past 15 years and many in that queue have been put on hold or withdrawn, for two reasons. First, Americans have become intolerant of large, polluting industrial plants on their doorsteps. Second, American power companies are fearful that they will soon have to pay for one particular pollutant, carbon dioxide, as is starting to happen in other parts of the rich world. Having invested heavily in gas-fired stations, only to find themselves locked into an increasingly expensive fuel, they do not want to make another mistake.


理论上,美国应该有一大串烧煤的火电厂排队等待建设。但是由于两个原因,在过去的15年间没有几家建成,这其中的很多家都已经被推迟甚至取消了建设。首先,美国已经不容许在国内建设大型高污染工业企业。其次美国的能源企业担心很快就需要支付二氧化碳排放特别污染费,这笔费用在其他发达国家已经开始收取了。已经大笔投入天然气发电厂的却发现自己陷入了越来越贵的燃料泥潭,他们不想再犯一个错误。






That has opened up a capacity gap and an opportunity for wind and sunlight. The future price of these resources—zero—is known. That certainty has economic value as a hedge, even if the capital cost of wind and solar power stations is, at the moment, higher than that of coal-fired ones.



现在出现了一个相当大的缺口,一个属于风力和太阳能的机会。众所周知,未来这些资源的价格会是零。这种确定性所拥有的经济价值使其受到保护,即使目前营运风能及太阳能发电站的成本要高于烧煤的火电厂,(他们也不会被淘汰)。




The reasons for the boom, then,are tangled, and the way they are perceived may change. Global warming, along-range phenomenon, may not be uppermost in people’s minds during aneconomic downturn. High fuel prices may fall as new sources of supply are exploited to fill rising demand from Asia.Security of supply may improve if hostile governments are replaced by friendlyones and sources become more diversified. But none of the reasons is likely to go away entirely.

这次繁荣的原因,错综复杂,人们所理解的原因也许还会发生变化。全球变暖这一长期现象在经济低迷的时候不会是人们最在意的事情。高油价可能会由于能够满足亚洲不断上升需求的可供应新资源的开采而降低。如果敌国替代友好国家造成来源改变,供应安全的风险便会上升。但是没有任何一个理由足以解释(这次繁荣的原因)。



Global warming certainly will not. “Peak oil”, if oil means the traditional sort that comes cheaply out ofholes in the ground, probably will arrive soon. There is oil aplenty of other sorts (tar sands, liquefied coal and so on), so the stuff is unlikely to runout for a long time yet. But it will get more expensive to produce, putting afloor on the price that is way above today’s. And political risk will always be there—particularly for oil, which is so often associated with bad government for the simple reason that its very presence causes bad government in states that do not have strong institutions to curb their politicians.

全球变暖当然不会是。如果石油仅仅意味着从地下深井廉价流出的那种东西,油价的最高峰可能会很快到来。大量的石油是由其他方式存在的(沥青砂,液化煤等等),所以,油价不太可能长期脱缰。但是,那样的生产成本会更高,这会在远超过今天油价的位置上设置一个上限。政治风险总是有的,尤其是石油,理由很简单,在那些机制薄弱,无法钳制政客的国家,石油储量丰富,恰恰就会导致政府施恶。




                                修改过的分割线                                             


A prize beyond the dreams ofavarice

越过贪婪美梦的奖赏



The market for energy is huge. Atpresent, the world’s population consumes about 15 terawatts of power. (Aterawatt is 1,000 gigawatts, and a gigawatt is the capacity of the largest sortof coal-fired power station.) That translates into a business worth $6 trilliona year—about a tenth of the world’s economic output—according to John Doerr, aventure capitalist who is heavily involved in the industry. And by 2050, powerconsumption is likely to have risen to 30 terawatts.

能源市场是巨大的。当前,全球人口消耗大约15太瓦能源。一太瓦相当于1000十亿瓦特,十亿瓦特相当于最大规模的火力发电厂的发电能力)。按照著名风险投资人约翰·杜尔的估计,这意味着一项价值每年6万亿美元的市场,大约占世界经济产出的十分之一,他在能源产业内投资巨大。到2050年,能源消耗估计能升到30太瓦。



Scale is one of the importantdifferences between the coming energy boom, if it materialises, and its recentpredecessors—particularly those that relied on information technology, a marketmeasured in mere hundreds of billions. Another difference is that newinformation technologies tend to be disruptive, forcing the replacement ofexisting equipment, whereas, say, building wind farms does not force theclosure of coal-fired power stations.

马上即将到来的能源繁荣与其最近的一次,尤其是依赖于信息技术的,市场规模大概有几千亿美元,他们在数量级上存在差别。另外一个区别便是,新的信息技术是破坏性的,需要要强制更换现有设备,但是,修建风力发电场并不需要强制关闭烧煤的火力发电厂。



For both of these reasons, anytransition from an economy based on fossil fuels to one based on renewable,alternative, green energy—call it what you will—is likely to be slow, assimilar changes have been in the past (see chart 1). On the other hand, thescale of the market provides opportunities for alternatives to prove themselvesat the margin and then move into the mainstream, as is happening with windpower at the moment. And some energy technologies do have the potential to bedisruptive. Plug-in cars, for example, could be fuelled with electricity at aprice equivalent to 25 cents a litre of petrol. That could shake up the oil,carmaking and electricity industries all in one go.

由于这两个原因,从基于化石燃料的经济转向基于可再生的、替代性的绿色能源的经济所发生的任何转变,都将会是缓慢的,正如图表中所显示的过去的情形那样(参见图一)。另一方面,这个市场的巨大容量可以使得替代能源有了在边缘市场证明自我的机会,之后再进入主流,正如当前的风能的利用一般。一些能源技术的确具有破坏性的潜力。例如充电汽车,充满电所消耗的费用相当于25美分一升油。这会一口气吓坏石油业,汽车自造业和电力行业。



The innovation lull of the pastfew decades also provides opportunities for technological leapfrogging. Indeed, it may be that the field of energy gives thenot-quite-booms in biotechnology and nanotechnology the industrial applicationsthey need to grow really big, and that the three aspiring booms will thus mergeinto one.

之前几十年的发明断层同样为技术跨越提供了条件。的确,




The possibility of thusrecapturing the good times of their youth has brought many well-known membersof the “technorati” out of their homes in places like Woodside, California.Energy has become supercool. Elon Musk, who co-founded PayPal, has developed abattery-powered sports car. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google,have started an outfit called Google.org that issearching for a way to make renewable energy truly cheaper than coal (orRE
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发表于 2010-4-28 23:50 | 显示全部楼层
据说这样可以防盗版~~
————————————————————————————————




The poor world turns greener too



穷国也变得更环保

That, at least, is the view fromthe rich world. But poorer, rapidly developing countries are also taking moreof an interest in renewable energy sources, despite assertions to the contraryby some Western politicians and businessmen. It is true that China isbuilding coal-fired power stations at a blazing rate. But it also has a largewind-generation capacity, which is expected to grow by two-thirds this year,and is the world’s second-largest manufacturer of solar panels—not to mentionhaving the largest number of solar-heated rooftop hot-water systems in itsbuildings.

前面的,基本上都是来自富国的视角。但是正在急速发展的穷国同样对可再生能源感兴趣,, despite assertions tothe contrary by some Western politicians and businessmen.的确,中国建造火力发电厂热力未退,但是中国同样有大量的风力发电量,预计今年能够增长三分之二,是世界上第二大的太阳能电池板制造过,更别说其建筑上还有世界上数量最多的太阳能热水器。


Brazil, meanwhile, has theworld’s second-largest (just behind America) and most economically honestbiofuel industry, which already provides 40% of the fuel consumed by its carsand should soon supply 15% of its electricity, too (through the burning ofsugarcane waste). South  Africa is leading the effort to develop anew class of safe and simple nuclear reactor—not renewable energy in the strictsense, but carbon-free and thus increasingly welcome. These countries, andothers like them, are prepared to look beyond fossil fuels. They will get theirenergy where they can. So if renewables and other alternatives can compete on cost,the poor and the rich world alike will adopt them.

而巴西拥有世界上仅次于美国的第二大的生物燃料产业,已经为汽车提供了40%的燃料和15%的电力(电力是通过燃烧甘蔗渣)。南非正努力引领着新一代的安全简便的核反应堆,严格来说并非可再生能源,但是没有碳排放并因此日益受到欢迎。这些国家以及与这些国家相似的国家,已经准备好超越化石燃料。他们从任何可以获得能源的地方获取。因此,如果可再生资源以及其他替代能源在价格上具备竞争力,穷国和富国会同样采用。


That, however, requiresinnovation. Such innovation is most likely to come out of the laboratories ofrich countries. At a recent debate at Columbia University,which The Economist helped to organise, Mr Khosla defended theproposition, “The United States will solve the climate-change problem”. TheCalifornian venture capitalist argued that if cheaper alternatives to fossilfuels are developed, simple economics will ensure their adoption throughout theworld. He also insisted that the innovation which will create thosealternatives will come almost entirely out of America.

但那需要创新。这些创新最可能出现在富国的实验室里面。在最近哥伦比亚大学举行经济学人赞助的一场辩论中,科斯拉先生就“美国将解决天气变化问题”这一主张进行辩论。这位来自加州的风险投资人称,如果比化石燃料更便宜的替代能源发展起来了,依靠简单的经济学原理便可确信全世界都会采用之。他同样坚持,这种将要创造出那些替代能源的发明完全有可能在美国发生。


As it happens, he lost. But thatdoes not mean he is wrong. There are lots of terawatts to play for and lots ofmoney to be made. And if the planet happens to be saved on the way, that is allto the good.

按照事情的进展,他输了。但是这并不意味着他错了。还有很多能源需要去发掘,还有很多钱可以挣。如果这个星球能够通过这种方法持续下去,对大家都有好处。



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发表于 2010-4-28 23:55 | 显示全部楼层
大家现在手段很多啊~~
你有日子没来了吧?! 这篇还不短呢~~
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发表于 2010-4-29 00:00 | 显示全部楼层
是啊。。。是啊。。。
油价突然涨了,估计还要再涨,所以得把这个系列搞出来~
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发表于 2010-4-29 00:05 | 显示全部楼层
好文章啊!支持楼主!
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发表于 2010-4-29 00:10 | 显示全部楼层
本来准备翻这一篇
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发表于 2010-4-29 00:15 | 显示全部楼层
比较明显的几点:

nor does the idea of throwing away the tank and plugging ````   这句的意思是说扔掉油箱换用电动汽车也并不会被看成economic madness

none of the reasons is likely to go away entirely       我的理解是:没有一个原因会完全消除。所以可以反译成:所有这些原因都将继续存在。

紧接着的下面一段的第一句也应该是这个意思。
global warming certainly will not.     当然,全球变暖问题将继续存在。

scale 翻成了“数量级”??很奇怪的译法,建议scale就译成 "规模"

but there could just be a paypal or a google or a sun among them.这句的意思是将来在能源行业可能会出现一个GOOGLE,PAYPAL或者SUN这样的公司。


和colbert一起探讨
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发表于 2010-4-29 00:20 | 显示全部楼层
我翻的题目:能源:光辉与力量
这里有个PUN的。还是得译出来。本来以的是“力量与辉煌”斟酌了一下,光辉与力量更顺,意思更好。供lz参考。
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发表于 2010-4-29 00:25 | 显示全部楼层
好多单词连在一起 看着很辛苦
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发表于 2010-4-29 00:30 | 显示全部楼层
建议各位看下flight of fancy这篇文章,多指教啊。
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