At the end of last year, many people might have expected the tech sector to be a top performing sector in 2021 — having gained literally trillions of dollars in market value in 2020.
But, so far, this year has been the year of the energy company, as rising oil prices, coal prices and gas prices have translated into rosier outlooks for US energy giants. Tech is up 18% this year. Energy is up more than 50%.
After a year of living (and often working) digitally, the energy crises emerging in Europe, China, India and pretty much everywhere else are a good reminder of the real-world physical supply chains that underpin our economy that we often take for granted.
Some people are hoping that the shortages act as a catalyst for greener, more reliable, energy sources. Maybe that glass-half-full view will turn out to be true, but in the short term, energy crises aren't great. They often hit the poorest the hardest, and with the price of coal literally going up 500%, it's hard to make a coherent argument why anyone would mine less coal now than they did a year ago.