More on the future of energy from Garry Golden

Monday, February 02, 2009

We continue our discussion on the future of energy with blogger Garry Golden.

Listen to more from Garry Golden in The Takeaway's Power Trip series:
With energy, where do we go from here?
Introducing the new energy economy
"There's a saying in the energy industry that the cheapest power plant is the one you don't have to build."
— Garry Golden, editor of The Energy Roadmap blog, on the future of energy

Guests:

Garry Golden

Hosted by:

Katherine Lanpher

Comments [11]

Garry G

Carl, Also forgot to mention - that besides the regulatory challenges of building more nuclear plants within the US, there is a notable lack of human capital in America. It's likely that we would need to tap a global engineering workforce to reinvigorate any nuclear ambitions. - Garry

Feb. 02 2009 10:36 AM
Garry G

Thanks for the feedback Eric...

Feb. 02 2009 10:33 AM
Garry G

A Cherson, Again, I respectfully disagree. Carbon pricing is a widely discussed idea, but being popular doesn't always mean being right. I don't believe that we can say for certain that pricing carbon would solve our problems. We have carbon confusion based on rhetoric. In fact, recent studies show that pricing tools alone cannot change global use of carbon fuels. Instead of fighting the battle over pricing schemes, I favor enabling a bioenergy era of energy production that consumes carbon to produce cleaner fuels. My position is also 'pro Earth', not 'pro business'. I'd rather tap biological processes, than put my faith in a market pricing tool that will certainly be manipulated by incumbents who influence regulatory outcomes. But I do apologies for not mentioning carbon pricing policies on the table. That was a missed opportunity. Garry

Feb. 02 2009 10:32 AM
Garry G

A. Cherson, Pricing carbon schemes are certainly on the table, but it is still unclear which policy could pass in the US (and when). And while I favor a carbon tax, I am very skeptical about popular faith in carbon pricing as a global solution. Both in its implementation and effectiveness. Instead of pricing carbon, I believe we should 'sell' it by enabling bioenergy solutions like carbon-eating algae/bacteria. This is a solution that can be driven by market incentives. We need to rethink carbon as a resource to sell for bioenergy, not a liability to price. Thanks for the comment -Garry

Feb. 02 2009 10:19 AM
Garry G

Lance - Agreed that leadership is key. But I do have concerns that political leadership often lags behind social changes. I would compliment voting with support for advanced science that enables new choices and brings new policies to the table. Thanks for the reminder of political leadership! Garry

Feb. 02 2009 10:14 AM
Garry G

Carl,
Nuclear energy is certainly part of our list of options - and will be part of a global mix of energy inputs. In a future where global demand for energy doubles in less than 40 years, I suspect that all forms of energy will grow. Garry

Feb. 02 2009 10:12 AM
A. Cherson

OK now I did hear the segment and to my astonishment your guest completely ignored (or maybe this was edited out of the segment) the importance of making carbon emissions more expensive via a revenue neutral carbon tax (easier) or carbon credit trading (more difficult, more efficient). I don't know of any serious renewable energy experts who would not put this as the number one most important thing that can be done. What gives guys and gals?

Feb. 02 2009 08:42 AM
Eric Booth

Three cheers for Garry Golden. Thank you, Garry for doing what good futurists do--clarify our choices and leverage points. Adaora and John, please make Garry a regular!

Garry, what do you recommend will help our nation grab some of that "low hanging fruit" of reduced consumption. What has worked in the past to prompt Americans to change consumption patterns?

Feb. 02 2009 08:32 AM
A. Cherson

I haven't heard the segment yet so this comment may not be directly on point, but here goes anyway. Why isn't the revenue neutral carbon tax in the American Renewal (stimulus) Bill? Isn't this the most important thing we can do to start moving towards renewables and didn't both Prez candidates in 2008 say they would take the step of making carbon more expensive? And moreover as a non-spending provision, fiscal conservatives would be happy too.

Feb. 02 2009 08:13 AM
Lance

The easiest and most effective step an individual can take to promote the development and use of renewable energy sources, achieve energy independence and to protect the home which is our earth is this: vote for political candidates at national, state and local levels who are committed to precisely those goals.

Feb. 02 2009 07:21 AM
Carl Hoetzl

Why is there no mention of nuclear energy for the USA? The French use it. If the fear of used fuel disposal keeps the USA from using nuclear energy, why not use the French method of used fuel disposal?

Feb. 02 2009 07:20 AM

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