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  • Tuesday, January 8, 2019

    A New Energy Primer

    Renewable Energy: What's True, What's False

    Kevin Krajick, January 7, 2019 (Columbia University’s State of the Planet)

    “…In Renewable Energy: A Primer for the Twenty-First Century, Columbia Business School professor and energy entrepreneur Bruce Usher takes readers briskly through the essentials…He spices it up with weird historical surprises…[like the fact that in] 1900, one-third of U.S. vehicles were electric…Renewable energy is growing faster than any other form of power, more than 8 percent annually for the past 6 years…[L]ike any commodity, consumers are going to choose primarily on the basis of price…[A] virtuous cycle in business occurs when growth in demand for a product results in economies of scale that lower manufacturing costs, further increasing demand for the product…[I]n solar power it means that the lower the cost of manufacturing solar panels, the greater the demand, and the greater the demand the greater the manufacturing efficiencies and the lower the cost, which further increases demand…

    …[T]he strongest growth is in wind and solar. Globally in 2017, wind grew 10 percent and solar grew by 32 percent…In theory, nuclear could provide cheap and emissions-free power, but today’s power plants cost a multiple of wind and solar, despite efforts to develop better plants…[Hydropower is the largest single source of renewable energy, but] most of the world’s best rivers already have dams…In the long term, [White House opposition] will have no effect on the transition from fossil fuels to renewables and electric vehicles…[But it] will have a significant long-term effect on something far more important: the planet…In the U.S., the politicized debate over climate change is overshadowing the economic fundamentals. It’s taking the country backwards…” click here for more


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