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Monday, November 29, 2010

Lomborg, Nordhaus & Shellenberger Want Cheap Renewables

Shellenberger & Nordhaus
Bjorn Lomborg calls for cheaper renewables technologies to solve global warming in his movie, "Cool It."  Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger (authors of "The Death of Environmentalism"), in a Wall Street Journal article also recommend cheaper renewables to mitigate global warming. Nordhaus and Shellenberger also state that the United Nations Climate Change Conference is not the venue to get solutions because the smaller nations bog down the process and are not needed because the bigger nations generate most of the emissions.  At least Nordhaus and Shellenberger put nuclear [neo-kind-of-supporters-punt-to-next-generation-reactors] on the table.  The Center is now calling on the federal government to pay for reactors up front and let the nuclear utilities pay them back.

Bjorn Lomborg
Yet environmentalists have been making these recommendations for years now and the call for 'cheaper' renewables has been going on for decades.  Unfortunately, in the real world, renewables cannot carry the heavy loads or they would be the technologies of choice in the marketplace.  Utilities and oil and gas companies are not adopting them because they are effective.  So the recommendation to make them cheaper misses the point.  Wind and solar operate about 30 percent of the time and always have to be backed up with another source.  Renewables are excellent supplemental technologies for unique situations, but cannot reliably provide power for hundreds of millions of people twenty four hours a day and seven days a week.  So making something cheaper that does not work will not work.

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