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13601Sowing Confusion About Renewable Energy - Forbes

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  • Doug Kalmer
    Aug 7, 2014
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      Readers of The Economist may have been surprised to read in its 26 July 2014 “Free exchange” section on page 63, or in its online version, the “clear” conclu­sion that solar and wind power are “the most expen­sive way of reducing green­house-gas emissions,” while “nuclear plants…are cheaper,” so governments are foolish to boost renewables and mothball nuclear.

      In each of the past three years, the world has invested more than a quarter-trillion dollars to add over 80 billion watts of renew­ables (excluding big hydro dams). That growth is accelerating: solar power is scaling faster than cellphones. Big European utilities lost €0.5 trillion in market cap, as an Economist cover story fea­tured, not because renewables couldn’t compete, but because they competed all too well, wiping out old power plants’ profits. The same is happening to some well-running U.S. nuclear plants, now facing closure as uneconomic just to operate.

      Shouldn’t the runaway market success of renewables—soon to beat grid power on price, says Bloomberg , in most of the world—have raised a flag at the Eco­no­m­ist article’s conclusion?
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