13601Sowing Confusion About Renewable Energy - Forbes
- Aug 7, 2014Readers 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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