Follow me on Twitter: @JohnHQuigley

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Adult supervision needed

Natural gas-powered electricity has been variably described as a bridge to a renewable future, a hedge against the worst ravages of global climate disruption, a bridge to nowhere, and, hyperbolically, as a bridge to hell

So, which is it?

Probably all of the above, depending on location, politics, economics, regulation, and energy policies.

This Financial Times piece sums up the symbiotic relationship between natural gas-fired electricity and renewable energy in Europe:
(T)he rise of renewables has made gas power more necessary, at precisely the time gas plants are struggling – partly because of renewables.
Alas, we don't have that "problem" - actually, an opportunity - in the US, as growth in renewables is modest overall. But the relationship is achievable on this side of the pond, too, from California to Texas to the East.

To be sure, there are limits to how far natgas can take us in the fight for a sustainable global climate.  And even more certainly, market forces alone won't get us to the most sustainable outcomes, and simply won't work unless the playing field is levelled and a price is placed on carbon.

But wouldn't we be better off if we shaped the future, instead of talking past each other, settling for good but incremental policies, and letting an unbalanced and dysfunctional market shape it for us?

No comments:

Post a Comment