March 9, 2009

Energy tech innovation threatened by economy | Green Tech - CNET News

Energy tech innovation threatened by economy | Green Tech - CNET News

An interesting report. Two things stand out for me:
1./ What will be the price of electricity for consumers in year 5 and year 10 if the U.S. embraces cap and trade and the development of alternative/renewable sources under President Obama's proposals. This should be estimable. Does anyone have a source for this information? Is anyone in the media asking?

2./ What will be the price without cap and trade, i.e., letting development of alternative energy sources take its natural/normal course of growth, along with the unhindered price of coal and natural gas with whatever subsidies and spending the government decides to enable for alternatives.
The alternative energy establishment is powerful and growing, but is saying they are stymied because we are in a recession. If the price of fossil fuels and capital determine the pace at which alternatives become a larger part of the mix, then they are really saying that the only way for alternatives to grow is with a dramatic change in public policy and massive government funding and subsidies.

We should keep in mind the following realities as this debate unfolds:

Electricity Sources (U.S. Nov 2008)

Coal 48.4%
Petroleum 1.1%
Natural Gas 21.4%
Hydro 6.4%
Nuclear 19.4%
All other 3.3% (wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, etc.)

It's obvious that the real purpose of cap and trade has little to do with climate change and everything to do with pricing coal out of the market as a source of electricity because nuclear and hydro have essentially no carbon emissions. Natural gas is also relatively clean and petroleum is a de minimus source of electricity.

So, anyone with the answers to my two questions, please step forward. The price of energy will be high. Please tell us how high.
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