Friday, September 09, 2016

National Academies Panel Urges Overhaul of Energy Policies

The Power of Change: Innovation for Development and Deployment of Increasingly Clean Electric Power Technologies (Credit:  Click to Visit.
The United States needs to put a price on carbon dioxide and other pollutants and overhaul energy policies to help avoid catastrophic climate change and other public health calamities, according to a report released Thursday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

The multiyear analysis concludes that policies must change for nearly every energy technology, from nuclear power to solar photovoltaics.  Otherwise, prices won't fall enough with clean energy sources to be deployed at levels needed to curb pollution, concludes the report, which was funded by the Department of Energy and included contributions from multiple universities, companies and nonprofits. Multiple U.S. senators requested the study.

"There are notable locations where unsubsidized wind and solar-generated electricity is competitive with or cheaper than electricity from other sources.  Yet for most of the country, most of the time, the prices of dirtier incumbent electric power generation technologies are lower than those of increasing clean technologies, in part because their price does not include their full costs," says the report, "The Power of Change."

The researchers did not outline what a price on pollution should look like to fix this "error," or whether it should be a carbon tax or some other mechanism.  They did call for more funding on research and development broadly and outline more than 30 other specific recommendations that Congress and federal agencies could enact to help multiple technologies, whether mature or still in the lab stage.

Wide adoption of clean energy technologies and changes to the electrical grid will require moving beyond "incremental" improvements, said the academies.

Read more at National Academies Panel Urges Overhaul of Energy Policies

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