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The two-faced ‘reality’ of a clean energy future

by Judith Curry

Michael Liebrich has written an extremely insightful (not to mention clever) article  entitled It’s a new year and time to face reality.

I’m reproducing this in its entirety, since you have to read the whole thing, and then read it backwards.

The world will never shift to a clean energy future.
We need to stop listening to so-called experts who say
We can avoid catastrophic climate change by eliminating the use of fossil fuels.
.
Engineers are smart and love solving problems.
But here’s the thing:
We still need electricity when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.
It’s time to accept the obvious fact:
That more renewable energy will cause the grid to collapse.
So please abandon your hopes
.
Wind and solar can produce some of the cheapest power in the world.
But only if you ignore their subsidies and hidden costs.
Coal and oil are by far the best way to provide reliable power and spread wealth.
.
Nuclear power is inherently dangerous.
We need to ignore the advocates who claim that
New nuclear technologies offer passive safety and solutions to waste and proliferation.
.
Electric vehicles will remain a niche technology.
You have to be in denial to believe
There will be game-changing reductions in battery costs and charging times.
.
Progress on energy efficiency just leads to increased energy demand.
There is no credible data to suggest that
We can actually reduce overall global energy consumption.
.
We’ll still be dependent on coal and oil in 50 years.
And there’s no way
The world is shifting to a clean energy future.
.
It’s a new year and time to face reality.
.
But wait, isn’t that all backwards? Now read in reverse and see what you think…

JC reflections

This essay brilliantly reflects the dual realities of the energy debate.  Both versions have elements that are convincing.

In the new year, with a rapidly shifting political climate, perhaps we can identify a solution space that intersects both of these ‘realities’, so that we can set ourselves on the path of an energy future with energy that abundant, clean and friendly to the environment, secure, and economical

Filed under: Energy

Source: 
Judith Curry

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