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Investing in green technology

As the prospects for a climate bill get dimmer, some in Congress have said the solution is not to limit U.S. emissions but instead invest in green technology (wind, solar or earth's natural heat) that might be able to produce the same energy but with less pollution. Is this a good way to go, instead of setting a legal limit on emissions?

Posted by Washington Post Editor on February 3, 2010 6:00 AM
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ALL COMMENTS (14)
Richard18 Author Profile Page :
 

Yes, yes, yes! This is a total no brainer! Green energy reduces America's dependence on foreign energy, will create hundreds of thousands of careers (not just jobs) for generations to come. Green energy technology will bring billions in export business to the US. And yes, it helps the environment. It's win-win-win. Just do it!

 
katie6 Author Profile Page :
 

It should be clear by now that there is no global warming and co2 is not the culprit. All of this hysteria was driven by money invested by fat cats counting on government subsidies. We have plenty of oil, natural gas, clean coal and the technology to develop nuclear power and do not need to destroy an economy that is struggling and raising expenses for the suffering public. Conservation absolutely, clean air yes, common sense yes. The polar ice cap has been growing the last few years,polar bears are thriving and haven't been in danger for years. The public has been lied to for years since these scientist, who were paid to give the results admitted they could not account for global cooling. A look at the earth for the last thousand years shows a normal warming and cooling cycle long before Gore and his misguided theories ever existed.

 
IlyaShambat Author Profile Page :
 

While much publicity surrounds wind and biofuel energy, there is a clean energy solution that stands to provide energy and water needs of humanity in a process that takes in only ocean water and solar energy and produces only clean water and energy on the other end. It is called Hydrogen Transmission Network, and it stands to realize vast economic and environmental benefit. For more description, check

http://www.adda-enterprises.com/HTNwebsite/home.htm

 
IlyaShambat Author Profile Page :
 

While much publicity surrounds wind and biofuel energy, there is a clean energy solution that stands to provide energy and water needs of humanity in a process that takes in only ocean water and solar energy and produces only clean water and energy on the other end. It is called Hydrogen Transmission Network, and it stands to realize vast economic and environmental benefit. For more description, check

http://www.adda-enterprises.com/HTNwebsite/home.htm

 
lindsaycurren Author Profile Page :
 

Without a doubt, "green technologies" will never replace the magic exponential power of fossil fuels. But that's no reason to pass them by.

We should be investing in green technologies, particularly those which can become affordable individual consumer goods such as solar hot water heaters, micro wind turbines, and solar panels for homes and business (as well as innovative solutions, like PV "shingles" for historic homes, etc.)

Clearly we have to have distributed power as a stimulus on the economy, an energy saver, and a way toward real energy security.

I'm no fan of cap and trade. It won't really compel a meaningful reduction in green house gasses and it will just put money in the hands of Wall Street, a group that has lost any hope of credibility. The last thing we need is another abstract shell game taking the place of real world problem solving and substituting for on the ground growth.

Honest investors willing to back _actual_ manufacturing of goods can go hand in hand with policies to stimulate manufacturing and sales. All the better when these incentives are more and more local--and when we bring some of this manufacturing back to the good old USA where too many folks are unemployed.

But there's little time to waste. Peak Oil stands ready to kick our collective bums. We've got to get a move on to stimulate the green economy in real ways. It can be a wealth generator while acting as a check on future carbon emissions. And there's only so much time to manufacture these things while we still have the cheap fossil fuels to do it.

Cap and trade, however, is just a third rate solution without any real vision or commitment.

 
lindsaycurren Author Profile Page :
 

Without a doubt, "green technologies" will never replace the magic exponential power of fossil fuels. But that's no reason to pass them by.

We should be investing in green technologies, particularly those which can become affordable individual consumer goods such as solar hot water heaters, micro wind turbines, and solar panels for homes and business (as well as innovative solutions, like PV "shingles" for historic homes, etc.)

Clearly we have to have distributed power as a stimulus on the economy, an energy saver, and a way toward real energy security.

I'm no fan of cap and trade. It won't really compel a meaningful reduction in green house gasses and it will just put money in the hands of Wall Street, a group that has lost any hope of credibility. The last thing we need is another abstract shell game taking the place of real world problem solving and substituting for on the ground growth.

Honest investors willing to back _actual_ manufacturing of goods can go hand in hand with policies to stimulate manufacturing and sales. All the better when these incentives are more and more local--and when we bring some of this manufacturing back to the good old USA where too many folks are unemployed.

But there's little time to waste. Peak Oil stands ready to kick our collective bums. We've got to get a move on to stimulate the green economy in real ways. It can be a wealth generator while acting as a check on future carbon emissions. And there's only so much time to manufacture these things while we still have the cheap fossil fuels to do it.

Cap and trade, however, is just a third rate solution without any real vision or commitment.

 
RSweeney1 Author Profile Page :
 

A friend installed a large solar PV panel array at his house last year. It was originally estimated to cost about $50K, but by the time everything was installed and running, the cost was over $100K.

And this for an installation that generates a total of a little over 10,000 KW-Hr per year... and amount of electricity that Dominion Power generates for $130 total with nuclear power or $114 using coal.

Now... because of the green zealots, the US taxpayer (or actually the Chinese or whoever is still stupid enough to buy T-bills) paid $30,000 for this boondoggle.

The state of VA, laying off teachers, hit up those people who still had jobs for $17,000 to pay my friend.

And all the power company ratepayers have to ante up almost $6000/yr so that the power company can get its legally required percent "green" power in solar renewable energy credits that they are forced to purchase from my friend.

All for $130/yr of electricity.

So when we talk subsidies, we are talking INSANE subsidies. Complete and utter irresponsibility.

Economic suicide.

What we REALLY need to concentrate on is slowing the outflow of money for imported oil by tapping US sources, especially oil shale. But that doesn't suit the green religionists' agenda.

Anyone proposing expensive and unreliable wind or solar for electric power is really just proposing we send whatever industry we have left to China.

So when your children move back home because there are no jobs, remember how "green" power helped to make it happen.

 
dnjake Author Profile Page :
 

Any semi objective understanding of history makes it clear that humans have very limited ability to forsee the future in any detail. The Internet is one of the best cases of government policy producting intended results. Nevertheless, even in the early 1990's, most of the engineers working on it did not really expect it to happen. Currently, there is a good reason to worry about the size of the human population that the Earth can sustain, about how we handle our waste, and what we are going to use for energy in the future. There is also some reason to start worrying about what we will do if our failure to manage the Earth's resources leads to some kind of crisis. But we certainly are not at a stage where we can decide which approaches are going to work and which are not. Certainly, if we can put legal constraints in place that start to control the generation of human waste, we should do it. But anyone who expects humans to agree on some form of subtantial sacrifice because of a desire to protect the environment needs some kind of therapy to have a better connection with how human beings actually behave in the real world. Just as we have done with defense technology and health related research, we should be making a substantial public investment in both research and prototype development for various forms of energy technologies and technologies for limiting the waste that we create. We should try to fund as wide a variety of work as possible and expect to spend decades figuring out what works. It is pretty much guaranteed that most current expectations will look foolish looking back from twenty or thirty years in the future.

 
rileycasey Author Profile Page :
 

Tax policy has for generations distorted the marketplace and the taxpayers perceptions of the true costs of the hydrocarbon economy. It costs a great deal of money to maintain a 'world order' that supports the current consumer choices about everything from commuting 120 miles a day in a Hummer to eating meat three times a day. Move the true cost of maintaining authoritarian regimes, protecting shipping lanes from subsistence level pirates and all of the other parts of the enormous jigsaw puzzle that is required to fill up a gas tank in Idaho from their hiding place in the income tax to taxes that are directly and overtly connected to the use of oil. Let the politicians reap the benefit from a dramatic reduction in the income tax and let the consumers read a notice on every gas pump, plastic bottle and utility bill telling how much of that now higher cost is related to the hydrocarbon component and there will be an appropriate response.

 
spamsux1 Author Profile Page :
 

Spain is a poster child for a disastrous government-imposed "green energy" program.

A modern, industrialized country simply can not compete globally using expensive, intermittent and inefficient wind and/or solar.

China and India, to name two outstanding examples, are already eating the lunch of developed countries in the area of labor and low-level manufacturing costs.

Should we further reduce our competitiveness by drastically increasing energy costs?

The hard truth is that the world ain't fair. The technology is not here to switch to sunshine and breezes.
If we attempt to at this time we will be tying our hands behind our back.

 
chrisdunning1 Author Profile Page :
 

I would love to see free energy technology reach the public. It is currently being suppressed through various means and I urge people to wake up, research it, then demand it!

 
alance Author Profile Page :
 

How much energy could we save if we made a massive effort to weatherize our nation's homes and businesses? This effort could get bi-partisan support in Congress, satisfy our urges to do something for the environment, energy conservation and be a public works effort to put a million Americans back to work. This is the kind of economic stimulus our nation needs.

Twenty percent of our electricity bill goes to producing hot water. We need research so we can mass produce solar hot water units as cheaply as possible and get them on as many homes as possible. We could significantly lower our energy consumption and make everyone happy except the utility companies.

 
Pilot1 Author Profile Page :
 

These technologies are just a payoff for a different group. None of these are viable for large scale use. They cannot exist without massive subsidies and benefit a small group. Obama says he wants to spend billions on green energy to double it. Well that would take the contribution from 1% to 2% at an astronomical cost. Why not invest in clean energy that works like nuclear and natural gas? It is obvious that Obama has no clue as to what is beneficial and makes sense. Just look at the high speed rail he proposes. You can drive between the stops faster than the train will go. Where is the sense in that?

The cap and trade is nothing but a massive energy tax meant to fill the coffers of government on the backs of the middle class. One more attack by the left to destroy it and make the middle class serfs to the government.

Global Warming or now as they call it Climate change is nothing but junk science put forth to scare the sheeple into submitting and forgoing their rights to individual choice and liberty to the government. Recent events however have proven that we the people have had enough.

 
karin5 Author Profile Page :
 

We will not need subsidies for clean power FOREVER, but we do need them now - not only to counter subsidies in place for coal and traditional transport fuels, but also to counter the huge head start in sunk costs and market share enjoyed by conventional technologies. The real shortcoming of climate legislation is that it may prescribe boundaries (taxes, caps, etc) but it doesn't provide leadership toward a new energy system. We need a shift toward distributed power generation, more efficient high voltage transmission and new infrastructure for altfuel vehicles. We'll either get that leadership frm the Obama Administration or we'll sputter along with no real change.

 
 
 
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