“Artificial reliance on unconventional energies is problematic outside niche applications. Politically favored renewable energies for generating electricity are expensive and supply constrained and introduce their own environmental issues. Alternative vehicular technologies are, at best, decades away from mass commercialization. Meanwhile, natural gas and reformulated gasoline are setting a torrid competitive pace in the electricity and transportation markets, respectively.” (1999)
Advocates of energy reality and a consumer-driven, taxpayer-neutral energy industry have reason to be discouraged. Arguments against government intervention in energy market from decades ago are still valid if not more true today.
Peak oil … Energy security … Pollution reductions… Global lukewarming. Game, set, match fossil fuels. Game over for government subsidized wind power, solar power, ethanol, and electric vehicles.
But the advocates of forced (government) eco-energy transformation march on.
A theme at MasterResource, now in its eighth year, has been the false arguments and predictions of the energy interventionists, and the still-true, come-true arguments of the freedom school.…
“Perhaps the most distressing characteristic displayed by the pushers of soft energy was the intellectual poverty of their grand designs, their impatient dismissal of all criticism, their arrogant insistence on the infallible orthodoxy of their normative visions.”
“There is little doubt about the origins and the real message of soft energy dogma: the roots are in the muddled revolts of young Americans in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, the goal is a social transformation rather than simply a provision of energy. The latter fact explains the widespread appeal of soft energy sources among zealous would-be reformers of Western ways.”
Vaclav Smil is one of the leading energy scholars of our day. He has, time and again, tried to inject energy reality into energy fantasy. Some of his previous posts at MasterResource (see here) include ‘The Limits of Energy Innovation’: Timeless Insight from Vaclav Smil and the five-part Power Density Primer.…