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Energy Debate in Wonderland: Let's Go for the Kill Against Windgas (Part II: Effective Capacity)

By Jon Boone -- March 29, 2011
“… paying anything for resources that yield no or little effective capacity seems deranged as a means of promoting economic recovery for the most dedicatedly modern country on the planet.”

In energy debates (such as held recently by the Economist), arguments can be made against government-dependent renewables on grounds that coal and natural gas are in abundant supply and fossil fuels are being burned cleaner and cleaner.

These arguments, however, are mere body blows. Robert Bryce (see Part I) should have supplied the knockout punch by reminding all that any meaningful discussion of electricity production, which could soon embrace 50% of our overall energy use, must consider the entwined goals of reliability, security, and affordability, since reliable, secure, affordable electricity is the lynchpin of our modernity.

Energy Debates in Wonderland: Let's Go for the Kill Against GasWind (Part I)

By Jon Boone -- March 28, 2011

March Hare (to Alice): Have some wine.

(Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea.)

Alice: I don’t see any wine.

March Hare: There isn’t any.

Alice: Then it wasn’t very civil of you to offer it.

March Hare: It wasn’t very civil of you to sit down without being invited.

— From Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

Energy journalist Robert Bryce in Power Hungry foretells an electricity future anchored by natural gas that will bridge the transition to nuclear power. With his third book in less than a decade, Bryce is now a leading light of the energy policy debate, appearing regularly on op-ed pages and on news shows.

Bryce recently participated in two debates. In one hosted by The Economist, he argued for the proposition that “natural gas will do more than renewables to limit the world’s carbon emissions.”