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“Renewable” Energy: In Search of Definition

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#john-droz">John Droz, Jr.</a> -- March 28, 2009

As a physicist with energy expertise and a long time environmental activist, I have grown increasingly concerned about a lack of common sense in the country’s energy debates. Even simple terms underlying our leading debates sometimes are poorly considered.

Consider the indiscriminate use of the term “renewable” energy. This is no academic annoyance, for right now the U.S. Senate is drafting a national Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The first version is not a good start on President Obama’s new science directive.

Some problematic issues with RPS (federal and state) are: …