Thought Piece

I just have turned off The Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t it be Nice,” and I brought myself back to renewable reality.

Anyway, perhaps the largest uncertainty about renewable energy is the two kinds of technology risk. Like with all new technologies, renewables have a productive life of uncertain length. This is especially problematic when renewables are replacing proven electricity assests with 30, 40, or 50 year lifespans. Not unimportantly, the transition to renewables creates billions and billions of dollars of stranded costs.

In addition, I know of many early adopters, businesses, and offshore wind farms, which are no longer being the provider of the renewable electricity that was expected from them, either from product failure or expensive maintenance problems.

Then, there is the other side of technogical risk, which is the risk of newer renewable technology making the old technology obsolete prematurely, which creates its own billions and billions of stranded costs. You will notice there is no discussion of transmission.

The following Op-Ed piece in the Boston Globe provides another sobering side to the renewables discussion.

‘Green energy blues’ in a town that sought to do something about climate change

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