Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Google's Green Energy Wish List - Energy Policy For Dummies

Google's Green Energy Wish List - NYTimes.com

An interesting article in the New York times, but it is also interesting that the article is already behind the times, and is dishonest.

Here's why.
The Google tool noted in the article is a poor imitation of a tool calculating emissions reductions on the Guardian website last year, which demonstrated how immensely difficult the task was.
Similarly, the article indicates a very dumbed down version of portions of what was recently covered at the Equinox Summit - the presentations from that summit are accessible at the Waterloo Global Science Initiative's website.

Here's the healthy take -aways from the NY Times report on Google's initiative:
"At the top of Google’s list was better electric cars and gas-electric hybrids because they could create large savings by 2030. While big advances in clean energy generation could have big benefits by 2050, in 2030 these would not show major financial benefits when compared with electricity from coal and natural gas, the study predicted."
"If batteries could be sold at a cost of $100 per kilowatt-hour of storage, then pure electric cars, hybrid electrics like the Toyota Prius and plug-in electrics like the Chevy Volt could capture 90 percent of the vehicle market, the study said. "

And here's a good point followed by a blind stupidity:
"...the study found that in the absence of a shift in government policy, improvements in energy storage might end up simply allowing greater use of coal. “Basically it’ll allow you to run the cheapest thing you’ve got, more’’ said Bill Weihl, whose title at Google is green energy czar. "

It's nice to see that somebody acknowledges that storage would allow cheaper generation to be stored, and shouldn't be made to service the ridiculous stuff - it would be nicer to see acknowledgement that plants, of all flavours, running in baseload mode are far cleaner than peaking plants, and cleaner than intermittent plants, but it's a start.

The Guardian tool was honest, and included nuclear as an option. As millions used it, and challenged it, the people who did the math on both the enormity of the task in reducing emissions, and the technologies that might help, gravitated to nuclear generation - and that's been true from George Monbiot and Mark Lynas through to the attendees that drafted the communique from the WGSI conference.

The google project takes elements of science and twists them with a consultant's tool to steer people away from planning a future with more wealth for more people with much fewer GHG emissions - and towards carbon taxes to fund the flavour of the day as determined by Google and McKinsey and Company.

There's no attempt to be fair in presenting the options - and there's really no attempt to seriously address GHG emissions because of it.

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