Acting in Time on Energy Policy by Kelly Sims Gallagher, David T. Ellwood

By Kelly Sims Gallagher, David T. Ellwood

Power coverage is on everyone's brain nowadays. The U.S. presidential crusade fascinated about strength independence and exploration ("Drill, child, drill!"), weather switch, substitute fuels, even nuclear power. yet there's a major problem endemic to America's power demanding situations. Policymakers are inclined to do exactly sufficient to fulfill political calls for yet now not sufficient to resolve the genuine difficulties, and so they wait too lengthy to behave. The ensuing rules are overly reactive, enacted as soon as harm is already performed, and they're too frequently incomplete, incoherent, and ineffectual. Given the gravity of present financial, geopolitical, and environmental issues, this is often extra unacceptable than ever. this crucial quantity information this challenge, making transparent the unlucky result of such short-sighted pondering, and it proposes measures to beat this counterproductive tendency. the entire members to appearing in Time on strength coverage are affiliated with Harvard collage and rank between America's pre-eminent power coverage analysts. They take on vital questions as they pertain to precise components of power coverage: Why are those elements of power coverage so vital? How may "acting in time"?—i.e. now not ready until eventually politics calls for action?—make a distinction? What may still our coverage really be? we have to get power coverage correct this time?—Gallagher and her colleagues support prepared the ground.

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60 The Chinese government has also aggressively promoted low-carbon energy supply options, especially renewable energy, hydropower, and nuclear energy. 61 In fact, China led the world in terms of total installed capacity of renewable energy at 42 gigawatts (GW; compared with 23 GW in the United States) as of 2005. 3 GW of wind capacity. China also passed the Renewable Energy Law in 2005, which requires grid operators to purchase electricity from renewable generators, and China set a target of having 10 percent of its electric power generation capacity come from renewable energy sources by 2010 (not including large hydropower).

63. International Energy Agency (2007). 64. Gallagher (2006). 65. Zhao and others (2008). Acting in Time on Climate Change 35 stopping, and reversing its own emissions, but it will almost certainly have to help China to reduce its emissions as well if the climate change threat is to be effectively tackled. Conclusion One cannot help but notice the widening discrepancy between the apparent scale of the challenge of avoiding dangerous climate change and current policies already enacted or being seriously considered, especially in the United States and China.

CCS appears particularly attractive because it has the potential to allow some of the largest economies of the world to use their abundant and inexpensive coal resources without releasing vast amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere. Coal produces the most CO2 per unit energy of all fossil fuels, nearly twice as much as natural gas. And unlike petroleum and natural gas, which are predicted to decline in total production well before the middle of the century, there is enough coal to last for centuries, at least at current rates of use, and that makes it inexpensive relative to almost every other source of energy.

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