Posted by: bmeverett | September 5, 2012

Renewable energy on Cape Cod


Cape Codders love their wind turbines and solar panels, despite clear and convincing evidence that these energy sources are prohibitively expensive and perform poorly.

I had a Op-ed in the “Cape Cod Times” yesterday responding to the paper’s latest emotional outpouring on the wonders of renewables. You can find this piece at:
http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120904/OPINION/209040308

The original article I was responding to is at:
http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120823/NEWS/208230339&cid=sitesearch

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Responses

  1. Dear Professor Everett,

    I have read your article on cape cod times. Besides having a different opinion about energy subsidies, I wanted to make a brief comment about your definition of shale gas as a “a cheap, clean and efficient option.” 1) Cheap is cheap, perhaps too cheap! For this reason all oil companies are moving away from drilling in shale gas formations to aim at tight oil and shale oil formations. You can see this trend in Baker Higes rig counts, the rigs used for shale gas are declining sharply. So I’m not too sure that the “gas revolution” will take place so rapidly with gas prices at $2/3 MMBTU. 2) Clean? most certainly not. The use of water for fracking is massive. The use of chemicals and proppants is clearly not beneficial for the enviroment. A gas-fired plant is obviously cleaner than a coal fired one but the process of extracting shale gas is still far from being even remotely clean (everything can be improved of course). 3) Efficient is efficient although certainly more expensive than traditional gas.

    I am certain you are aware of all the complications and complexities of shale gas. I just wanted to point out some of them here because I fear some newspapers have recently overstated the case for a “gas revolution”.

    Best wishes,

    Ferrante


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