Identifying the Achilles Heal of Renewable Energy

October 9th, 2012 BY ChrisD | No Comments
wind turbines

As renewable energy becomes more prominent, it is essential to view it rationally and realistically. Anything else places individuals and the economy on a perilous course. A vulnerability with renewable energy exists that warrants scrutiny.

The Cost of Fulfilling Energy Demands
A report by Ofgem warns that Britain may fall short in meeting its energy demands by winter of 2015. Shifts to green energy combined with coal mine closures may deplete the country’s spare energy capacity to precipitous levels.

The predicted drop from 14 percent to 4 percent leaves the country vulnerable, especially if it again experiences an extreme winter. Ofgem explains that the capacity could even drop further. These shortages can result in blackouts.

Comparison with the United States
The warnings by Ofgem are not outlandish. The United States has also grappled with brownouts due to failures from wind energy to supply enough power. The causes showed one vulnerability of green energy, albeit from different reasons.

In Britain’s case, compliance with the 2001 Large Combustion Plant Directive, which calls for compulsory reductions in emissions or plant closures. The United States faced problems of a different nature on the climate front.

Both scenarios point to a serious problem. Reliability is paramount for energy. Failures in fulfillment hurt the economy and individuals.

Common Ground
Americans and Britons face a similar situation. Both countries have plentiful reserves of fossil fuels. While the move toward clean energy is sound, it is also expensive. The timing couldn’t be worse for two nations facing economic strife.

Another similarity unites the majority of Americans and Britons–a shared skepticism of climate change. One has to wonder if the solution isn’t fueling the distrust. No matter what the cause, disruptions in power won’t win converts.

Another concern is energy dependence. Britain may be forced to rely more on imported natural gas. Likewise, the United States will continue to increase natural gas development.

A move toward greater methane emissions in exchange for carbon dioxide is not an ideal outcome. Even more disconcerting is the fact that climate change is not being properly addressed.

These facts make a strong case for a comprehensive energy plan and the continued development of the renewable energy technologies rather than large-scale deployment. Like it or not, money must be part of the solution.

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