31 Mar 2008

Ethanol Solution is a Lie

NYT review:
In “Gusher of Lies,” Mr. Bryce, a freelance journalist specializing in energy issues, mounts a savage attack on the concept of energy independence and the most popular technologies currently being promoted to achieve it. Ethanol? A scam. Wind power? Sheer fantasy. Solar power? Think again. For the foreseeable future, which is to say the next 30 to 50 years, fossil fuels will reign supreme, as they have for the last century. Deal with it.
Hey! What about solar power? Mr. Schwarzenegger has gotten very excited about solar power recently, although he's wrong to say that solar panels have zero carbon footprint. They need to be manufactured, transported and installed. After that, they have no footprint.

Bottom Line: We cannot have the government choosing winners and losers in the technological race to generate greener energy. The government -- even if it is not corrupt -- cannot predict the future any better than my cat. The best thing to do is set incentives for conservation and let markets and competition move things ahead.