Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Want My Sustainable Electrons

Thomas Edison

It's not when or if, it's how.  Two writers from Stanford stress that a switch to a low carbon economy can happen (whew!) but needs to come from innovation, finance, and manufacturing.  Remember: clean energy is a business not a cause.

In the US, we are very good at business.  We also have the best universities in the world (so far).  Let's channel that brain power and capitalistic acumen to clean energy.  The necessary innovation will come.

It's about creating low cost power because yes, power in the US is cheap, and we are spoiled.  That's ok, we can have it clean, and it can be price-competitive.  The focus in on the most distilled, the most basic, product -- the electrons. 

"Wind and solar power will never reach the scale necessary to make a difference to national security or the environment unless they can be produced economically. The objective is not wind turbines or solar panels. It is an affordable, convenient, secure, and sustainable stream of electrons," writes Kassia Yanosek on

Ultimately, Yanosek says, policymakers and taxpayers must embrace the incremental advances and understand that there will be failures along the way. 

Yanosek is entrepreneur-in-residence at Stanford.  With a cool title like that, shouldn't we listen?  Come on people.

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