The Climate Post

By Tom Laskawy on January 29, 2011

by Christopher Mims.

A pair of features tackled the most fundamental barrier to the complete transformation of the planet’s energy system: scale.

The first, by David Biello, writing for Yale e360, is one of the most comprehensive assessments of the scale problem to appear in recent memory, and contemplates what it would take to “replace all of the power-producing infrastructure that we have today within 40 years.”

The second, by Mason Inman, writing for National Geographic , warns that limited availability of certain scarce resources, such as the rare earth elements used in many cleantech applications, could be the ultimate bottleneck to even approaching powering the planet with 100 percent renewables.

In Standpoint Magazine , John Constable addresses the costs of a large-scale transition to renewables as they are currently playing out for the U.K.—where, he argues , “in private, the best-informed analysts now agree that Britain’s environmental policies have put the country on track to have the world’s most expensive electricity.”

Speaking at the recent Cleantech Investor summit, the former president of Shell Oil and founder of Citizens for Affordable Energy said the U.S. is going about energy policy “planlessly.” He blames this lack of coherent policy on two- and four-year election cycles .

This year’s State of the Union address: Whatever you do, don’t call it climate change: For those who follow climate and clean energy, the most notable change between this year’s State of the Union address and previous speeches by President Obama is our commander-in-chief didn’t mention climate change— at all .

However, his speech did lead with a discussion of clean energy, ranging from the ambitious goal of getting the U.S. to 80 percent clean energy by 2035 to a pledge to eliminate subsidies to oil companies . The president also mentioned the cultivation of...

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By Tom Laskawy| January 29, 2011
Categories:  Live

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