Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On Those Plug In Cars

I tried to make this point the other day.

But at 25 percent market penetration, we are now talking about a serious strain on the grid, which means more coal, nuclear, or hydro plants — all of which are as popular with California pols as drilling in ANWR. Says Jim Owens of the Edison Electric Institute: “If you continue the scenario (of plug-ins reaching significant market numbers), then you’ll need more capacity. And California isn’t building any new capacity.”

In other words, even if one of the most promising alternatives pans out, we’re facing the same challenges we face now with our “old” technology and supplies: Planning ahead (six years to construct $2.5 billion coal plants, or ten years for $5 billion nuke plants) to develop the resources needed to fuel tomorrow’s energy demand.

Look, it doesn't matter what path we take, we need to expand energy production. Doing so via the electric grid makes sense, but only if we are going to start unshackling ourselves from the bondage imposed by environmental groups. It is time to get over our nuclear phobia and start building more plants. In the mean time, solar and wind technologies can continue to be developed in order that one day they might actually be price competitive.

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