Renewable Electricity Generation: Economic Analysis and Outlook

Renewable Electricity Generation: Economic Analysis and Outlook

by Benjamin Zycher

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This volume examines the outlook for renewable energy in electricity generation-particularly wind and solar power-as a substitute for conventional fuels such as coal and natural gas. Economist Benjamin Zycher evaluates the central arguments in favor of policies that would make way for broader use of renewables and concludes that all are deeply problematic. "Renewable" energy sources are not superior in cost to conventional fuels; nor are they less taxing on the environment. The popular argument that increased use of renewables will create "green jobs" is likewise a fallacy-because wind and solar power are costly and inefficient, the net economic impact is a negative one. Zycher concludes that resource-use behaviors emerging from market competition are the best guides to effective, sustainable energy policies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780844772226
Publisher: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Publication date: 10/27/2011
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 80
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Benjamin Zycher is a senior fellow in economic studies at the Pacific Research Institute.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Executive Summary
Chapter 1: A Summary of Public Policy Support for Renewable Energy in Electricity Generation
Appendix to Chapter 1
Chapter 2: Problems Afflicting Renewable Energy in Electricity Generation
Unconcentrated Energy Content
Siting Limitations and Transmission Costs
Low Availability and Intermittency
Chapter 3: Central Rationales for Policy Support for Renewables: A Review
The Infant-Industry Argument
Leveling the Playing Field
Adverse External Effects of Conventional Generation
The Resource Depletion or “Sustainability” Argument
“Green Jobs”: Renewable Power as a Source of Expanded Employment
Chapter 4: Some Implications of the Outlook for the Natural Gas Market
About the Author

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