Developing Good Green Energy

It is part of our responsibility to protect the environment but there is a limit to what we can do in a country that is so cold in the winter, and as hot and humid in the Summer, as Canada. To make it easier on consumers, we need to develop green energy that is effective and cost efficient. The problem with solar and wind energy when everything is taken into account is that it costs so much to produce per kwh compared to nuclear. This raises costs for consumers. This is sometimes offset by the government, but we are still the taxpayers. Regardless, the end result is still the same… Higher energy prices. This hurts consumers, and discourages business.

One of the problems that I observe when government funds green energy, is that it gives incentives to continue production of current technologies, but gives little incentive to innovate and produce new and better technologies. If the government is willing to buy solar panels, then it’s a pretty safe bet that we will get more solar panels and not Easter eggs. A new, better, cost effective and efficient technology would be of the most benefit but this is unlikely to be developed if we keep buying things that already exist. If enough people were working on developing something better, I don’t think it would take long to achieve the goal if we didn’t unwittingly discourage it.

Should we be funding research and development then? The short answer is, no. This is because that through funding research, there is significant financial interest in researching and studying, but little in developing.  Through achievement, the researchers will expect funding to be cut, so they may delay development in an attempt to prolong funding.

So what is needed? I think that the best approach would be private sector involvement with limited government funding. Have a criteria set out for what is needed (Green Energy that is similar to solar and wind energy that costs $? per kwh to produce), then guarantee a market and purchaser for those that develop the new technology (. Think about it. All the risk will be on the private sector, and government will only pay for results. I think if the private sector could foresee a market, they would work to produce the technology, provided that they didn’t feel like they were in competition with publicly funded researchers.

The environment is a priority, and green energy is important, but our focus should be on developing the best  green  technology possible that can also be cost effective.

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