Two months ago, I wrote a post on a survey of energy professionals and what energy policies they recommended. The results of the survey, which was conducted by Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services and funded by ABB, are worth coming back to in light of the horrible nuclear catastrophe occurring in Japan right now.
Renewable Energy is the Way to Go
“76% of energy professionals believe government regulations should require utility companies to produce more energy from renewable sources,” the report found. Coal power, as a recent Harvard study found, costs the U.S. $500 billion a year in health costs. Nuclear, as we have seen this week, still poses extreme environmental and health risks, and besides that, it is very financially risky — you would be hard-pressed to find a handful of private investors who are willing to risk their money on it.
While wind and solar energy are still edging their way into cost-competitiveness, when you look at the full life-cycle costs of energy sources, or at the long-term costs, it is clear that renewable energy is where we need to be headed.
Government Incentives Critical for Greater Energy Efficiency
While switching to renewable energy more is one clear goal we need to pursue, another important way of reducing our use of nuclear, coal, and natural gas is by improving energy efficiency.
The private market can help a bit in this arena, but to increase energy efficiency at the scale needed today, governments need to assert their muscle and fulfill their responsibilities by encouraging energy efficiency uptake.
“89% of energy professionals believe government incentives trump markets in driving energy efficiency uptake by consumers,” according to ABB’s study.
These are some pretty compelling and important findings. For more on the study, check out the video above or visit ABB’s Better World campaign page.