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Is power generation counter-productive? It certainly has a negative EROI. Is driving to work counterproductive? Is eating a steak dinner counterproductive? The EROI is not impressive...

There certainly needs to public financing of basic research, and there are often useful spin-offs from applied government research. Just like at aircraft, or nuclear power. No one in mainstream economics disputes this.

Still, I'm sure wind and solar would have become useful even without subsidies, if you just had carbon taxation. Recall that if renewables were undeveloped, they would be expensive, and hence we'd need a higher carbon tax to avoid reaching 450 ppm, which in itself would spur the development of renewables, just in a more efficient way than a mishmash of variable subsidies.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Jul 24th, 2013 at 06:11:27 AM EST
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