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What is Stopping the Renewable Energy Transformation and What Can the U.S. Government Do?

Cohen, Steven Alan

WE NEED CHEAP, RELIABLE, SAFE RENEWABLE ENERGY
Across the world we all inhabit, the economic system that we depend on is based on the one-time use of fossil fuels and other material resources. Our planet’s population has grown to over 7 billion people. We simply cannot continue using up materials and dumping the waste into a hole in the ground; we need to develop and deploy the technology to create a renewable resource-based economy. The future wellbeing of the United States, and of the planet as a whole, depends on the US government playing a more strategic and future-oriented role to bring about the transition to a renewable-resource-based economy.
We know that we must transition to renewable energy eventually, but with energy technology advancing every decade, why hasn’t the transformation to a renewable economy happened yet? What is preventing a more fundamental shift in our energy production and use? There are three barriers to this transformation: (1) technologies that still need advancing; (2) infrastructure that is not designed for distributed generation; and (3) complicated political challenges that limit our ability to make the tough choices necessary for long-term energy policies. The public sector is critical in the transition to a sustainable global economy. Smart sustainability policy and management can help the United States and other countries move past technological, market, and political barriers, and there are a range of federal policies that could lead us on the path toward a sustainable economy powered by clean energy.

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Social Research: An International Quarterly

More About This Work

Academic Units
International and Public Affairs
Published Here
July 8, 2016
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