Environment
5:40 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Duke Research Dispels Clean Energy Myths

Researchers from Duke University and Georgia Tech are seeking to debunk several myths about clean energy in the south. They claim their new study refutes six myths purported by policymakers, business leaders, and advocacy groups. Etan Gumerman is a co-author and Duke Senior Policy Analyst.

Etan Gumerman: "These sorts of myths about energy and specifically electricity in the south are preventing energy policy from moving forward in the best way. There's a potential discussion that's not being had."
Gumerman says one of the biggest myths is the concern that efficiency and renewable energy are going to be expensive and they're going to increase our electricity rates.

Gumerman: "And that's just not necessarily true. And I would hope that the policymakers and the public would start to gain appreciation for the fact that you can do energy efficiency measures that are dirt cheap or almost no-cost and will have an immediate payback."
Gumerman says some environmentalists think supporting renewable energy will be enough to close down dirty coal plants and the like. He agrees those sorts of measures can stabilize emissions at current levels. But to actually reduce them will take something more.

Gumerman: "Some sort of, you know, if you want to call it a price on carbon, whether that's a carbon tax... Or some sort of regulations like what the EPA may be doing in terms of regulating higher polluting generators more is what it's going to take to actually reduce emissions."

The study is published in the journal Energy Policy