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We often do covers on things that are in the news,
things that are right there on the front page of your newspaper.
But sometimes we like to look behind an issue that we think's being neglected.
Our cover this week is about the dirty secret of clean energy.
Now we've all got this idea that there's a future in which we have almost unlimited clean cheap energy.
But this week we're looking at how the very economic structure of the electricity market means that between us and that future stands a very big obstacle.
Now there are three problems with renewable energy.
One is subsidies.
Government's been putting money in to try and get these things built.
That's absolutely fine.
But it means that there's an oversupply of generating capacity which is weighing down on prices.
The second problem is the supply of renewable energy is intermittent.
And for those moments when you don't have wind or sunshine, you need to get your electricity from somewhere else.
And that somewhere else is the old dirty power stations that we used to rely on in the past.
And the third point is that renewables inherently cost very little.
Because the sun shines free and the wind blows free.
Now that means that suppliers of this energy bid very low prices to supply to the grid.
That brings down the cost for everybody which lowers profits.
Now this has a number of implications.
One is that the whole grid requires vast subsidies,
which actually raises the price for the consumer even though the industry's not earning very much.
To fix this mess,
you can call on a number of neat technical solutions.
One idea is great storage which allows you to store renewable energy when the sun's shining, and then to release it again when it isn't.
But as well as these technical devices you need government's to sort out the contracts.
Contracts that allow people not to take electricity when it's short and to use it when it's plentiful.
Until governments recognize there's a problem,
you're going to delay the adoption of renewable energy,
and we wrote the lead of this week to try and get people to face up to the problem, and how to fix it.
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可再生能源的骯髒秘密 (The dirty secret of clean energy | The Economist)

259 分類 收藏
Cyndi 發佈於 2018 年 4 月 26 日    Cyndi 翻譯    Charlotte Chou 審核
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