January 28, 2011 Reuters Davos Workbook on World Economic Forum
One of the key issues being debated at this year’s World Economic forum is energy policy, particularly how we best make the transition to clean energies of the future to mitigate global warming.
Nuclear power, like energies of the future — wind, solar, carbon capture — must rely on government subsidies to be economically viable. This is true of virtually all alternatives to fossil fuels, which is a consequence of the fact that the social costs of the pollution that they cause is not included in the price people pay for them.
As a result, governments deploy specific policies to foster renewables, nuclear energy and/or carbon capture. More often than not, these policies are made independently from each other, and are subject to frequent change.
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– Laurens de Vries and Emile Chappin are researchers at Delft University of Technology. Much of their research is funded by the Next Generation Infrastructures Foundation. The opinions expressed are their own. –