Americans support national clean-energy standard: study

May 13, 2012

The average U.S. citizen is willing to pay 13 percent more for electricity in support of a national clean-energy standard (NCES), according to Yale and Harvard researchers in Nature Climate Change.

Americans, on average, are willing to pay $162 per year in higher electricity bills to support a national standard requiring that 80 percent of the energy be "clean," or not derived from . Support was lower for a national standard among nonwhites, older individuals and Republicans.

In addition, the results suggest that the Obama Administration's proposal for a national standard that would expand the definition of clean energy to include natural gas and would require 80 percent clean energy by 2035 could pass both chambers of Congress if it increased average by no more than 5 percent.

Matthew Kotchen, a co-author of the study and associate professor of environmental economics and policy at Yale, said many observers believe that a national clean-energy standard as the only politically feasible alternative to a national energy-climate policy given the diminished prospect for passage of a national cap-and-trade program to control greenhouse-gas emissions and the relatively weak provisions of the EPA's proposed standard.

"Our aim in this research was to investigate how politically feasible an NCES really is from both an economics and political science perspective," he said.

The authors conducted a nationally representative survey of 1,010 U.S. citizens between April 23 and May 12. Respondents were asked whether they would support or oppose an NCES, with the goal of 80 percent clean energy by 2035.

Respondents received randomized descriptions of the proposed NCES with one of three definitions for clean energy—renewables only, renewables and natural gas, and renewables and nuclear—and, likewise, differing estimates of how much the NCES would increase annual household .

The researchers also used their survey results to simulate congressional voting behavior on an NCES assuming that each member of Congress voted consistently with the preferences of the median voter in their district. The simulation suggests that Senate passage of an NCES would require an average household cost below $59 per year, while House passage would require costs below $48 per year.

has become an increasingly important priority in the United States. In 2010 and 2011, Congressional Republicans and Democrats, along with the Obama Administration, proposed mandating clean-power generation for electricity.

Explore further: Matched 'hybrid' systems may hold key to wider use of renewable energy

More information: "Willingness to Pay and Political Support for a U.S. National Clean Energy Standard," Nature Climate Change.

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Vendicar_Decarian
2.7 / 5 (9) May 13, 2012
This demonstrates that not all Americans are fools, and that the vast majority of those who are, are Republican/Libertarian.

Americans will soon be pillorying the party that left their nation unprepared to compete in a post peak oil era.

The peak was reached somewhere between 2005 and 2007.

Meanwhile America has become a net exporter of gasoline.
Cave_Man
3 / 5 (8) May 13, 2012
No sh*t Ask yourself if you would rather live next door to a coal power plant or a green meadow.

Now if only clean energy were really clean. Making a solar panel requires energy which is currently derived from non-clean sources and really only offers 20% efficiency in terms of how much energy it takes to make a solar panel vs how much energy that solar panel will likely produce in its lifetime. Not to mention the other toxic byproducts of making solar panels.

I'm not at all saying I don't support solar, but I only support CLEAN solar. Using parabolic mirrors and mineral oil seems a lot more intelligent (low tech means easier maintenance).

Personally my paranoid media crazed brain secretly thinks the only reason solar panels are made is to tie up some silicon and rare earth metals so that when the machines/aliens take over they wont have to go too far for raw materials.

Also: I'm not saying it was aliens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . But it was aliens
Vendicar_Decarian
2.6 / 5 (10) May 13, 2012
Any step in the right direction is a step in the right direction.

Republicans have been marching America in the wrong direction for decades.
wwqq
2.6 / 5 (7) May 13, 2012
Natural gas is better than coal, but we're still talking about burning stuff and just dumping the waste into the atmosphere.

Natural gas is the scarcest of fossil fuels. 'We have 100 years of gas due to fracturing!'; well no, once you displace a lot of coal and oil with natural gas that 100 years becomes a couple of decades.

Over a 100 year time frame the GHG emissions for gas from hydraulic fracturing are worse than coal(methane is a good greenhouse gas, but it doesn't last as long in the atmosphere as CO2, hence the 100-year qualifier).
kaasinees
2.4 / 5 (9) May 13, 2012
Natural gas is better than coal, but we're still talking about burning stuff and just dumping the waste into the atmosphere.

Methane release trhough natural processes, land slides, earthquakes, cow farts etc. etc.
Burning it before it is released through natural processes is thus neutral and lowers methane GHG.

Natural gas is the scarcest of fossil fuels. 'We have 100 years of gas due to fracturing!'; well no, once you displace a lot of coal and oil with natural gas that 100 years becomes a couple of decades.

Wrong natural gas is the most abundant.

Over a 100 year time frame the GHG emissions for gas from hydraulic fracturing are worse than coal(methane is a good greenhouse gas, but it doesn't last as long in the atmosphere as CO2, hence the 100-year qualifier).

uhm i think thats really peanuts compared to world wide cow farts.
Terriva
2.6 / 5 (5) May 13, 2012
The question is, what the "clean energy" actually is. Just the fact, the wind plant doesn't make dirt around itself doesn't mean, it's a clean source. This dirt and polution has already been made somewhere else: in the production plants of aluminium and chemical plant producing nylon fibers and Chinese mil, separating the neodymium for magnets. These manufactures are all very dirty with compare to amount of energy actually produced during the life-time of the wind turbine. And if we account to the fact, the huge array of such plants can bring the droughts into Texas (not to say about noise, killed birds and another details) - then the whole project of "clean energy" becomes suddenly quite questionable. Why? Because we didn't account into all items of TCO (total cost of ownership). It's just the economists and another scientists, who are expected to account into it. The investors usually think just about the input/output price ratio, which may be missleading from wider perspective.
CapitalismPrevails
2.2 / 5 (10) May 13, 2012
Milton Friedman always said that high "productivity" was the foundation of a strong economy. Subsidizing inefficient green energy is not the path to high productivity. If green energy were productive, it wouldn't need subsidies.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.8 / 5 (4) May 13, 2012
Terriva has a good argument for reductions in consumption.

I commend him.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.2 / 5 (10) May 13, 2012
Milton Friedman's economic policies have turned out to be a colossal failure for the world.

The fool is best forgotten, along with his treason.

"Milton Friedman always said that high "productivity" was the foundation of a strong economy." - CapitalismFails

Terriva
1.3 / 5 (4) May 13, 2012
Terriva has a good argument for reductions in consumption.
Unfortunately, the existence of too large portion of people is limited just for pure reproduction. They have children, they eat few tons of buritos - and what else? They just die and their children will do the very same. No apparent progress can be seen there - just a dissipation of unsustainable resources.

But I don't believe, the people will be willing to reduce their consumption (isn't it conservative if not Calvinist stance, after all?). I just rather wanted to point to the fact, the cold fusion may become the cleanest way of energy production soon. We should have a plan for development and expansion - or we will face the decline of the civilization as a whole - with cold fusion or without it. We should make the rest of Earth habitable first.
kaasinees
2.8 / 5 (11) May 13, 2012
The question is, what the "clean energy" actually is.

No its not.
This dirt and polution has already been made somewhere else.. These manufactures are all very dirty with compare

No its not. There are clean chemical plants that prevent pollution of manifacturing and reuse/process the valuable wastes.
to amount of energy actually produced during the life-time of the wind turbine.

Also wrong. Also you need a starting point of clean energy, so that production
And if we account to the fact, the huge array of such plants can bring the droughts into Texas

In what way does wind turbines bring droughts?
we didn't account into all items of TCO (total cost of ownership). It's just the economists and another scientists, who are expected to account into it.

What? scientists usually dont make much money at all and dont own anything.
The investors usually think just about the input/output price ratio, which may be missleading from wider perspective

indeed.
rwinners
3.7 / 5 (3) May 13, 2012
Milton Friedman always said that high "productivity" was the foundation of a strong economy. Subsidizing inefficient green energy is not the path to high productivity. If green energy were productive, it wouldn't need subsidies.

That argument might hold water if the coal and oil industries were not subsidized by taxpayers.
It takes good national planning to stay ahead of the energy curve as it relates to supply.
T2Nav
1 / 5 (1) May 13, 2012
Now if only clean energy were really clean. Making a solar panel requires energy which is currently derived from non-clean sources and really only offers 20% efficiency in terms of how much energy it takes to make a solar panel vs how much energy that solar panel will likely produce in its lifetime. Not to mention the other toxic byproducts of making solar panels.


test

T2Nav
not rated yet May 13, 2012
Sorry, still trying to figure out quote function.

Caveman, I think your definition of efficiency might be a bit off. If we blast 1000 watts of sunshine at the thing and get 200 watts of electricity, that's 20%. It is not a comparison of the energy required to manufacture vs. lifetime energy production.
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (5) May 13, 2012
really only offers 20% efficiency in terms of how much energy it takes to make a solar panel vs how much energy that solar panel will likely produce in its lifetime

Erm. That ws the state of the art 40 years ago. Current soilar panels give you over the lifetime from 5 to 15 times more energy than was used to create them (it's very dependent on what type of solar energy you use).
For comparison: Wind turbines are somewhere in the range of 10 to 40 (largely depending on size) .
Terriva
3 / 5 (2) May 13, 2012
There are clean chemical plants that prevent pollution of manifacturing and reuse/process the valuable wastes.
Every technology produces a huge amounts of waste, which you cannot see, being a remote consumer, who just pays the cost of products. For example, the wind plants are made mostly of aluminium. For production of one kilogram of aluminium consumes 15 kWh of electricity, two kilogram of soda, half kilogram of carbon and produces five kilograms of alkaline red mud. 15 kWh require the burning of 20 kg of coal, leaving the 3 kilogram of toxic ash. It must be stored somewhere. 1.5-MWatt wind turbine contains about 15 tons of aluminum in blade assembly and it produces the energy corresponding the 30.000 tons of coal over the course of its 20-year lifetime. So you'll need 15 x 20 = 300 tons of coal and you'll produce 15 x (3 5) = 120 tons of waste. 420 tons is a conical pile six meters in height - and we are talking just about aluminium waste, not about iron or concrete.
rwinners
1 / 5 (2) May 13, 2012
@terriva: Assuming that the aluminum and steel, at least, are not recycled. Recycled aluminum is about 90% cheaper to use than new stuff. So, once that turbine is built, it can be recycled and reused at a considerable cost reduction. Actually, that is happening already.
Terriva
1.4 / 5 (5) May 13, 2012
Current solar panels give you over the lifetime from 5 to 15 times more energy than was used to create them.
In the Mid-Europe the solar panels take 100 years to pay back installation costs. The life expectancy of panels is 25 years, but many panels work at 80% of capacity just after five years. The solar energy works in the Europe only because it's subsidized with government in 1:10 ratio. After then the payback period of solar plant is somewhere around ten years - but its cost is actually payed with other tax payers, not by solar plant owner.
Terriva
1 / 5 (1) May 13, 2012
Actually, that is happening already.
At the moment old rotor blades - if any - are burned in waste incineration plants. Also putting the blades into interim storages seems to be a solution today: "sometimes we dont know where to put the blades".Recycling of Wind Turbine Rotor Blades - Fact or Fiction?
stealthc
2 / 5 (4) May 13, 2012
"sustainable development" is nothing but a scam, we've had many ways to create clean energy and the powers that be have ensured that the best ones that make us the most independent as individuals are not to be had.
All I am saying, is this clean energy, charge more for the same old thing, is a load of malarky, the common man is just being squeezed for more and more, and life in general is starting to look more and more like slavery for survival.

Seriously no thanks, you can keep your taxes, and government, and health care, and the soft-communism called socialism, and the energy.... I am so sick of working for a diminishing return that this society promises why on earth are you people working for it?

They won't stop the price increases until you are starving and flat broke. Depopulation. Agenda 21. That's what you get, green fascism from these animals hiding behind "human rights" (when in fact it is they who plan on being the biggest violators of those rights).
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (5) May 13, 2012
In the Mid-Europe the solar panels take 100 years to pay back installation costs.

Nope. Intalled some on my dads home (germany - which isn't exactly known for sunny skies). 14 years payback time. These suckers were expensiove when we bought them.
Since then it's all profit (and the panels have barely degraded 5%). Expected lifetime of these is 30 years.

Solar subsidies have almost run out, but at today's prices (and better efficiency rates) you can have a break-even after about 6-7 years.

At the moment old rotor blades - if any - are burned in waste incineration plants

Wind turbine blades are made of fiberglass. Only the very old/small ones are made of aluminum.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.7 / 5 (7) May 13, 2012
Well then we must have unsustainable development mustn't we?

""sustainable development" is nothing but a scam" - StealthTard

I forgive you if you are under 6 years old.
CapitalismPrevails
2.1 / 5 (7) May 13, 2012
That argument might hold water if the coal and oil industries were not subsidized by taxpayers.
It takes good national planning to stay ahead of the energy curve as it relates to supply.

I'm getting fed up with this manifested narrative that oil can coal companies receive subsidies. They don't receive subsidies, they receive tax deductions only if they invest the money saved on more capital.

By "good national planning" are you referring to centralized government control and no market based solutions? "Good national planning" leads to clumsy actions such as the stimulus bill and misallocation of resources. "Good national planning" leads to the DOE subsidizing inefficient green energy for 30-40 years and only leading to 2-3% market share of the national energy market.
rwinners
5 / 5 (2) May 13, 2012
I suggest you check a encyclopedia for the meaning of "depletion allowance" and it's meaning within the US tax code.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.5 / 5 (8) May 13, 2012
Obama plan to end U.S. oil subsidies rejected by Republicans

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the proposal a "tax hike on American energy manufacturers."

http://www.cbc.ca...ies.html

"I'm getting fed up with this manifested narrative that oil can coal companies receive subsidies." - CapitalismFails

Are you living on planet denial, Boy?
LaraErik
not rated yet May 13, 2012
just as Matthew said I am startled that a single mom able to earn $9029 in four weeks on the internet. have you read this website..CNNMoney2.notlong.com
kaasinees
2 / 5 (4) May 14, 2012
Every technology produces a huge amounts of waste,

No it doesnt. Its primitive fossil fuels technology that produces most waste.

which you cannot see, being a remote consumer,

I am not an ordinary consumer am i?

the wind plants are made mostly of aluminium

Production of aluminium has some chemical waste but they can be reused and reprocessed, it is usually political failure when it comes to waste management not technical.

For production of one kilogram of aluminium consumes 15 kWh of electricity,

When you have a wind turbine and a solar plant next to your factory that energy is neutral and everything you produce after it is greenhouse gas neutral. (unless you are building some combustion engine ofcourse)

As for China and India being so polluting, well they simply do not care about waste management, they have too many people they want to get rid off anyway, why do you think almost the entire world migrated the industry there?
F Juice
1 / 5 (1) May 14, 2012
No fossil fuel use for 30 days a year for 30 years! lets do it people.
mstraub
not rated yet May 14, 2012
No surprise Americans want a cleaner world to live in. Coal, gas, burning anything has had it's time. People are starting to think about what they will hand off to their great-grand children and they don't want it to be a mess for future generations to clean up.

The clean energy can come in all kinds of forms, take a look to the seas for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC). It's the process of using the temperature difference in warm shallow water, and cold deep water, to create an endless flow of emission free power. Plus, the only byproduct of every OTEC system is millions of gallons of clean drinking water.

This is the kind of clean energy that has Americans excited about the future, and it's happening now.

Lots more info on how OTEC works and the people making it happen at TheOnProject.org
kaasinees
2 / 5 (4) May 14, 2012
Ever heard of laptops that run on 50 watts?

Nope, your Americans!
Jimee
not rated yet May 25, 2012
Say anything to prevent the oil and coal companies from losing profit. They have been poisoning us and our environment, and us paying for it, for far too long. There is no argument. Renewables and sustainability will be the future, if humans have a future. Those who try to dissuade the children from this truth will burn in hell, figuratively of course.
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (1) May 25, 2012
"Ever heard of laptops that run on 50 watts?" - kaasiness

I've seen laptops that run on 13 watts.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) May 25, 2012
Govt imposed 'standards' are just another way to entrench govt bureaucracy and attract more campaign cash.
BP, Solyndra, GE, Enron all know how that game is played.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) May 26, 2012
"ISO 50001 is intended to provide organizations with a recognized framework for integrating energy performance into their management practices. Multinational organizations will have access to a single, harmonized standard for implementation across the organization with a logical and consistent methodology for identifying and implementing improvements. The standard is intended to accomplish the following: "
http://www.iso.or...=Ref1434

Standards in process.
JustAnyone
not rated yet Jun 11, 2012
http://en.wikiped..._effects ==> subsidies lower prices over time because: (1) guaranteed market promotes investment in capital equipment, (2) once an industry is running, competition promotes innovation.

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