John Losinger, Fellow and Principal at Public Strategies Inc., was recently featured on McCuistion TV, a show on PBS affiliate KERA that is currently highlighting energy issues. John served on a panel with Texas energy giants Dr. Bernard Weinstein, Adjunct Professor of Economics and Associate Director of the Maguire Energy Institute at SMU, and Russel Smith, Executive Director of Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association.
More information about the show and a link to the broadcast are below.
Are Renewables an Energy Solution?
Airing on Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 12:30 PM on KERA Channel 13
· Bernard L. Weinstein, PhD - Associate Director at Maguire Energy Institute and Adjunct Professor of Economics, Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University
· Russel E. Smith – Executive Director of Renewable Energy Industries Association
· John Losinger – Principal at Public Strategies, Inc.
There has been a push for so-called renewable sources of energy to replace fossil fuels for many years. While research is progressing, the challenge with solar, wind and other options is that they are not constant. All the while, the promise of renewable energy from solar, wind and other sources has been something that most Americans believe in. In addition, it's evident that diversity – using all types of energy ingredients – gives us a better chance of survival over the long haul, leading to energy security and more control.
The panel of experts has widely varied views. Russell Smith gives us the distinction between finite and infinite energy possibilities with renewables able to reproduce themselves in a reasonable period of time when compared to fossil fuels sequestered for millions of years. Smith talks about the five areas of renewables: Solar, biomass, geothermal, wind and hydrokinetic. He asserts that indeed we must look at fossil as well as nuclear resources as part of the solution.
John Losinger emphasizes the critical role of diversity with new technologies which boost the process, giving larger portfolios of choice.
Dr. Weinstein helps us visualize a drive across West Texas and ten miles of windmills with none turning. He objects to the economic policy in Washington which focuses primarily on renewables, efficiency and conservation; while ignoring fossil fuels. Renewable sources of energy are intermittent energy supplies. In the future we may have better capacity for storage and be able to redistribute the energy where needed; however, right now we are throwing state and local subsidies on top of federal subsidies, which in 2010 equaled $7 billion dollars. He believes we are putting all of our policy eggs in one basket.
Yet as Russell Smith states, "We know the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine all of the time." Our storage and research technology is progressing and capturing ways to take the energy to where it needs to be in the near future is possible and probable in bringing down costs and increasing the availability of energy when and where it is needed.
Daniel Yergin, author of The Quest, joins us via a previously taped interview to talk about the rebirth of renewables. He notes that renewable energy is now no longer the fad it once was when it had President Carter placing solar panels on the White House roof. Still cost is a deciding factor and dependence on renewable energy is very much in the future.
While there is good news and hope regarding diversified sources of energy besides fossil fuels, public policy issues, tax issues, and special interest issues remain. Technology will play an increasing role in our energy use and all panelists agree this is not an overnight fix. Join us to find out more about your energy future as we talk about things that matter with people who care.