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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Interesting Article Discovering What Al Gore Said Last Month

In today's New York Times Matthew Wald notes that US ability to use wind and solar power is restrained by the limits of the US power grid. He quotes many people describing this problem notably not including Al Gore who appears only as someone with expansive dreams who seems to be involved with keeping a dirty little secret.

Expansive dreams about renewable energy, like Al Gore’s hope of replacing all fossil fuels in a decade, are bumping up against the reality of a power grid that cannot handle the new demands.

The dirty secret of clean energy is that while generating it is getting easier, moving it to market is not.

O so the limits of the grid are an argument against Al Gore ? He's real famous, if it's a dirty little secret he must be keeping it secret. Now I thought that Gore stressed the need for an improved grid. One minute of googling later (first try googled :al Gore electric grid 4th hit)

Al Gore July 17 2008

To be sure, reaching the goal of 100 percent renewable and truly clean electricity within 10 years will require us to overcome many obstacles. At present, for example, we do not have a unified national grid that is sufficiently advanced to link the areas where the sun shines and the wind blows to the cities in the East and the West that need the electricity. Our national electric grid is critical infrastructure, as vital to the health and security of our economy as our highways and telecommunication networks. Today, our grids are antiquated, fragile, and vulnerable to cascading failure. Power outages and defects in the current grid system cost US businesses more than $120 billion dollars a year. It has to be upgraded anyway.

Of course Gore stressed the need to upgrade the grid as something that would require public action and, probably, federal intervention (at least with subsidies). Not only did I find this with my first google search, but it seems to be the post where Al Gore first described his expansive dream which specifically included improving the grid.

Now I understand that it gets boring to write again and again "Al Gore was right and furthermore I just learned things that I could have learned from him if I paid attention" still it seems to me that Matthew Wald risks becoming the Hiroo Onoda of the war on Gore.

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