we compute the current costs of coal and oil, we
often neglect to include the externality costs we
are all aware of greenhouse gases, acid rain,
tanker accidents, Middle East wars and resource
depletion. We find that these issues are often too
expensive to clean up. At the same time it is impossible
to redevelop a non-renewable resource.
lines are a one-time investment that deliver clean
electricity for decades to come. The power source
can be located anywhere, whether renewable or not.
generator can be sited far away from the load. The
rule of thumb for transmission costs is about US$1
million per mile (this varies with voltage and terrain).
A 100 km line (about 62 miles) would cost about
are more than enough renewables on the planet for
everyone. They are widespread sometimes concentrated,
sometimes dispersed. It is no longer necessary to
build the power plant next to the city.
can develop the renewable resources where they are
abundant, then transmit the power to where it is
needed by industry and cities.