Clean Energy Policy: Tools and Trajectories
The goal of clean or at least net emission free energy systems by a certain date dominates discussion of the policy agenda. The question of feasibility of such an objective, at least for the electricity sector, can be answered easily as a purely technological matter. It is possible. The challenges will include both costs and systemic inertia. The interesting questions have to do with the relative merits of different tools and trajectories. How fast would the transformation occur? What would be deployment of existing technologies versus reliance on research to identify and develop new technologies? What deployment policies would be needed and what strategy for deployment would be internally consistent? What choices must be made, as between markets and mandates? How can we pursue our objectives while minimizing the creation of new stranded assets? Do any of these questions matter? Are there tradeoffs? And how should the answers affect electricity market design and regulation? What have we learned from the green energy analyses addressing these matters?