EEMI Letter Published by the Washington Post

Professor Sklar
Prof. Sklar Demonstrates a PV Panel at His Off-the-Grid Home
May 28, 2021

On December 17, 2020, the Washington Post published a Letter to the Editor by Prof. Scott Sklar, Director of Renewable Energy in the Environmental and Energy Management Institute. In his letter, Prof. Sklar takes issue with statements in a December 13 Washington Post Outlook essay claiming that it is a myth that “existing technology can meet the Paris goals” of climate change mitigation. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prof. Sklar’s letter follows:

In his Dec. 13 Outlook essay, “Five myths: The Paris climate agreement,” Paul Bledsoe claimed it is a myth that “existing technology can meet the Paris goals.” In fact, energy efficiency — reducing energy use in buildings, industry, transportation and electricity production — is not only cost-effective now but also absolutely doable with technologies we have today.

The nonprofit think tank ACEEE issued a September 2019 study that energy efficiency could halve U.S. energy usage by 2050. This was followed by a study this year by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory based on data from 34 states. Saving energy costs about 4.4 cents per kilowatt-hour, significantly lower than the cost of new generation. The analysis shows that as states pursue greater levels of efficiency, having made strides on the easy-to-accomplish low-hanging fruit, the cost to pursue efficiency rises. Massachusetts and Hawaii have the highest efficiency costs, at just under 7 cents per kWh, while South Carolina’s cost is about 2.7 cents per kWh. The costs of wind and solar are now below natural gas generation — including, in some cases, battery storage — with privately financed projects in Arizona, California and Nevada. And since 2016, in the United States and elsewhere, more renewable energy has come onto the electric grid than fossil fuel. Action now is achievable, significant, cost-effective and most necessary.

Scott Sklar, Washington

The writer is energy director for the George Washington University Environment & Energy Management Institute

 

The electronic version of Prof. Sklar’s letter can be seen at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/letters-to-the-editor/energy-efficiency-is-doable-and-cost-effective-now/2020/12/16/19a5445e-3e2d-11eb-b58b-1623f6267960_story.html

The hard copy version can be seen at this link: Prof. Sklar’s Washington Post Article