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Policy Memo - Renewable: Power Sector Restucturing - Assignment Example

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Policy Memo Date: November 11, 2012 To: The Obama Administration Re: Renewable Energy: Power Sector Restructuring Introduction In March 2011, the President released a report delineating a blue print for cleaner energy and the more efficient production and use of energy, particularly fuel…
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Policy Memo - Renewable: Power Sector Restucturing
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Download file to see previous pages As oil prices continue to escalate, the cost of petroleum generated electricity has also increased (Balash & Kern, 2008). Concerns about the greenhouse emissions from coal powered electricity and the risks associated with nuclear safety have also called attention to the need for an increased use of renewable energy in the US (Balash & Kern, 2008). Regardless, as of 2011, coal represented the most popular source of electricity generation in the US with renewable energy representing the second less popular source of electricity (see table 1). This policy memo makes suggestions for the implementation of policies aimed at restructuring the power sector with a view to increasing renewable energy for the generation of power and the phasing out of nuclear, petroleum and coal power generation. This memo is therefore divided into three parts. The first part of this memo provides a justification for restructuring the power sector. Thus, the first part of this memo provides details of the dangers of coal, petroleum and nuclear power generation. The second part of this memo sets out the justification for renewable energy and acknowledges the difficulties experienced in expanding the use of renewable energy. The third part of this memo sets out policies that can be implemented for the expansion of renewable energy in the power sector. ...
The rising prices of natural gas and the ensuing energy crisis in the US gave way to a push for the expansion of nuclear power generation in the US under the George W. Bush administration. However, the push for nuclear energy is particularly controversial given the US’s objection to the use of nuclear energy by Iran and Korea and the perception that nuclear energy can lead to and has led to the proliferation of nuclear weapons (Levanthan, 2002). As demonstrated by the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl in the 1980s, accidents at nuclear power plants can be entirely devastating and impact several locations for a long period of time (Ferguson, 2011). Despite the construction of new reactors, concerns remain. In particular the fallout at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after the 2011 earthquake raises questions about the stability of new nuclear reactors to withstand natural disasters (Johnson, 2011). Nuclear waste generated by nuclear energy is also a matter of concern relative to public and personal health and safety. According to Johnson (2011), storage and disposal of nuclear waste has always been a challenge for the nuclear power industry. The improper disposal of nuclear waste not only contaminates the environment but also opens up possibilities for the unauthorised construction of dangerous weapons (Johnson, 2011). Complicating matters the recycling of nuclear waste is not only entirely expensive but also dangerous in terms of danger to the environment and for security reasons (Johnson, 2011). The Dangers of Coal Power According to Keating (2001), electricity is the “largest toxic polluter” in the US and “coal” as a significant source of electric ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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