29 March 2011 19:11 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--A rough economy will force US policy makers to engage in an honest debate about energy policy, pitting coal against renewables, an energy consultant said on Tuesday.
In such a debate, coal would win - even considering carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions - because it is much cheaper than its renewable competitors, said Brian Habacivch, senior vice president of Fellon-McCord, an energy consultancy.
Power costs are an important topic among petrochemical producers since they consume so much electricity. A government policy that increases energy costs would threaten margins.
In the past 40 years, the ?xml:namespace>
Such policies had promoted renewable sources, which have proved to be expensive and impractical, Habacivch said.
"It has been going on for 40 years, and this is what we have to show for it," he said.
"Renewables cannot fill the gap for future demand-growth for power in the
Renewables would have to contend with the nation's abundant fossil fuels, Habacivch said.
"If you really parse the resources that are available for us, you will find that we are an energy giant," he said.
Any debate centred on carbon emissions would eliminate coal, he said. "Carbonless coal means no coal." However, eliminating coal would cause energy costs to soar, he said.
In a debate pitting coal versus high costs, coal would likely prevail, Habacivch said.
The IPC continues through Tuesday.
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