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Most of the citations had no access dates and it seemed reasonable to remove old access dates from the few that did, for the sake of consistency. But I have no objections to being reverted, or even better, to someone going through and comprehensively adding updated access dates. Johnfos (talk) 20:21, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
All forms of energy are expensive, but as time progresses, renewable energy generally gets cheaper, while fossil fuels generally get more expensive. Al Gore has explained that renewable energy technologies are declining in price for three main reasons:
A) First, once the renewable infrastructure is built, the fuel is free forever. Unlike carbon-based fuels, the wind and the sun and the earth itself provide fuel that is free, in amounts that are effectively limitless.
B) Second, while fossil fuel technologies are more mature, renewable energy technologies are being rapidly improved. So innovation and ingenuity give us the ability to constantly increase the efficiency of renewable energy and continually reduce its cost.
C) Third, once the world makes a clear commitment to shifting toward renewable energy, the volume of production will itself sharply reduce the cost of each windmill and each solar panel, while adding yet more incentives for additional research and development to further speed up the innovation process.
Mentioning Al Gore as an authoritative source for anything science or engineering related will drive up the blood pressure of anyone with a science degree without a vested interest.
A) First portion is true (fuel is free from then on). The second portion (effectively limitless) is such that only an intelectually challanged person could make such a statement. The amount is effectively limited by our ability to extract the raw resources necessary for the required infrastructure and a miriad of other factors. Another issue is that the energy density of renewables efectively limits us anywhere we go.
B) Again, options more than facts. Yes, the technology is rapidly improving. This is however not a panacea, and is limited to the thermodynamic laws which hold and still apply. Thus technological hurdles and inability to surmount them are suppresed in an emotionally hyped up "buy my shares now" type speech. This fails to mention that many current gen solar panels are EROEI negative, and their production processes produce voluminous amounts of highly toxic waste. There are similar technological externalities to the so called "green technologies", but they are not being discussed. This is Gore's political position. What is politics doing in this section? it is supposed to be about commercialization of green technologies, not discussing the publicly voiced opinions of a politician which is engaged in funneling public funds to economically uncompetitive technologies (that are supposedly green) and recieving a portion of spent public funds back from invovled companies.
C) Ties in to my oposition to point B) - if those technologies are not EROEI positive, or they require large amounts of fossil fuel to build the infrastructure (metals are extracted using FF - steel, magnesium, cement for concrete and others...). The attempt to mix the political and the economic here is simmilar to the unfortunate effect of state interference in mining and other areas with subsidies on things that are not clearly profitable for the sake of maintaining political stability. For example the use of fresh water/brine interface powerplants using fuel cells is overlooked, for highly inefficient and expensive to manufacture solar cells that are subsidised in favor of by the CGA (central govermental authority) of different states.
I therefore propose that this entire section be moved to the topic "Al Gore" or "Green politics" which are more suited to this opinionated and unscientific personal views of an idividual that has started his university degree as an English Major, shifted to Climate Science and ended majoring in Goverment. While he may be opinionated passionate and whatnot, I strongly disagree with his views being used, as it strongly undermines the neutrality of the article in relation to the discussed topic. Unless of course, it is taken as a warning and a subsection labeled "green politics" is developed which will contain the list of people and their views on said subject.