Earlier, I wrote about a paper co-authored by climatologist Ken Caldeira. A key point of the study is that we can’t slow projected warming with natural gas, you need “rapid and massive deployment” of carbon-free power.
I asked Caldeira about the implications of his work for the right mix of clean energy deployment vs. R&D
I have long been a big supporter of greatly expanded R&D for new near-zero-emission energy systems, but R&D is not a substitute for early deployment.
We will learn by doing. We need to do what we know how to do. We will learn a lot by doing that, and we will learn more (and different sorts of things) with a targeted R&D program. R&D cannot substitute for deployment, but R&D can made deployment cheaper and more effective. An R&D program without a deployment program is a sterile exercise.
Most technologies will be more expensive than the monetized costs of coal. What is the motivation to research and develop something if there is no plausible marketplace for the fruits of that research and development effort?
via Ken Caldeira: Natural Gas Is ‘A Bridge To A World With High CO2 Levels’, Deployment Is To R&D As Elephant To Mouse | ThinkProgress.