Whether purchasing a house or a car, developing a mineral deposit, or planning for water or energy security, exploring our options is roundly regarded as a good place to start. Options let us explore alternate pathways. They let us envisage and model different outcomes.
Options let us consider the costs and benefits of action from a range of perspective with a simple goal in mind: making the best, most informed and beneficial decision we can in a world of scarcity and finite resources.
It follows that the exclusion of options at the early stages of planning runs the risk of the opposite outcome. Unless we get lucky, closing ourselves to options without objective analysis is nearly destined to generate an outcome that is sub-optimal. That means embracing higher costs for slimmer benefits, which then limits our ability to deliver more and better change in future.
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In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama outlined his vision for an America powered by clean energy, traveling by High Speed Rail, and competing in global clean technology markets. Obama set out a clear principle: “[I]nstead of subsidising yesterday’s energy,” he implored, “let’s invest in tomorrow’s.”
Excellent idea Mr. President.
By choosing the future, not the past, President Obama has opened a fierce technology competition with China and Germany, to bring the cost of renewable energy down below gas, coal and nuclear.
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While the national focus has been on a carbon tax, piecemeal Federal and State Government policies encouraging households to take up renewable energy have been overcooking parts of a cake that had only started to bake.
Two very different segments of the solar energy sector are now experiencing extreme turbulence because of well-meaning but flawed efforts by policymakers to push households into a greener future.
The household renewable energy industry is in flux. Over-generous State feed-in tariffs, an unstable rebate platform and the Federal Government’s “one size fits all” renewable energy certificate trading scheme are culprits.
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