Skip to content

Opportunities Lost

April 1, 2014

Richard Kauffman, New York State chairman of energy and finance, wants to stimulate markets by using subsidies since many clean energy projects are inherently uneconomic.

He also wants to use psychology to get consumers to take actions they probably would not take, without a psychological push.

He said, “Too many of us in the clean energy area – and those of us involved in smart buildings – don’t think enough about the emotions that are involved in a decision.”

To get consumers to act, he said, “It often means playing to the herd mentality of consumers.”

He suggests playing to the herd mentality is needed to get consumers to adopt uneconomic clean energy projects: If, for example, they see a neighbor installing clean energy, they are more likely to follow suit.

Niagara Falls, with Maid of Mist. Photo by D. Dears

Niagara Falls, with Maid of Mist. Photo by D. Dears

His comments were made in Buffalo NY, near Niagara Falls.

He readily acknowledges that getting consumers to act on clean energy projects is a tough sell because of the high upfront costs and long payback periods of clean energy projects.

Contrary to his views, it’s certainly hoped that most consumers are capable of making good decisions without following the herd.

He says that because of clean energy projects being inherently uneconomic, it requires government to subsidize them.

He cited a big role for government agencies, such as NYSERDA, and the $210 million NY Green Bank initiative helping finance clean energy projects.

“The New York Power Authority, for example, spent $280 million last year on energy efficiency projects and expects to spend between $250 million and $300 million annually on similar initiatives through 2020.”

He makes no mention, however how these large funds could have been put to better use by investing in opportunities having a more favorable economic impact.

By definition, he admits these projects are uneconomic … with long payback periods.

There are opportunities lost when money is spent on uneconomic projects.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *

 

These articles can be delivered directly to your mailbox. Subscribe by clicking below the photo on the right side of the article where it says email subscription, and entering your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

If you know someone who would be interested in these articles you can send him/her a link to the article and suggest he/she subscribes by clicking on the email subscription link under the picture on the right side of the page, and entering their email address.

To find earlier articles, click on the name of the preceding month below the calendar to display a list of articles published in that month. Continue clicking on the name of the preceding month to display articles published in prior months.

© Power For USA, 2010 – 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears, LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Advertisements
3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2014 11:17 pm

    Well said, as usual, Donn. Thanks!

Trackbacks

  1. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s