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America's clean energy policies need a reality check, say Stanford researchers

•, Mark Golden
The debate over how to fundamentally change the world's massive energy system comes amid taxpayers' $500 million tab for the bankruptcy of Fremont, Calif., solar company Solyndra, the global recession, government budget cuts and plunging U.S. prices for natural gas. Making the change cost-effectively will be crucial, write Jeffrey Ball and Kassia Yanosek, both based at Stanford University's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance.

Ball, scholar-in-residence at the Stanford center and former energy reporter and environment editor for the Wall Street Journal, writes in the current edition of Foreign Affairs that the world's renewable-energy push has been sloppy so far. It can be fixed through a new approach that forces these technologies to become more economically efficient, he writes in the article, "Tough Love for Renewable Energy."

"It is time to push harder for renewable power, but to push in a smarter way," Ball writes. 

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