The Manhattan Institute’s Robert Bryce had an excellent article in the Washington Post on five myths of green energy (although I think there are many more). He takes on solar and wind power, foreign oil dependence, green jobs, and whether the U.S. is a laggard on green energy.
His conclusion sums up the most important point in my view:
America’s move toward a more service-based economy that is less dependent on heavy industry and manufacturing is driving this [organic] improvement [in reduced energy consumption]. In addition, the proliferation of computer chips in everything from automobiles to programmable thermostats is wringing more useful work out of each unit of energy consumed. The United States will continue going green by simply allowing engineers and entrepreneurs to do what they do best: make products that are faster, cheaper and more efficient than the ones they made the year before.
Bryce has a book out, Power Hungry: The Myths of ‘Green Energy’ and the Real Fuels of the Future.
Adrian Moore and I take up this issue in our book Mobility First as well as a recent article in the academic journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.