Warrendale, PA, USA and New York, NY, USA (PRWEB) August 21, 2014
A tough taxation choice may be required to fund development of wind and solar energy, helping to unlock the huge potential of these sustainable energies.
This is the leading message from an article appearing in the newly launched MRS Energy & Sustainability--A Review Journal, published by the Materials Research Society (MRS), in partnership with Cambridge University Press.
Renewables expert David Faiman, Director of the Ben-Gurion National Solar Energy Center and Chairman of the Department of Solar Energy & Environmental Physics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev's Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, makes the controversial case for an electricity consumption tax to break dependence on fossil fuels in his uncompromising paper, Concerning the global-scale introduction of renewable energies: Technical and economic challenges, set to trigger debate about the costs and benefits of taxing electricity use.
Faiman argues that solar photovoltaic or wind systems would need to be implemented at a rate of hundreds of gigawatts each year to halt reliance on fossil fuels. He goes on to suggest that an electricity consumption tax is the most sustainable way to achieve this transformation.
On a continent-by-continent basis, Faiman explores how the world's increasing electricity requirements could be met by solar and wind technologies, concluding that, in principle, solar and wind could replace the need to keep building new fossil-fueled power plants but at an annual cost of around US$ 0.5 trillion. He then looks at three methods for raising the funds: government bonds for providing credit lines; transferal of fuel subsidies to renewables; and a tax on consumption.
Faiman reaches the conclusion that, of the three options, only a tax would be capable of providing a long-term source of funding for renewables on this scale. He argues that it is affordable:
"In many countries, notably in North America and Europe, a tax would mean a small rise to current electricity tariffs (around 1 US¢/kWh), although in others it could be as high as 2-5 US¢/kWh. It is affordable if the will, politically and in society, is there. We pay taxes for things like roads and schools, which are perceived as being for the common good. If we consider breaking our dependence on fossil fuels a public good then we should be prepared to pay for it with our taxes."
David S. Ginley, one of the three Editors-in-Chief for MRS Energy & Sustainability, said the time is right for an energy and sustainability journal focusing on materials: "The journal represents a new forum for the discussion of the interrelationship between technology and sustainability. Our first articles illustrate this complex interplay splendidly."
The initial offerings in the inaugural edition of MRS Energy & Sustainability also include articles on the rectenna device and carbon dots. The Editors-in-Chief are David S. Ginley, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA; Sally M. Benson, Stanford University, USA; and David Cahen, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.
Notes to Editors
For further information please contact Joon Won Moon on 1-212-337-5941 or email jmoon(at)cambridge(dot)org.
About the Materials Research Society
The Materials Research Society (MRS) is an international organization of almost 16,000 materials researchers from academia, industry and government, and a recognized leader in promoting the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research to improve the quality of life. MRS members are engaged and enthusiastic professionals hailing from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and engineering-the full spectrum of materials research.
Headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania, USA, MRS membership now spans over 80 countries, with approximately 48% of members residing outside the United States. In addition to its communications and publications portfolio, MRS organizes high-quality scientific meetings, attracting over 13,000 attendees annually and facilitating interactions among a wide range of experts from the cutting edge of the global materials community. MRS is also a recognized leader in education outreach and advocacy for scientific research.
For further information, go to http://www.mrs.org.
MRS Energy & Sustainability--A Review Journal
Launched in 2014, MRS Energy & Sustainability, is a digital, online-only review journal, offering essential authoritative content to a broad spectrum of energy and sustainability scientists, academics, policy makers, and industry professionals, all interested in the interdisciplinary nature of science, technology, and policy. The journal is led by three distinguished Editors-in-Chief who are all experts in the field of energy and sustainability, and who demonstrate proven success in developing educational outreach in the areas of energy and sustainability.
For further information, go to journals.cambridge.org/mre.
About Cambridge Journals Online
Cambridge University Press publishes over 340 peer-reviewed journals, across a wide spread of subject areas, in print and online, all Cambridge Journals are available in digital versions back to the first issue. Many of these journals are the leading academic publications in their fields and together they form one of the most valuable and comprehensive collections of research available today.
For further information, go to journals.cambridge.org.
About Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge. It furthers the University's mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.
Its extensive peer-reviewed publishing lists comprise 50,000 titles covering academic research, professional development, over 340 research journals, school-level education, English language teaching and bible publishing.
Playing a leading role in today's international market place, Cambridge University Press has more than 50 offices around the globe, and it distributes its products to nearly every country in the world.
For further information, go to http://www.cambridge.org.