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Clinton Says Wind, Solar Energy Cheaper Than Other Power Sources

Posted on Monday, November 21st, 2011 at 5:20 pm by Solar Energy USA

Former President Bill Clinton is advocating for more renewable energy in America including both wind and solar energy. Clinton expressed his thoughts about using more energy generated from clean energy sources while recently speaking on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

According to Clinton, “”Solar energy and wind energy … would already be competitive with coal if you had to pay the extraneous costs of coal — the health care costs and other things. And … wind within two years and solar within five will be competitive in price with coal. They’re both cheaper than nuclear right now.”

Solar and wind energy, along with geothermal, biomass, and hydropower, are referred to as “clean” energy sources because utilizing them for power does not result in any harmful or negative health side effects unlike using other sources of power generated from burning coal and other fossil fuels.

Stephen Brown, an economist at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas who specializes in energy policy, agreed that Clinton was right on wind but not on solar. He added that if you include additional factors known as externalities — the kinds of things Clinton was referring to in the first part of his quote, such as the spillover environmental costs of the technology in question — then the cost comparison could change. For instance, if the externalities were found to be sufficiently low for solar and sufficiently high for nuclear, he said, solar might end up being cheaper than nuclear.