Strategy Versus Evolution
Reaching President Obama’s CO2 emissions goal for 2050 will require strategic planning
America wants to be the global leader of the clean-energy revolution. But the world needs to believe that the leader will get the job done. The actual global leader will be a rational planner who pushes the limits of classical strategic systems engineering.
It is important to keep engineering separate from policy. Legislators should not be making engineering decisions (“We don’t need a system integrator, the markets will do it”), and engineers should not make value judgments (“We can’t afford that”). Mixing the roles degrades the solution.
America’s energy industry is highly fragmented, with many agencies responsible for different aspects of a very mature system. America desperately needs a system integrator, an engineer in chief with the authority to enforce best engineering practices. A clear vision based on facts derived from competent scenarios can then provide the basis for global leadership. If the United States does not lead, someone else will.
- Deutch, J. M., et al. 2009. Update of the MIT 2003 Future of Nuclear Power. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. 2006. World Energy Outlook. Paris: OECD Publishing.
- Bentek Energy. 2008. How Less Became More: Wind, Power, and Unintended Consequences in the Colorado Energy Market. Evergreen, CO: Bentek Energy LLC.
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