Is Renewable Energy Really Doable?

#1 Best-Selling “Environmental Economics” Book on

What are the world’s biggest governments doing to accelerate –
and retard – the adoption of clean energy?
How do venture capitalists think with the respect to clean energy start-ups?
How pure and unbiased is the thinking of the scientific community?
What will the world probably be like in ten years? 50 years?
How will the credit crunch and the end of cheap oil will affect us all?

Craig Shields: Author of IS RENEWABLE REALLY DOABLE?

To me, renewable energy is like anything else: The more one learns about it, the more clear it becomes how much more there is to learn. I want to thank each one of the contributors here for the role they played in getting me to this realization – and, I hope, setting many readers on the path towards exploration as well.

Click for more information about Craig Shields


Robert Pollin, Ph.D

Robert Pollin Ph.D

Dr. Pollin serves as Professor of Economics and Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He also functions as a consultant to the Energy Department on implementing the Obama Administration’s stimulus program.

Click for more information about Robert Pollin

Wally Rippel

Wally’s list of accomplishments in science and technology spans half a century; in fact, he is best known for two achievements separated by almost 40 years: In 1968, he built the Caltech electric car and won the Great Transcontinental Electric Car Race against MIT, only to re-appear in the 2006 documentary movie “Who Killed the Electric Car?” Primarily a scientist, Wally brings a profound understanding of the impact that technology has on our world in a great number of ways, including ecologically and sociologically.

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Ray Lane

Ray Lane currently serves as Managing Partner at venture capital giant Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, focused on helping entrepreneurs with technological and market insight, organizational development, team building, selling and managing growth. Since joining KPCB, Ray has sponsored several investments for the firm in clean and alternative energy, including Ausra (concentrated solar power), Fisker Automotive (plug-in hybrid car), and Th!nk NA (battery-electric car).

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Jason Scorse, Ph.D

Dr. Scorse is currently Associate Professor and Chair of the International Environmental Policy Program at The Monterey Institute of International Studies, a graduate school of Middlebury College. He has consulted for numerous environmental organizations, including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club.

Click for more information about Jason Scorse

Woodrow “Woody” Clark, II, Ph.D.

Woody is an applied academician, a long-time advocate for the environment and renewable energy, and an internationally recognized author, lecturer, and advisor on sustainable communities. He was a contributing scientist on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC) that won the Nobel Peace Prize in December, 2007.

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Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan’s work in parapsychology, archaeology, anthropology, medicine and healing, creativity, and social policy pair nicely with the questions I ask myself a great deal: What’s really going on behind the scenes when it comes to social phenomena?

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Thomas Konrad, Ph.D

Tom Konrad, a financial analyst specializing in the alternative energy sector, is a portfolio manager and freelance writer – best known for the innumerable blog posts he’s written on, and at the Green Stocks blog on

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Environmental Law Institute (Spokespeople Jay Pendergrass and Lisa Goldman)

The Environmental Law Institute explains their graphic “Energy Subsidies Black, Not Green” and the accompanying paper, Estimating U.S. Government Subsidies to Energy Sources: 2002-2008.” The organization believes that the current energy and climate debate would benefit from a broader understanding of the explicit and hidden government subsidies that affect energy use throughout the economy.

Click for more information about the Environmental Law Institute

Nate Hagens, Ph.D

Nate Hagens is a well-known authority on issues related to global resource depletion. Until recently he was lead editor of The Oil Drum, one of the most popular and highly-respected websites for analysis and discussion of global energy supplies and the future implications of energy decline.

Click for more information about Nate Hagens

11 comments on “Is Renewable Energy Really Doable?
  1. So Craig Shields has interviewed “…. the widest possible range of people, and presents an extremely fair-minded viewpoint on the energy scene. Is Renewable Really Doable? is a compilation of interviews with physicists, anthropologists, mathematicians, economists, lawyers, and venture capitalists. It’s an amazing variety of perspectives that deliver a unique, hard-hitting viewpoint on one of the world’s greatest challenges.”

    Where are the engineers, who are needed to synthesize and implement all these wonderful ideas? I agree that we are going through a period of unparalleled change in the OECD but all this must be made to work or will attract well deserved opprobrium. What do anthropologists, lawyers and environmentalists know about making things work? For Heaven’s sake!

  2. Rudy Stefenel says:

    Does this book cover Thorium-MSR (Throium-MoltenSaltReactors) in this book? They are also called LFTRs (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors). See

    Rudy Stefenel

    • Craig Shields says:

      But, there is some level of discussion of this subject in my current book project (“Renewable Energy – Following the Money”).

      • Steve Blume says:

        Ah – Thorium-MSRs – so where can I buy one? Oh, I can’t they are still being researched and are not quite commercial. Who is paying for the research? Oh, the taxpayer mostly through defence dollars. Surely private investors are rushing to this wonder technology and will finance and build and operate them anyway? Oh, no finance unless taxpayers underwrite with loan guarantees. But they are safe even more so than their ‘mature’ nuclear popper generators aren’t they? Oh, they can’t be insured unless the taxpayer caps the liability as well as underwrites the excess. But over time all these problems will be fixed won’t they? Oh, the science on global warming says we do not have time, we need to start now. So the problem is just electricity generation is it? Oh, no it is all fossil fuel use we need to curtail.

        So what can we do now. Probably read Craig’s book and fight like hell to get policymakers to get real and to act not talk and dream. The engineers amongst us know we have the technologies to do this (and it is a large variety, not a single magic bullet) and that we can use energy efficiency and conservation too – and quickly, the lack is not the technical solution it’s political will.

        • Craig Shields says:

          Wow, that’s quite a discussion all wrapped up in one! Thanks for the note on the book. And yes, it’s all about political will, for which today is a particularly dark one; the tax credits for wind energy got cut in the U.S. Senate.

    • Zoya says:

      We should swicth to renewable energies a wise combination of solar, wind, and water power because renewables are:A) sustainable energy that wont deplete (= energy security / the end of the power struggle)B) Doesn’t cost the earth to acquire(EG. there’s no drilling into the Earth’s core )C) Once equipment is paid for, the energy is FREE.(Ah! Freedom from bills!)D) It is truly SAFEE) It is CLEAN / non-polluting (no carbon emissions!)F) NO power cuts! (With adverse weather / global warming, no risk, or threat, of having no power)G) Homes that have handy energy generation kits installed, become self-sufficient / don’t have to rely on the national grid(which needs replacing at huge expense) (if that money was saved and spent on fitting devices in every building WOW!)(= Energy Security)

  3. Jayeshkumar says:

    Yes and No. Would you care to see a dim light on the darker (other) side of Your Planet…Then Search All about This name.

  4. Ken Munn says:

    Does the book cover energy conservation, as well as energy generation?

    Strikes me we waste almost as much energy as we generate.

    • Craig Shields says:

      Yes, several contributors talked about that specifically; it’s really where the low-hanging fruit lies.

  5. Glenn Doty says:

    I’ve ordered 2 copies.

    I should be able to give a review in a week or two (things are really busy, so reading time will usually be after 10:00 pm).

    Good luck Craig!

  6. Craig, What can I say? at this time the entire screen is black wirh pale smears where the writing should be so I cannot read the replys of others.

    Glad you are publishing. Information we can trust is so hard to find. You have been doing us all a great service.

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  1. […] readers may have noticed, I’ve begun promoting the launch of my second book, Is Renewable Really Doable? (available March 15th) using the 32-page report “Insights into LCOE – The Levelized Cost of […]

  2. […] of two #1 best-selling energy books on Amazon: Renewable Energy – Facts and Fantasies (2010) and Is Renewable Really Doable? (2012).  Most of his blogging addresses policy issues like the one about, as well as renewable […]

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