"“I would venture that the cleanest power will not be solar, it will be coal.”"
Guess who uttered that piece of nonsense. I’ll put the answer below the jump — note that the wording of the headline statement contains a tiny clue as to who said it.
In any case, you simply can’t top solar for clean power, especially Concentrated solar thermal power Solar Baseload “” a core climate solution. As for “clean coal” well, even if it were emissions free, it will never be cleaner than solar — do the words mountaintop removal ring any bells?
And you’d still need to capture essentially 100% of the CO2 and bury it somewhere that never leaks, since “the burning of organic carbon warms the Earth about 100,000 times more from climate effects than it does through the release of chemical energy in combustion” (see “Why solar energy trumps coal power“). And CCS is a long way off (see “Is coal with carbon capture and storage a core climate solution?“).
So who said it?
As for whether or not renewable power needed a smart grid to help manage its intermittent nature, “I would venture that the cleanest power will not be solar, it will be coal,” he said.
Khosla said that could be done by Calera, a company he’s backed which promises to capture carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants and convert it into cement – a technology claim that’s come under some criticism (see Green Light post).
Yes, it’s “Green VC” Vinod Khosla quoted in GreenTechMedia. This isn’t the first time he’s said stuff that doesn’t make a lot of sense:
- A pragmatic view of cellulosic biofuels or why VC Khosla is very wrong
- VC Khosla blows his credibility dissing plug-ins
As for Calera, well, I discuss climatologist Ken Caldeira’s analysis of that company’s process here (see “Exclusive: Does carbon-eating cement deserve the hype?“).