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Which Power Source is Best - Highlighted Article

Posted On:
Apr 25, 2024 at 6:00 AM
Energy Policy, Climate Change


From: Watts Up With That

By: Roger Caiazza

Date: March 28, 2024

Which Power Source is Best

Bud’s Offshore Energy blog highlighted a new national energy report card that is of interest to readers here.  According to the Mackinac Center press release the report ranks energy sources by ranking eight key energy resource types “based on their ability to meet growing demand for affordable, reliable, and clean energy generation”.  The report concludes that “natural gas and nuclear power lead the rest of the class in generating clean and affordable energy”.

Jason Hayes and Timothy G. Nash co-authored this report from Northwood University’s McNair Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.  The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a nonprofit research and educational institute that advances the principles of free markets and limited government.


The report summarizes the scoring methodology:

Bottom Line Up Front: Each ranking area graded the energy resource on a scale of 1 to 10. If an energy source performed poorly, it received a 1, if it performed well, it received a 10.

The scores in each section were totaled and broken down from 1 to 50. The energy source was given a final letter grade of A to F based on its score out of 50. The grading system results in a comparative ranking that describes the energy resource as excellent (90-100 /A-range), very good (80-89/B-range), average (70-79/C-range), poor (60-69/D-range), and Failure (59 or below/F).  This methodology is roughly based on the American Society of Civil Engineers’ methodology described in the annual “A Comprehensive Assessment of American’s Infrastructure: 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure” document.

The score card evaluated each energy source for five ranking areas:

  1. Capacity and Reliability: We estimated the capability of this energy source to produce sufficient energy to meet demand. We also considered how plans to maintain existing (or build new) infrastructure and capacity will meet growing energy demand.
  2. Environmental/Human Impact: We asked what are the environmental impacts, the human rights, or other labor issues associated with using this energy source.
  3. Cost: We asked how the energy source competes with other energy sources in terms of pricing.
  4. Technology and Innovation: We asked what technologies are used and what new technologies are being developed for this energy source.
  5. Market feasibility: We considered whether the energy source relies on free-market forces to supply energy to the public. To what extent do subsidies and/or government mandates drive its adoption and use?

The report includes recommendations for policies that could be implemented to improve this sector’s performance. (continue reading)


Which Power Source is Best