Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Broad energy investment portfolio critical, Nemet says

Greg Nemet Greg Nemet

La Follette School Professor Greg Nemet co-wrote a chapter with Jennie Stephens in Contemporary Climate Change Debates. The chapter explores whether a 100 percent renewable energy mix is the best future investment. Stephens says yes, while Nemet disagrees.

He argues that “a broader energy investment portfolio – including in nuclear fission and carbon capture and storage – is a more robust strategy for delivering the transition away from fossil fuels and will actually allow societies to better grasp the opportunities that renewable energies provide.”

This is not to say Nemet is against using renewables. A 2017 Andrew Carnegie fellow, Nemet wrote How Solar Energy Became Cheap: A Model for Low-Carbon Innovation. By understanding the drivers behind solar energy’s success, Nemet believes, other carbon-reducing technologies can benefit. With solar energy as a model, Nemet hopes other low-carbon technologies will become affordable options for policy initiatives.

"My perspective is that we can make better choices about novel technologies that we’ll need to deal with climate change if we can understand some of the previous technologies and how they’ve developed, and especially those that have been successful.” said Nemet. “And there is no question that solar has been a successful technology.”

Nemet received his master’s degree and doctorate in energy resources from the University of California, Berkeley and teaches courses in policy analysis, energy analysis, and environmental policy. He has written more than 60 journal articles and book chapters and is currently a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

- written by Emma Cleveland