Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy recently said that “When gas is that cheap, there’s no need for renewables.” Is this really true or does United States still need strong renewable energy sector?
Yes, the cheap natural gas currently has significant edge in costs over renewable energy sources but this alone can't be enough to give up on renewable energy development and focus entirely on gas.
An over-reliance on any single source of generation is never good and natural gas is no exception. First nobody can guarantee that natural gas will remain cheap for many years to come and second focusing at only one energy source is never good for your future energy security.
There is also a matter of global clean energy race. If U.S. wants to lead this race and step out of China's shadow then the nation needs to make the best possible use of its renewable energy resources. The lead in clean energy race means many economic benefits, mostly in form of new green jobs and expanding your renewable energy technologies to new energy markets.
Nobody says that U.S. should stop using cheap natural gas, the point is that the nation mustn't become too over reliant on natural gas. Also, cheap natural gas mustn't be used in way that would hinder development of renewable energy industry in United States.
Natural gas, despite being cleaner energy source than coal and oil still emits significant amount of greenhouse emissions that contribute to climate change.
U.S. needs diversified energy portfolio and this cannot be achieved without renewable energy sources. Focusing strictly on natural gas is anything but a good energy policy and U.S. needs to be aware of this.