Almost everybody has heard about climate change but not so many have heard about peak oil. These two links will take you to a brief summary of each each topic:
The important thing to remember, though, is that we already have the technology to solve both these problems. It is already possible to generate all the zero-carbon electricity we need.
A single wind turbine, with twice the wingspan of a jumbo jet, and standing taller than the Statue of Liberty, can now power a small town. The paid article describing this is here. A related (free) article is here.
We can also reduce demand by using ‘intelligent devices’ that switch themselves off when demand is too high. So-called “Dynamic Demand” technologies could save us the equivalent of one or two whole power stations!
Concentrated solar power mirror arrays covering just 1% of the Earth’s deserts could supply a fifth of all current global energy consumption.
Of course the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, so new technologies are needed to capture and store energy for when it gets dark or the wind stops. Vanadium flow batteries can store huge amounts of energy. Compressed Air Energy Storage also offers huge possibilities, with reduced CO2 emissions. In Europe we are developing ‘Advanced CAES’ which will emit no CO2.
Enhanced Geothermal Energy can now be used to generate unlimited, carbon neutral geothermal energy just about anywhere in the world. It is seen by some as the “killer application of the energy world“, and Google.org is investing heavily.
With all these different ways of generating renewable energy, several communities around the world have already switched to generate all or nearly all of their electricity from renewable sources.
These communities include:
It is possible. Life is better with renewables. It is just a question of choosing to make the Transition.
If you find a link to a website or an article that is interesting and relevant, please add it by using the “comment” function on the appropriate page.
And the Guardian has a rather excellent ‘Energy’ section, here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/energy