With oil prices sky-rocketing and the nuclear situation in Japan the good news is that we’re ripe for real alternative energy solutions. According to Energy Policy by Mark Z. Jacobson (Stanford University) and Mark Delucchi (University of Califonia-Davis) it’s absolutely possible on a Global scale to be electrically powered by solar, wind, water & geothermal sources in the next 20-40 years! Their plan calls to use existing hydroelectric power, increased geothermal and draws largely on electricity from solar & wind sources. It also figures out cost, technology and material requirements. Most importantly is the message. “Based on our findings, there are no technological or economic barriers to converting the entire world to clean, renewable energy sources,” said Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering. “It is a question of whether we have the societal and political will.” From the Stanford News.
Also on the required reading list; Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse by David Orr, an excerpt is featured on Climate Progress. Here Orr hits home that adopting sustainable global practices isn’t just doing the right thing it is essential. Environmental change is a threat to our security. “Security—by which I mean safety and dependable access to food, water, energy, shelter, healthcare, and livelihood… security had little or nothing to do with how we designed, managed, and maintained the food, water, and energy infrastructure of the country or with the protection of its air, waters, soils, landscapes, biological diversity, and public health. But security in the twenty-first century will be a far more complicated and difficult challenge”
He also discusses the Oberlin Project and its goal of “full spectrum sustainability”, to integrate many parts of the puzzle into one cohesive whole. This chart says it all.
This coincides nicely with the wind power presentation I attended last night by Wind Products CEO Russell Tencer. Wind Products is a great new company that uses state of the art software and products, Wind Analytics and the Butterfly Turbine, to help businesses and private home owners become wind powered. Wind Analytics is unique because it incorporates not only source data, but also local effects, blocking terrain elements and wind potential into its analysis. From that data they can generate a Wind Value Report; an accurate estimate of wind energy potential and ROI.
There’s some bad news too. I also read this interesting piece on why the United Nations is having such a hard time halting climate change here. Although it may only appear to be so simple in the lab, ultimately I think green businesses and scientist can unite to save the world, convincing nay-sayers one article at a time!