From National Geographic: Going “All the Way”: With Renewable Energy?
In a world where fossil fuel provides more than 80 percent of energy, what would it take to go completely green? Could the world switch over to power from only the wind, sun, waves, and heat from the Earth in only a few decades?
The article explores what it would take to get 100% of the world’s energy needs by 2030, and looks at a few of the obstacles. The researchers highlighted in the article propose doing all of this without reliance on biofuels or nuclear energy.
I believe that we must switch to renewable energy sources, and the sooner the better. Our present over-dependence on fossil fuels is bad for the economy, bad for the environment, and bad for national and world security. The solution isn’t “drill baby drill,” and it isn’t just sitting around and letting the market take care of our problems (the market tends to be rather blind to the future on things like this). We need energy policies that have our great-great-great grandchildren in mind, not just the next election.
Here are a few of my thoughts and questions:
- Why try to go 100% without biofuels?
- Why try to go 100% without nuclear? I’m not a huge fan of nuclear energy, but recognize it as a useful transitional energy source.
- Being that wind/solar/waves/geothermal only account for 3% of our energy now, is it realistic to aim for 100% renewable by 2030?
- For a more realistic target, could we aim for 50% (or some other number) dependence on renewable energy sources by 2030?
- Many of these renewable technologies require other resources that are in short supply, such as rare earth elements. What will the negative consequences of a rapid move to 100% renewable be? (And what are the negative consequences of the status quo?)
Grace and Peace
HT: The Green Life