Renewable energy offers an exciting paradigm shift from massive centralized sourcing of energy to distributed locally developed energy. The implications are staggering in the potential to truly transform the human condition. In addition to dramatic economic, and environmental benefits, a switch to renewable energy will stimulate expansive social change. Most agree that renewable energy has great benefits but there are reasonable questions as to whether it makes sense for society to devote significant resources its development. First and foremost, is there enough a close second, can its inherent intermittent nature be overcome in order to source the relatively steady societal demand? Can it be provided in a societally acceptable manner? For many in this country that is synonymous with the question as to whether renewable energy can be a cost justified replacement for traditional energy sources? Can it be applied to the transportation sector? After all many of the defense related issues revolve around petroleum for cars? And finally are there compelling reasons to look at accelerating the adoption of renewable energy. Here I will present a case supporting the following notions:
1) The available supply of renewable energy is far, far greater than any conceivable societal need.
2) Renewable energy will provide 90% of societal energy by 2050
2) Renewable energy will provide an extraordinary economic growth engine for the countries that dominate the production of sources such as wind turbines and solar modules.
3) A market driven system that either internalizes all energy costs or accounts for them in alternate market based mechanisms, favors renewable energy.
4) There are a variety of compelling reasons to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy.
Reasons for renewables:
- National Security: Most major wars are resource driven with other considerations meerly a smokescreen. By far, the dominant expenditures for modern wars are being devoted to oil related conflicts.
- Economic security – Huge industry ~$35B and growing 40% annually for decade
- Environmental, Mountaintop removal, Fracking, Oil Spill, Nuclear Meltdown, Acid Rain, Coal Ash particulate
- Climate Change
Debunking the resistance
- Have to have a traditional source (Coal, Nuclear, etc.) for baseload.
- Renewables must stand on their own in the marketplace
Copyright Clayton Handleman 2010
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