Real Climate Change Based Energy Policy: Renewables, Efficiency AND Conservation
A new study by the German Aerospace Center, commissioned by Greenpeace and Europe's Renewable Energy Council, contends that half of the energy needs in 2050 [more] could be met by renewable energy and energy efficiency gains. It is estimated that alternative energy sources including wind and solar could provide nearly 70% of the world's electricity. They state there would be no need for nuclear nor coal energy, though biofuels would be intensified under this scenario. The report entitled Energy [R]evolution: a sustainable world energy outlook seeks to provide a"roadmap" for meeting future energy needs without fuelling climate change. My primary concern (other than severe doubts about the environmental gains from industrial biofuels expressed on many occasions with the approach taken is the failure to factor in conservation, or willfully using less energy. No one seems willing to say truthfully that addressing climate change through limiting energy use to clean, green sources is going to mean purposefully sacrificing on some luxuries. Who will tell the developed world that their lifestyle is not sustainable? Indications are that people ARE willing to sacrifice for the environment. This is different than efficiency, a factor of technology and mechanics, it is an ethic of shared voluntary simplicity as a societal duty. I do agree with the report's conclusion that an apparent lack of political consensus on the best way to proceed, along with I would add a dearth of leaders with the requesite knowledge and vision, are the biggest hindrances to energy policy that keeps the lights on without frying the Planet.