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Carbon pollution is being dumped into our atmosphere at unprecedented and unregulated rates, and it’s costing us. We’re paying in dollars, in lives, in jobs, in lifestyles — truly in every way imaginable. If carbon pollution continues unchecked, my grandchildren face a future of extreme weather, worsening health, food insecurity, and a bleak economy. I refuse to sacrifice their future when clean, renewable alternatives are readily available. (Climate Reality).

And people all around the world are getting it – they refuse to look the other way. The move to a clean energy future is inevitable. That’s why renewables are inevitable.

Why Renewables are Inevitable

1. Declining Cost of Clean Technology – Clean Energy is no longer just a dream for the future; it has become viable, accessible and affordable. The following chart illustrates the dramatic drop in the price of silicon photovoltaic cells what we have witnessed in just a few decades. The same is happening with other sources of renewable energy.

Why Renewables are Inevitable, boomer warrior

“We are witnessing a profound transition to clean renewable sources of energy,” says Al Gore in hour one of 24 Reasons for Hope (Climate Reality Project) aired in September of 2014.

More than ever before, people are freeing themselves of their dependence on costly and dirty fossil fuels and they’re beginning to use electricity that is both cheaper and cleaner to power their lives. The costs of wind energy and solar energy are plummeting at the same time the cost of energy from fossil fuels is going up.

24 Reasons for Hope (Hour One) and Why Renewables are Inevitable


Published on Sep 16, 2014
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2. Investment in Clean Energy Technology – The emerging clean energy economy is creating well-paying jobs for people of all skill levels and educational backgrounds. As recently reported in Forbes,

Bank of America  (BAC) announced  a $10 billion initiative to speed up investment in clean energy, U.N. climate leaders announced a public-private partnership to mobilize more than $200 billion in clean energy financing globally, and New York proposed a $5 billion clean energy fund that could replace the city’s soon-to-expire renewable-energy and efficiency mandates.

According to the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2014 publication,

In 2013, renewable energy (excluding large hydro) comprised 41.3 percent of new electric capacity additions and raised renewables’ share of the total electricity generation worldwide to 8.5 percent from 7.8 percent in 2012 (see line graph below). Without this contribution, global energy-related CO2 emissions would have been 1.2 billion tons higher.

Why Renewables are Inevitable, boomer warrior

A recent Bloomberg News Energy Finance report shows that $5.1 trillion will be invested in renewable energy sources by 2030. Renewable power will account for 80 percent of the 5,000 gigawatts of new power generation capacity which will be added worldwide by 2030.

3. Carbon Bubble Theory – Warnings from high profile figures world-wide such as Bank of England Governor Mark Carney are clear. “The vast majority of reserves are unburnable if global temperature rises are to be limited to below 2C”, said Carney at a World Bank seminar. Carney also warns “that fossil fuel assets, such as coal, oil and gas, could be significantly devalued if a global deal to tackle climate change is reached.” More from theguardian article:

The movement has gained traction in recent weeks, with the World Bank leading an initiative with 73 national governments, 11 regional governments, and more than 1,000 businesses and investors to build support for a global price on carbon emissions.

4. Divestment of fossil-fuel Investments – a Global Invest-Divest Coalition of more than 160 institutions and local governments, as well as more than 500 individuals, together have pledged to divest $50bn from fossil fuel investments within the next three to five years and to reinvest in new clean energy sources.

The movement to divest from fossil fuel companies began with universities, but religious institutions around the world have also joined the divestment movement – Australia, New Zealand, Sweden.

Why Renewables are Inevitable, boomer warrior

All around the world, more and more homes and companies are turning to renewables to power their lives and businesses. Why? The drive to cut carbon pollution is one factor, but market forces are another. Year after year, the costs of wind and solar keep plummeting, making it cheaper and easier to dump dirty fossil fuels than at any point in history. (Climate Reality)
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Rolly Montpellier, boomer warriorRolly Montpellier is the Founder and Managing Editor of BoomerWarrior.Org. He’s a Climate Reality leader, a blogger and an Climate Activist. Rolly has been published in several online publications – Climate Change Guide, World Daily, Examiner, The Canadian, 350Ottawa, ClimateMama, MyEarth360, GreenDivas, The Elephant, Countercurrents, Georgian Bay News.

Some of Rolly’s articles have also appeared in newspapers such as The Hill Times and the Kingston Whig.

You can follow him on FacebookTwitter and Linkedin.

 


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10 COMMENTS

  1. Well, this article is very timely Rolly!

    The stock markets are volatile at the moment, precisely because of the shift in thinking worldwide. “Fossil fuels” are becoming dirty words, and many companies are trying to divest any association with them!

    It is a good thing and renewables will gain momentum as time progresses. We must hope that renewable technology development keeps up with this idealistic momentum!

  2. The bad news is: Wind power works 20% of the time except when they lower the nameplate power to make it look better. There are a few places where the wind blows steadily, but not here.
    Solar works 15% of the time.
    Due to overlap, wind and solar together work less than 35% of the time.

    Do the Math
    Using physics and estimation to assess energy, growth, options―by Tom Murphy
    http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/08/nation-sized-battery/
    We can make 2% of the required energy storage before we run out of lead. Murphy says we need to store a whole week’s worth of electricity. Adding other types of batteries won’t help enough to notice.
    I have a list of references on this if you want it.

    We don’t have room temperature superconductors either, the other technology that could make renewables work. So sorry, but nuclear is the only way to get the electricity you need for industrial civilization without making CO2.

    • I know that it seems inconceivable that we will be able to transition to a carbon free world. In spite of all our efforts at reducing emissions, the numbers keep getting worse. But we must keep going forward. I agree that nuclear is a viable option as a transition energy but eventually we will be on solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, hydrogen and nuclear fusion energy sources.

      Thank you for your comments. Much appreciated.

  3. Admittedly, storage of solar and wind generated power is problematic… but doesn’t negate their effective contribution to energy usage… In direct sunlight light-use power needs can be met without connecting to the grid. When it is dark or there is no wind (or both), we must have alternatives (at least for the moment). Nuclear may be the way (despite the radiation risks), but there are other ways – “Cold Fusion” power plants might be the way of the future. Or perhaps we will develop ways to unleash the heat pump in our oceans (the one that drives our climate), to provide energy for people too.

    The main thing is, we must start looking at what we need to do to stop dirty poisons (not just excess CO2) making our atmosphere (not to mention the land and sea) toxic for our grandchildren and other species on the planet. We must get beyond the negative statements that “it is useless to think we can find cleaner sources for our power needs!” It doesn’t have to be that way… our biggest hurdle is to see the future with different eyes and inspire those in University to research new solutions to old problems. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will our green energy future… tiny steps!

  4. Well – we have little choice but to try to be optimistic because the alternative is to give up! My husband has given up, my friends don’t seem to care or have also given up. It is why we are in such a mess… too many people have given-up! It leaves the road open for those countries/people to exploit limited resources in an effort to keep the economy going. Ah… the economy – it seems to dominate politics more than any other subject. Without a growing economy, we cannot pay for what we have taken already from the planet! We have put ourselves into the position of borrowing from Nature, that which we cannot afford.

    So, back to Optomistic!
    Sometimes good technologies have fallen foul of good marketing!
    Take the case of AC and DC.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_Currents

    Thomas Edison was a successful business man and his Alternating Current was seen to be the best option over the less successful marketing of Westinghouse (Nikola Tesla’s) Direct Current. The majority of electricity is delivered by Alternating Current which is actually rather wasteful (much of the energy is lost before it gets to endpoint). Nikola Tesla’s Direct Energy was really equated to “Free Energy” and no one wanted to invest in a technology that wouldn’t earn them a profitable income. We must change this thinking now that we face biological extinction, and look further than the end of our wallets!

    We have seen invention of so many remarkable technologies in our life time Rolly… we must not forget that humans are capable of great things when times require it.

    There will be an age when we see new energy creations and wonder why we used such antiquated ones such as nuclear power or fracked gas to heat our homes and drive our manufacturing? One day, perhaps near our own deaths, we can nod to our grandchildren and be thankful that they have found cleaner energies and can begin to repair the damage we have done to our planet over the last few centuries with “greedy thinking!”

    I am not a scientist, and I don’t have the technological answers, but there are young people who are idealistic, energetic and bright… our governments must invest in their striving to find the answers to our greatest problems. The time is come for funding projects to find better energy producing technologies. If we can send Rosetta to a Comet and put a probe down on it to find out if it contains life-giving amino acids, then we can do anything!

    Keep up the good fight!

  5. Thanks for your historical perspective and your optimism. Indeed, humanity is capable of both good and bad. New generations will develop technologies that we don’t even know about yet.

    As Rumsfeld once said, ” there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

    Thanks as usual for your keen observations.

  6. Watching Gore’s video I noted an important omission, and that is that simply powering of the world’s economies with solar and wind won’t actually remove carbon from the atmosphere, it simply reduces the amount of carbon being emitted into the atmosphere and this won’t get us where we need to be in time to avoid catastrophe. But we could be removing carbon from the atmosphere and sequestering it in carbon depleted farm soils. We could begin working along with nature and be producing dispatchable biomass and waste based fuels to use for backing up intermittent energy sources (like wind and solar) using the natural photosynthesis process to transfer carbon from the earth’s atmosphere to farm soils by growing biomass fuels and by converting the biomass to electric power for use when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun has set. By producing electric power and biofuels and agri-char and by transferring agri-char to farm soils is a highly viable means of sequestration of carbon. This is all possible by widely increasing distributed generation and by idling centralized fossil fuel power generation.

    Advanced Alternative Energy Corp. (AAEC) is for those who understand that distributed alternative/renewable energy is a viable pathway to stall global warming and produce a better future for our descendants, our communities and for humanity.

    AAEC’s product lines can be manufactured in the US and in most any locality on any continent for the local and regional market. This AAEC believes could create licensing opportunities and many thousands more good paying jobs, and these are among the things we propose offering to an alternative energy hungry world.

    For further details please contact:

    Les Blevins, President
    Advanced Alternative Energy
    1207 N 1800 Rd., Lawrence, KS 66049
    Phone 785-842-1943
    Email LBlevins@aaecorp.com

    For more info see
    http://aaecorp.com
    http://advancedalternativenergy.com
    http://aaecorp.com/ceo.html
    https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=45587557
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Advanced-Alternative-Energy/277213435730720

    “It is in our vital interest to diversify America’s energy supply — and the way forward is through technology.”
    – President George W. Bush, 2007 State of the Union Address

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