Existing Technology

Stanford University researchers are on the job, making the case for producing all the world’s energy needs from renewable resources in 20-40 years, using only what we know today:

The world they envision would run largely on electricity. Their plan calls for using wind, water and solar energy to generate power, with wind and solar power contributing 90 percent of the needed energy.

Geothermal and hydroelectric sources would each contribute about 4 percent in their plan (70 percent of the hydroelectric is already in place), with the remaining 2 percent from wave and tidal power.

Vehicles, ships and trains would be powered by electricity and hydrogen fuel cells. Aircraft would run on liquid hydrogen. Homes would be cooled and warmed with electric heaters – no more natural gas or coal – and water would be preheated by the sun.

They point out the obvious – that there are no technical barriers to converting the entire world to clean energy production. Only a lack of will. That, and a refusal to count the entirety of actual costs of relying on fossil fuels, which facilitates the lack of will.

One of the benefits of the plan is that it results in a 30 percent reduction in world energy demand since it involves converting combustion processes to electrical or hydrogen fuel cell processes. Electricity is much more efficient than combustion.

That reduction in the amount of power needed, along with the millions of lives saved by the reduction in air pollution from elimination of fossil fuels, would help keep the costs of the conversion down.

So back off, Kochs. Everybody else, wise up; we’re getting punked on energy and how impossible it is to change. Don’t wait for the commercials. Believe in clean energy now and start expecting it.