Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What is energy independence worth to all you energy voters?

NREL Study shows US has enough renewable energy potential to be energy independent now

I draw two conclusions from this NREL report and the Green Party's agenda on renewable clean energy which make a lot of sense to me and should to most conservative (tea party types who want fiscal reform) as well:

Solar photovoltaic energy is easily abundant and doable to cover all our use and then some.  In MD alone, where I live, 23% of the entire state's consumption could come from existing rooftops, and 43% could come from utilities scaling up solar development projects on parking lots and other larger scale infrastructure.  There is enough rural land to provide 10 times the current usage, and could easily make up the remaining 34% of demand.  The cost of distributed rooftop solar is still $5.00/watt in the US vs around $2.25/watt in Germany.  That has to change through further competition and demand.

A national  "Hoover Dam" type approach to build out renewable energy on every rooftop, parking lot and corner of America in every state could be paid for by the existing fossil fuel energy suppliers and public service utility companies by incenting them to shift focus from fossil fuels (by banning their use) to renewable energy and incenting them to hire every unemployed American or subcontract to companies that agree to hire unemployed Americans.  If the US signs a treaty and joins the rest of the world in making it illegal to sell fossil fuels altogether by the year 2032, these companies could very quickly implement this new national agenda and make a profit without the US having to go into debt to make this happen.  Give the fossil fuel companies the same tax incentives they have had for exploration and development in renewables with a ban on fossil fuels usage worldwide and watch what kind of competition emerges and what happens to the cost of energy and national debts.  My guess is the debt clock would be gone because such a worldwide scale of industrial development would provide jobs for everyone without having to go to war with everyone which historically follows such an economic slump and depression type conditions we're seeing with lack of spending by companies and uncertainty. 

It might lead to wars over cheaters that use fossil fuels or make land grabs for natural resources like China did against India in the 1960's Himalayan war (which was grabbing hyrdoelectric resources) and against Tibet, but countries like them would quickly be isolated by the world.  This would also make the entire world more stable if there was no dependence on oil from the middle east.

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