February 4, 2011
By: Peter Droege
100% Renewable - Energy Autonomy in Action
Book by Peter Droege -
A 100% renewable world is inevitable. Not only do a growing number of initiatives and plans dare to make the change but many have already achieved it. This rich collection presents a series of pioneering efforts and their champions, and the paths to their successes. Ranging from initiatives by individuals to actions by companies, communities and countries, it defeats tired counter-arguments.
The time has come to abolish the combustion of coal, oil and gas for energy generation worldwide, along with the nuclear power threat. This is the historical challenge of today. It is unlike any other that preceded it in the
emergence of human civilization. It is unprecedented because it involves a collective choice to be made across a wide array of technological, social and economic conditions – to go beyond the slow and messy process of blind evolution. A global renewable energy base is the very foundation of sustainable life on this planet. Only with it, massive afforestation efforts and lifestyle changes to higher quality and dramatically lowered material consumption become the essential elements of hope. A worldwide move to sustainable economic practice beyond green lip service may just still carry this promise: to rebuild the inherited system of wasteful abundance for the few into a basis for sustaining human life in a steady-state economy for all.
"100 per cent renewable" means an entirely renewable power base for the global economy, across the lifecycle of energy flows, embodied, operational, transport or stationary. In this world steeped in expensive and toxic hydrocarbon fuels and products it does not seem easy for anyone but isolated indigenous tribes to live up to this ideal. Nevertheless, the aim to rely on the abundant and largely free sources of the sun is clear, and it is necessary. A wave of innovations rises in infrastructure systems, personal transport or community development, successfully procuring non-polluting local electricity and thermal resources. Manufacturers begin to develop renewable production processes, and increasingly, producers of closed-cycle materials are keen on eliminating fossil carbon combustion content. This book is a snapshot of a dynamic picture, a world well on the path to sustaining human civilization on a renewable planet.
'As he has in the past, Peter Droege has produced an important and timely new book on how we shift away from our current energy path. The challenges are immense, but these scholarly essays provide a roadmap for delivering fundamental change in the way we bring new energy technologies to market. Perhaps most important, the book emphasizes the key role that renewables can play in our urban energy picture. As the home to most global energy use, cities are one of the toughest venues to deploy renewables in a cost effective manner. Droege and his fellow authors don't shy away from the challenge, however, proving to us that we can nibble away at this problem a bit at a time, ultimately delivering cities with vastly smaller carbon footprints.'
Stephen Hammer, Director, Urban Energy Program, Columbia University Center for Energy, Marine Transportation and Public Policy
'100% renewable was always more than a Moon Shot or a Manhattan Project as we just could not imagine how it could ever happen. Suddenly it's all come together as Peter Droege and his authors have shown. The first signs of the emerging political consensus are emerging behind this grand vision. It's now just a matter of time - critical time.'
Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability, Curtin University, and author of Resilient Cities
'By far the most visionary and practical guide for the global transition from fossil and nuclear power to the information-rich green economies of the Solar Age. Exciting examples of innovations in cities, towns, villages and rural communities from all over the world.'
Hazel Henderson, Ethical Makerts
'The book provides many good ideas and useful information about what can be readily achieved'.
R. J. Barthelmie, Choice.