Here is what I think is the truth. We could make the conversion to non-carbon energy within a generation if we could muster the political and social will to do so. Sadly, I am afraid the secret government within the government that is controlled in large measure by carbon energy intere! sts, combined with the almost grotesque ignorance of the American electorate will not allow it to happen. But it could be done, and it would be significantly cheaper for customers, would create tens of thousands of jobs, as weel as improving the economy.
Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment Senior Fellow Mark Jacobson says the United States has the technology and logistical ability to convert to all-renewable energy sources by 2050-if we can manage to exercise the social and political will to do so. He’s the guy who told David Letterman we already have enough wind to power the entire world ‘seven times over.” Now he has proven his point with a groundbreaking roadmap to clean energy for all 50 U.S. states.
With colleagues from academia and industry, Jacobson-a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford and a senior fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy-recently developed detailed plans that three states (New York, 2/18/13; Washington, 1/14/14; and California, yesterday-2/22/14) could use to switch over their energy infrastructures from conventional fuels to 100% renewable resources by 2050. As Jacobson uses the term, ‘infrastructure” includes electric power, transportation, heating/cooling, and industry uses. ‘Renewable power” is derived primarily from wind, water, and sunlight (WWS), generating electricity and electrolytic hydrogen.
Some findings of research behind the plans:
- Powering the U.S. with only wind, water, and solar energy sources would save the average consumer $3,400 per year.
- Over 15 years, driving an electric car could save $20,000-$40,000 in energy costs.
- In 2013, states endowed with greater wind power had energy costs increase 3 cents; all other states (except Hawaii) saw costs increase 4 cents.
- Large offshore wind farms could reduce hurricane storm surges up to 80% and wind speeds up to 50%.
- Powering the country solely with WWS could generate a 3% GDP uptick.