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Introductory citation

1. = "that the long trajectory of human societies that solve problems by adding more energy will reverse this century. More energy allows for more complexity, less energy implies a simplification of processes, lifestyles and expectations". (Nate Hagens [1])

2. Networked (distributed, p2p) energy anchors a networked economy and society:

'As long as fossil-fuel energies underlie every aspect of the global economy, every other commercial enterprise that relies on these fuels for its materials, power generation, and logistics will be forced by necessity to continue using a vertically integrated business model and centralized management to achieve its own economies of scale and stay alive.'

- Jeremy Rifkin (Zero-Margin Society)

Introductory Material

  1. Commons-Based Renewable Energy in the Age of Climate Collapse. By David Hammerstein.
  2. Energy Commons as the Missing Link Between Energy Transition and Climate Justice
  • Related Commons Concepts:
  1. Commons-Based Cases in Alternative Energy
  2. Energy Commons ; Energy from the Perspective of the Commons‎
  3. Info-Energy Commons
  4. Petroleum Commons
  5. Solar Commons
  6. Renewable Energy Commons


"Energy is the material basis for human survival and development. . . .

  • The first industrial revolution, from 1770 to 1860, . . . . . . was built on Coal in England. . . .
  • The second industrial revolution, from 1910 to 2010, . . . . . . was built on Electricity in United States. . . .
  • The third industrial revolution, . . . . . . will be built on Renewable Energy and Energy Internet."


The necessary transformation of our energy infrastructure

1. Daniel Pinchbeck:

"A number of recent studies on renewable energy help to define and clarify the path to a global transition.

Stanford engineering professor Mark Jacobson proposed that worldwide energy production could become almost entirely renewable by 2030. According to Jacobson and his coauthors in 2009, “The obstacles are primarily political, not technical.” Jacobson has launched The Solutions Project, with a plan for every state in the United States to completely transition to renewable energy within a few decades.

Developed under the leadership of Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, Pathways to Deep Decarbonization offers the outline for a worldwide plan to shift to renewable energy. The plan has three basic aspects: Increasing energy efficiency and conservation, rapidly developing low-carbon sources of electricity, and fuel switching: “Switching end-use energy supplies from highly carbon-intensive fossil fuels in transportation, buildings, and industry to lower carbon fuels including low-carbon electricity, other low-carbon energy carriers synthesized from electricity generation of sustainable biomass, or lower-carbon fossil fuels.”

In The Third Industrial Revolution, economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin promotes an optimistic alternative.

The revolution is based on:

(1) shifting to renewable energy;

(2) transforming the building stock of every continent into green micro–power plants to collect renewable energies on-site;

(3) deploying hydrogen and other storage technologies in every building and throughout the infrastructure to store intermittent energies;

(4) using Internet technology to transform the power grid of every continent into an energy internet that acts just like the Internet (when millions of buildings are generating a small amount of renewable energy locally, on-site, they can sell surplus green electricity back to the grid and share it with their continental neighbors); and

(5) transitioning the transport fleet to electric plug-in and fuel cell vehicles that can buy and sell green electricity on a smart, continental, interactive power grid." (

2. Richard Heinberg:

"having spent a year working with David Fridley of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to assess the prospects for a complete transition to solar and wind power.

We found that the transition to renewables is going far too slowly to make much of a difference during the crucial next couple of decades, and would be gobsmackingly expensive if we were to try replacing all fossil fuel use with solar and wind. We also found, as the film underscores again and again, that the intermittency of sunshine and wind is a real problem—one that can only be solved with energy storage (batteries, pumped hydro, or compressed air, all of which are costly in money and energy terms); or with source redundancy (building way more generation capacity than you’re likely to need at any one time, and connecting far-flung generators on a super-grid); or demand management (which entails adapting our behavior to using energy only when it’s available). All three strategies involve trade-offs. In the energy world, there is no free lunch. Further, the ways we use energy today are mostly adapted to the unique characteristics of fossil fuels, so a full transition to renewables will require the replacement of an extraordinary amount of infrastructure in our food system, manufacturing, building heating, the construction industry, and on and on. Altogether, the only realistic way to make the transition in industrial countries like the US is to begin reducing overall energy usage substantially, eventually running the economy on a quarter, a fifth, or maybe even a tenth of current energy." (


"Accelerating rates of historical change are achieved during the Terrestrial Eon by the invention of information inheritance processes. Second, eras can also be defined within Earth history by differences in the scaling of energy flow. This is because each era is based on a different kind of energy source: the material era depends on nuclear fusion, the biological era on metabolism, the cultural era on tools, and the technological era on machines."

[4]: "energy is a much more important factor of production than its small cost share may indicate. This implies that continued economic growth along the historical trend cannot safely be assumed"

  • A reading list of key energy writers, recommended by John Thackara: here
  1. Can Renewable Energy Sustain Consumer Societies? Samuel Alexander and Ted Trainer.
  2. Introduction: Energy from the Perspective of the Commons
  3. George Papanikolaou – Peer to Peer Energy Production and the Social Conflicts in the Era of Green Development; with Vasilis Kostakis, see the P2P Energy Manifesto
  4. Jeremy Rifkin on the Energy Internet: [When New Communication Technologies Converge With New Energy Systems]]
  5. John Robb on the Energy Trap: there is no replacing of fossil fuels by renewables under the current economic models
  6. Nine Pitfalls of Alternative Energy: "This isn’t an argument against alternative energy. It is however an argument against having unreasonable expectations for what alternative energy sources can deliver in the short time span in which we’ll need to transition to them."
  7. Jeff Vail on the Energy Trap: a detailed investigation ; Jeff Vail’s Call for a Scale-Free Energy Policy
  8. Eric Hunting – On the prospects and strategy of peer-to-peer energyl
  9. John Michael Greer: The fundamental limits in energy supplies ; Reply to Greer by Stuart Staniford: Limits on the Thermodynamic Potential of Archdruids
  10. What we should know about past energy transitions. Cutler Cleveland on energy transitions.
  11. John Thackara: When Renewable Energy Becomes a Snake Oil Recipe
  12. Correcting Negative Myths about Renewable Energy
  13. Joshua Pearce, Photovoltaics - A Path to Sustainable Futures
  14. The Internet is NOT an Energy Hog




Bill St. Arnaud

  1. Using eVehicles for Renewable Energy Transportation and Distribution: and
  2. Free High Speed Internet to the Home or School Integrated with solar roof top:
  3. High level architecture of Internet Networks to survive Climate Change:
  4. Architecture and routing protocols for Energy Internet


* Our Renewable Future. Laying the Path for One Hundred Percent Clean Energy. By Richard Heinberg and David Fridley. Island Press, 2016 [7]

  • Edward Morbius recommends 3 books for seeing history through the lens of energy:
  1. Vaclav Smil's use of energy as a lens (Energy in History (1994) and Energy and Civilisations (2017)) in particular.
  2. There are only a handful of other writers who've used that approach, Manfred Weisenbacher (_Sources of Power (2009)) being among the few others, and drawing heavily on Smil's first book.

See also: ?

  • "Sparking A Worldwide Energy Revolution" is "a major contribution to the movement working for a transition from carbon capitalism to an ecologically sound energy system. Its sixty chapters document the present energy crisis, describe alternative technologies, and introduces us to the people who worldwide are fighting for a healthy planet and the recreation of the earth's commons" [8]
  • David MacKay [9]. Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air.

(calculats whether the UK could transfer to a 100% renewable energy economy. His answer: 'yes, but'.)

  • Vaclav Smil [10]. Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization. [11]: dematerialization works but is systematically offset by growth imperative.


  1. Peer-to-Peer Energy Grid
  2. Global Energy Commons ; Energy as a Commons ; Energy Commons ; Info-Energy Commons ; Renewable Energy Commons ; World Energy Grid
  3. Decentralized Energy ; Decentralized Renewable Energy
  4. Distributed Energy Financing ; Distributed Generation Systems ; Distributed Power Generation ; Distributed Renewable Energy
  5. Distributed Solar ; Distributed Wind Energy ; Distributed Wind Power
  6. Micro Hydropower ; Microgeneration ; Microgrids ; Micropower ; Microsolar ; Peer-to-Peer Microgrid Networks
  7. P2P Energy ; P2P Energy Economy ; Peer-to-Peer Power Economy


Source for the following 3 tables: [13]

Current Problems from Power Grid Centralization

Current Problems from a Centralized Energy Economy

Grid Reforms that fail to Decentralize Power



"The four types of renewable energies that Benjamin Dessus and Bernard Devin (2007) distinguish:

  1. photon energy (solar);
  2. mechanical energy (wind, hydraulic, tides, and waves);
  3. thermal energy (geothermal, ocean thermal energy); and
  4. combustion energy (biomass)."


"Energy alternatives seem to enable a series of changes:

  • From centralization to decentralization (reconfiguration of polarizations)
  • From distance to proximity (reconfiguration of scales)
  • From dependency to self-sufficiency (reconfiguration of relations to “large technical systems”


Energy Crowdfunding Platforms

The three forms of distributed finance for distributed energy:

  1. Leasing, e.g. Solar Leasing Financial Model
  2. Community Power, e.g. Community Solar Financial Model
  3. Power Purchase Agreements, e.g. Solar Power Purchase Agreements

More information on the theory: Peer to peer finance mechanisms to support renewable energy growth


  1. Solar Mosaic
  2. SunFunder
  3. Abundance Generation
  4. CleanCrowd
  5. Microgenius
  6. Sunnycrowd
  7. OnGreen
  8. Skipso
  1. Green Fundraising
  2. Green Unite
  3. GreenFunder
  4. Green Crowd


Distributed Energy

  • Key Concepts:
  1. Peer-to-Peer Energy Grid
  2. Global Energy Commons

  • Key articles:
  1. Bill McKibben on Why We Need a P2P Energy Grid; Jeremy Rifkin on the InterGrid
  2. Towards a World Wide Web of Electricity. Michael Powers.
  3. How Green Capitalism Differs from Distributed P2P Energy Projects. Kevin Carson.
  4. Report: Sustainable Agriculture and Off-Grid Renewable Energy. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho. ISIS contribution to UNCTAD Trade and Environment Review 2011 [14]
  5. How Renewables Will Change Electricity Markets
  6. The bright future of solar thermal powered factories

  • Status reports:
  1. Global Clean Energy Investments 2005-2009. G20 stats compiled by Hazel Henderson et al.
  2. Global Renewable Energy Status Report 2009
  3. 2007 Status of Decentralized Renewables and Micropower
  4. Peer Production and Industrial Cooperation in Alternative Energy‎‎
  5. The energy transition juggernaut : lots of both objective (uptake) and subjective (public opinion) stats

Let's not forget:

  1. The Case against Nuclear Energy and for Renewables. By Conrad Miller.

Green Computing

  • Report: Smart 2020, enabling the low carbon economy in the information age
  • The monster footprint of digital technology: The power consumption of our high-tech machines and devices is hugely underestimated. Here are the statistics to give insight in the true ecological cost of our digital infrastructures.

The facts:

  1. The Energy Efficiency Fallacy
  2. How much energy does the Internet use?
  3. ICTs in the home account for almost 50% of energy use
  4. IT to consume 40% of world's electricity by 2030

Policy Proposals

  • Surveying the Territory of Energy Alternatives, check the Report: Energy Alternatives: Surveying the Territory. Corner House, 2013: [15] The main conflict in energy policy today is not between 'business as usual' and 'The Alternative', but among the many different proposed alternatives themselves.

* Wiener, J., 2005. Sharing Potential and the Potential for Sharing: Open Source Licensing as a Legal and Economic Modality for the Dissemination of Renewable Energy Technology, Boston: Suffolk University Law School. [16]: "the non-proprietary licensing espoused by the open source developers provides a unique economic and legal modality for development and dissemination of renewable energy technology"

  1. Five Policy Solutions to the Climate and Energy Crisis. By Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute
  2. The "centralized" $420b Solar Grand Plan of Scientific American.
  3. Peter Barnes commons-based proposal: Why We Need a Cap and Dividend based Skytrust to solve Global Warming
  4. Neither Carbon Taxation, nor Cap and Trade and Cap and Dividend will work, nor even pass, because it combines immediate hardship with deferred benefits; what is needed are Cap and Reward systems, which immediately reward virtuous behaviours, argues Bill St. Arnaud
  5. Beware of the Energy Efficiency Fallacy
  6. Chris Cook's proposal for a Global Natural Energy Grid

See also:

  1. Thermoeconomics]: scientific pathways to solar energy

Specifics: Green Computing

Proposals for Green Computing, by Bill St. Arnaud:

  1. Free Fiber to the Home
  2. Green Grid
  3. Green Broadband
  4. Follow the Energy Computing Grids
  5. Bits for Carbon Trading
  6. Virtualization as strategy for green computing

Overview essay:

  1. ICT and Global Warming. Bill St. Arnaud

Nuclear Energy


In the wake of the Lovelock and Wired magazine arguments, Alex Steffen expresses his concerns about nuclear and his desire to see a global commitment to creating a clean-energy economy.

Alex Steffen shares a 2006 report that states that nuclear is not a climate-friendly energy source.

Research from Stanford University ranks the world's energy options -- putting wind, concentrated solar and geothermal at the top of the list, and nuclear power and coal with carbon capture and sequestration in a tie for dead last.


General articles about energy future challenges:

  1. Sustainable Energy for World Economies. Tariq Muneer.
  2. Energy Security and the Social Use of Energy. Igor MatutinoviĆ.
  3. Open-source development of solar photovoltaic technology

Renewable Energy Transition Plans

Via [18] :

"a team of scientists from Stanford University led by Mark Jacobson published a study showing how New York State could switch to a 100 percent renewable energy infrastructure by 2030–a highly ambitious plan that would only wind, water solar energy to power not just electricity but all forms of energy consumption, including building heating and cooling and transportation. The plan is a follow up to a more general proposal that powers the entire world with renewable energy in less than two decades". (

  • a team led by Vasilis Fthenakis, a senior research scientist at Columbia University’s department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, published a study showing how the entire United States could go renewable


  • in 2011 a World Wildlife Federation report (prepared by Ecofys Consulting) has laid out another path to 100 percent renewable energy.


Short Citations

Equipment powering the internet accounts annually for 9.4% (or 350 billion kWh) of the total electricity consumption in the US, and 5.3% (or 868 billion kWh) of the global usage. [19]

Long Quotations

"Energy independence at the local level is in large part achieved by eliminating reliance on any single energy source, whether that is oil, gas, natural gas, biofuels, wood, solar, or wind. In other words, resilient communities need to be able to input all available energy sources and convert them into a standardized format. Further, that format must be usable in a plethora of different ways."

- John Robb [20]

"The industrial capacity for building alternatives is a tiny fraction of what would be needed to substitute for fossil fuels even within 2 decades, given the massive scale required. (Just to give an idea of the scale involved – per Bill McKibben’s must-read book Eaarth the sunk cost of today’s fossil fuel infrastructure is $10 trillion, and would require 10-50 years of operation for capital cost recovery.) Almost none of the substitutes provides a dense liquid fuel substitute for oil that can be used in transportation or agriculture. The only alternative that does – algae-based biofuel – is extremely far from commercial viability and requires even more land area per unit energy than corn-based ethanol."

- barath [21]

On the need for a Symbiotic Energy Grid

"In a decade-long building boom of renewable energy, we’ve reached a milestone. There are now one billion watts of wind and solar installed across the world. That’s about half the capacity of all coal and three times that of all nuclear. But make no comparisons to the energy past. Unlike fossil fuels that produce a consistent supply of baseload electricity, renewables only generate power one-third to one-fifth of the time. The same logic no longer applies; the task is not to stoke an eternal flame with combustibles pulled from the deep. Our new goal is one of grace. Like Mother Nature, or a Zen master, we must find balance in the forces of night and day. A new type of grid is needed to handle this balance. It’s a symbiotic energy system that exchanges electricity, similar to how nutrients pulse through tree roots and food webs in a forest. Rather than the current one-way stream of electrons emanating from giant, isolated power plants, this new system will be composed of millions of interdependent sources of generation, storage, and adaptive response. While at first, this distributed network may be more challenging to manage, eventually it will enable a stronger grid that’s less vulnerable to outages and provides dozens of mutual benefits to producers, consumers, and communities."

- Trevor Decker Cohen [22]

Bill McKibben on the Carbon Bubble

"The oil companies, private and state-owned, have current reserves on the books equivalent to 2,795 gigatons -- five times more than we can ever safely burn. It has to stay in the ground. Put another way, in ecological terms it would be extremely prudent to write off $20 trillion worth of those reserves. In economic terms, of course, it would be a disaster, first and foremost for shareholders and executives of companies like ExxonMobil (and people in places like Venezuela). If you run an oil company, this sort of write-off is the disastrous future staring you in the face as soon as climate change is taken as seriously as it should be, and that’s far scarier than drought and flood. It’s why you’ll do anything -- including fund an endless campaigns of lies -- to avoid coming to terms with its reality."

- Bill McKibben [23]

Energy as a Measure for the Rise and Fall of Civilizations

"The history of empire, I argue, isn’t written in the speeches and proclamations of elites. Instead, it’s written in the language of energy. Although the motivations for empire building differ between societies, the end result is always the same. A successful empire centralizes the flow of energy. This means that energy use (per person) in the empire’s core will dwarf energy use in the periphery. The degree that this is true marks the degree that the empire is successful Energy use, then, provides a window into the rise and fall of empires. Let’s look through this window and see what we find. We’ll look first at the grandest scale of all — the 10,000-year history of civilization. Permanent settlements first arose in the Mediterranean basin in an area that anthropologists call the ‘Levant’. It was here that agriculture started. And it was here that agriculture was first intensified using irrigation. Not surprisingly, the Levant was where the first empires emerged. The rise and fall of these proto-empires should be written in the language of energy. Unfortunately, the ‘book of energy’ has long since been lost. The first civilizations kept few written records. And most of their physical artifacts have been destroyed. So how can we estimate the energy use of early empires? We make an educated guess. That’s exactly what Ian Morris does in his book The Measure of Civilization."

- Blair Fix [24]

Renewable Abundance

"We are used to worrying about the costs of overcapacity - producing more power than is needed. That's because the fuel used to generate power is expensive.

Not so with renewables. Once you've built them, the power they generate from the wind and sun comes virtually free of charge.

RethinkX says this will do to energy what the internet and smartphones have done to data. Thirty years ago there was an inherent physical cost to every newspaper printed or photo taken. Now that everything is digital, the only limit on how much we read or post on Instagram is the number of hours in our day. RethinkX argues that instead of simply replacing existing fossil fuel plants with wind and solar - and then worrying about the cost of plugging those big intermittency gaps - we should just build more and more and more wind and solar, perhaps several times the capacity of the existing electricity grid. Remember, the more we build, the cheaper it gets. So long as we spread them over a wide enough area we'll always get some power. And we can plug the few small gaps remaining with batteries or other power plants."

- Justin Rowlatt (on RethinkX0 [25]

Energy as the Currency of Power and its Necessary Evolutionary Self-Limitation

"Power self-limits have also played a role in human evolution. Some Native American societies threw annual feasts in which they gave away all surplus food and other possessions, thereby keeping inequality from gaining a foothold. In the modern world, many nations have instituted democracy as a way to thwart the emergence of tyrants. A few societies have even refused to adopt certain technologies (as the Amish have with television and cars) or energy sources (as the Chinese largely did with coal in the 12th century) because they thought these would be too disruptive to their existing values. Since we’re facing so many existential challenges related to the over-use of power, why aren’t we successfully limiting ourselves now?"

- Richard Heinberg [26]

Key Resources

  • Category: Energy - Open Source Ecology wiki
  • The Energy section of Appropedia
  • Energy Collective [27]: an independent, moderated community of professionals focused on the complex challenges of meeting the world's energy needs sustainably.
  • Wind Works Archive [28]: Online archive of articles on wind energy, feed-in tariffs, and advanced renewable tariffs.

See also:

  1. To monitor developments, see also our Delicious tag on P2P Energy
  2. the Distributed Generation Educational Module

Key Companies

For distributed energy creation:

  1. Nanosolar: plastic solar panel manufacture: “Panel cost of manufacture is said to be $0.30 per watt. Panel cost at retail is around $1. Price of a machine which will print panels: $0.16 per panel per year.”
  2. Konarka Technologies: “thinks their panels will be about 1/3 the price of nanosolar. In about a year or so.”
  3. Jellyfish Wind Turbines: $400 a pop

See also:

Key Podcasts

  1. Stephen Lacey on the Renewables Gap
  2. The Renewable Energy Podcast series

Key Statistics

  • "Coal, oil and gas get more than $370bn (£305bn) a year in support, compared with $100bn for renewables, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) report found. Just 10-30% of the fossil fuel subsidies would pay for a global transition to clean energy, the IISD said." [30]
  • "“… studies among at least 11 independent research groups have found that transitioning to 100% renewable energy in one or all energy sectors, while keeping the electricity and/or heat grids stable at reasonable cost, is possible” Jacobson study 1; 2 ; 3

Wind and Solar are much cheaper than nuclear

"Wind and solar are an awful lot faster to build than nuclear, with first power within two years, and full replacement possible in fifteen years. If we compare the savings over the 30 years, we would get triple the benefit with a saving of around 33 billion tons for wind and solar vs 11 billion tons for nuclear. And wind and solar are a lot cheaper than nuclear. Right now unsubsidized onshore wind and solar are under $40 per MWH or 4 cents per KWH, and many places are already seeing $20 per MWH. So that’s 2.5 to 7.5 times cheaper than the nuclear. Oh, and you have to start spending the money on the nuclear now in order to get the deferred reduced benefits much later. While spending on new electrical generation isn’t a zero-sum game, there is a moderately non-elastic amount of money to spend on it. Any money spent on slow-to-build nuclear reduces the amount available to spend on fast-to-build renewables. Economically and environmentally, nuclear doesn’t make much sense. I’m happy for every plant that gets turned on, refurbished, and not prematurely shelved because right now that means that gas and coal aren’t being used, but we can go further faster with wind and solar."

- Michael Barnard [31]

Benefits of 100% renewable transition confirmed by Jacobson study

"The Earth is approaching 1.5°C global warming, air pollution kills over 7 million people yearly, and limited fossil fuel resources portend social instability. Rapid solutions are needed. We provide Green New Deal roadmaps for all three problems for 143 countries, representing 99.7% of world’s CO2 emissions. The roadmaps call for countries to move all energy to 100% clean, renewable wind-water-solar (WWS) energy, efficiency, and storage no later than 2050 with at least 80% by 2030. We find that countries and regions avoid blackouts despite WWS variability. Worldwide, WWS reduces energy needs by 57.1%, energy costs from $17.7 to $6.8 trillion/year (61%), and social (private plus health plus climate) costs from $76.1 to $6.8 trillion/year (91%) at a capital cost of ∼$73 trillion. WWS creates 28.6 million more long-term, full-time jobs than are lost and needs only 0.17% and 0.48% of land for footprint and space, respectively. Thus, WWS needs less energy, costs less, and creates more jobs than current energy." (

On the potential of a transition

Richard Heinberg on the conclusions of his research for his book, Our Renewable Future:

"Our ultimate conclusion was that, while renewable energy can indeed power industrial societies, there is probably no credible future scenario in which humanity will maintain current levels of energy use (on either a per capita or total basis). Therefore current levels of resource extraction, industrial production, and consumption are unlikely to be sustained—much less can they perpetually grow. Further, getting to an optimal all-renewable energy future will require hard work, investment, adaptation, and innovation on a nearly unprecedented scale. We will be changing more than our energy sources; we’ll be transforming both the ways we use energy and the amounts we use. Our ultimate success will depend on our ability to dramatically reduce energy demand in industrialized nations, shorten supply chains, electrify as much usage as possible, and adapt to economic stasis at a lower overall level of energy and materials throughput. Absent widespread informed popular support, the political roadblocks to such a project will be overwhelming.

That’s not what most people want to hear. And therefore, frankly, we need some help getting this analysis out to the sorts of people who might benefit from it." (


  • Renewable energy passed up nuclear in total installed power capacity in 2010 (worldwide) Clean Technica [32]
  • Annual government subsidies for renewables amount to $57 billion, compared with $b312 for fossil fuels [33]
  • Solar energy is now cheaper than nuclear energy [34]
  • 51% of all renewable energy in Germany is owned by individual citizens or farms, totaling $100 billion worth of private investment in clean energy. [35]
  • "According to the report, more than a quarter (27.8%) of the world’s generating capacity now comes from renewables, with developing world investments on par with that of the developed world. Solar PV capacity has grown at a phenomenal rate, up 48-fold over the last decade while wind power capacity is up 8-fold." [36]
  • "Bhandari et al. surveyed 231 articles on photovoltaic technologies, finding that, under average Southern European irradiation, the mean EROI of the most common PV technology (polycrystalline Si) is about 11-12. Other technologies (e.g. CdTe) were found to have even better EROIs. Maybe these values are still lower than those of some fossil fuels, but surely not much lower (if they are lower) and a far cry from the legend of the "EROI smaller than one" that's making the rounds on the Web. Then, if you are worried about another common legend, the one that says that PV cells degrade rapidly, think that those of the plant described at the beginning of this article were found to be still working after 30 years of operation, having lost just about 10% of their initial efficiency! In addition, consider that the most common kind of cells use only common elements of the earth's crust: silicon and aluminum (and a little silver, but that's not essential). What more can you ask from a technology that's efficient, sustainable, and long lasting?

- Ugo Bardi [37]

The Pivot of 2015

  • "The world installed more new renewable energy last year than coal, as countries attempt to shift away from fossil fuels and take advantage of massive cost reductions in wind and solar technology.

More than half of all energy generation capacity added in 2015 came from renewable sources, as the world installed more than half a million solar panels a day and two wind turbines every hour, the International Energy Agency announced Tuesday." (

The Internet's Energy Usage

  • "Keeping all this in mind, we selected what seems to be the most recent, complete, honest and transparant report of the internet's total footprint. It concludes that the global communications network consumed 1,815 TWh of electricity in 2012. This corresponds to 8% of global electricity production in the same year (22,740 TWh). "


  • "These researchers estimate that by 2017, the electricity use of the internet will rise to between 2,547 TWh (expected growth scenario) and 3,422 TWh (worst case scenario). If the worst-case scenario materializes, internet-related energy use will almost double in just 5 years time. Note that further improvements in energy efficiency are already included in these results. Without advances in efficiency, the internet's energy use would double every two years, following the increase in data traffic."



  1. "Emerging trends in electricity consumption for consumer ICT", Peter Corcoran, 2013 [38]
  2. "Key Electricity Trends" (PDF), IEA Statistics, 2015 [39]
  3. Of the total, 852 TWh was consumed by end-use devices, 352 TWh by networks, 281 TWh by data centers, and 330 TWh during the manufacturing stage.

Key Videos

  1. Tom Raftery on the Smart Grid and Electricity 2.0: well done, comprehensive, introduction
  2. Understand the genius ofthe Cap and Share proposal through this five minute video introduction
  3. Great and crucial introduction to Peak Oil dynamics: What You Should Know About Peak Oil and Resource Depletion

Open Source Energy Projects

  1. Absorber Roof:low cost solar absorbing roofing material, details in the public domain
  2. Build-It-Solar - Plans and tools and information to do renewable energy and conservation projects.
  3. Canuckle: designed to be the LEGO of alternative energy. The first project is a highly accurate solar tracker
  4. Concentrated Solar Power Open Source Initiative ; (CSPOSI) - Project Archimedes: hybrid thermal solar collector for distributed power generation and water purification; Software and electronics hardware for concentrated solar power under GNU General Public License [40]
  5. Gasifier Experimenter Kit: biomass gasifiers that are ready for everyday use, to serve distributed energy needs.
  6. Open Source Arduino Sun, see Heliostat Projects
  7. SHPEGS Open Energy Project (Solar Heat Pump Electrical Generation System): open concept for a renewable base load power station for moderate climates, based on solar and geothermal heat [41]
  8. Solar Flower: an open source solar energy collector which can be made very easily from common recycled and salvaged materials [42]
  9. SolaRoof, open design of solar energy for households
  10. Quantum Energy Generator, based on Nikola Tesla's design


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Pages in category "Energy"

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