[p2p-research] American Solar Action Plan & China as a green leader
michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Sat Aug 15 06:28:37 CEST 2009
any other places to monitor peer energy developments ...
On Sat, Aug 15, 2009 at 5:45 AM, Paul D. Fernhout <
pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:
> Global warming and accessible energy supply are the essential challenges of
> our age, and solar is uniquely able to meet them both:
> * Sunlight is a huge, nearly ubiquitous resource many thousands of times
> larger than our energy demand.
> * The Plan can be generalized worldwide, so the US can show the way for
> others to adopt it.
> * Means of storing solar energy have been developed and can make
> possible 24/7 operation.
> * Solar electric conversion technologies are nearing economic viability,
> and the near-term goal is to establish a ten-year national solar deployment
> plan to bring solar technologies to lowest cost through the attainment of
> optimized mass manufacturing scale.
> * The transportation sector can be transformed by electric and hybrid
> electric vehicles, allowing solar-generated electricity to become the fuel.
> All the pieces of this world-changing plan actually exist and have been
> described in the January 2008 Scientific American. We believe it is only a
> lack of awareness of the opportunity and of its efficacy that prevents the
> Plan from being immediately adopted. As Mark Twain once said, “Once you lose
> your ignorance, it’s hard to get it back.” We want to be the organization
> through which this loss of ignorance is accomplished.
> Links to:
> The technology is ready. On the following pages we present a grand plan
> that could provide 69 percent of the U.S.’s electricity and 35 percent of
> its total energy (which includes transportation) with solar power by 2050.
> We project that this energy could be sold to consumers at rates equivalent
> to today’s rates for conventional power sources, about ﬁve cents per
> kilowatt-hour (kWh). If wind, biomass and geothermal sources were also
> developed, renewable energy could provide 100 percent of the nation’s
> electricity and 90 percent of its energy by 2100. ... A vast area of
> photovoltaic cells would have to be erected in the Southwest. Excess
> daytime energy would be stored as compressed air in underground caverns to
> be tapped during nighttime hours.
> Personally I feel that plan is conservative (and by 2100 technology will
> have so far advanced that any technical issue with energy of the present day
> would seem laughable). They only want US$400 billion over 40 years. That is
> trivial. With the recent banking bailout of trillions in one year, why not
> just spend US$4 trillion next year? There is little question in my mind that
> printing so much money for green energy this year will paradoxically only
> strengthen the dollar. :-) In one year, the USA could become a world leader
> in something positive again. It might give the US dollar a new lease on
> life, as it seems in a pretty precarious situation right now.
> As it is, the USA seems to be ceeding that leadership opportunity to China:
> "China’s green leap forward"
> Facing dire pollution and wanting to be in on what may be the next
> industrial revolution, China positions itself to be a leader in green
> technology – with major implications for the rest of the world.
> Behind the notorious clouds of filth and greenhouse gases that China’s
> industrial behemoth spews into the atmosphere every day, a little-noticed
> revolution is under way. China is going green. And as the authorities here
> spur manufacturers of all kinds of alternative energy equipment to make more
> for less, “China price” and “China speed” are poised to snatch the lion’s
> share of the next multitrillion-dollar global industry – energy technology.
> Chinese factories already make a third of the world’s solar cells – six
> times more than America. Next year, China will become the largest market in
> the world for wind turbines – overtaking America. This fall, a Chinese firm
> will launch the world’s first mass-produced all-electric car of this
> century. And where are American utilities buying the latest generation of
> “clean coal” power stations? China.
> The Chinese government thinks of renewables as a major strategic
> industrial option” that will help fuel this country’s future growth, says Li
> Junfeng, deputy head of energy research at China’s top planning agency. “We
> will catch up with international advanced technology very quickly.”
> China will likely remain the world’s worst polluter, emitting more CO2
> than any other nation, for the foreseeable future. Its reliance on cheap
> coal to generate the bulk of its electricity makes that almost inevitable.
> At the same time, however, “this country is installing a one-megawatt wind
> turbine every hour,” points out Dermot O’Gorman, head of the World Wide Fund
> for Nature in Beijing. “That is more encouraging than the one coal fired
> power station a week” that normally dominates foreign headlines.
> Indeed, China is pushing ahead on renewable technologies with the fervor
> of a new space race. It wants to be in the forefront of what many believe
> will be the next industrial revolution. If it succeeds, it will hold
> far-reaching implications for the planet – affecting everything from
> Detroit’s competitiveness to global warming to the economic pecking order in
> the 21st century.
> “The rest of the world doesn’t even realize that we are very likely ceding
> the next generation of energy technology to the Chinese,” says Todd Glass,
> an energy lawyer with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati in San Francisco.
> Still, the country has plenty of reasons to attempt to be the world’s next
> green-energy power. For one thing, it has few natural energy resources of
> its own. Plus, its pollution problems are so severe that it has little
> choice. The country’s outsized reliance on coal is literally a matter of
> life and death: 750,000 people in China die prematurely each year because of
> air pollution, a World Bank study in 2007 found (though the Chinese
> government insisted the bank cut that statistic from its final report). Only
> 1 percent of the population breathes air that would be considered safe in
> Europe. ...
> “China sees [green technology] as an enormous market that is not claimed
> or controlled by any one nation, and there is an opportunity for them to do
> it,” says Carberry. “The combination of urgency; the enormous needs; a
> focused, systematic planned government; an army of engineers; and access to
> capital may define China as the platform for the green-technology industry
> So much going on in the world...
> But that does not seem to be a peer initiative. That sounds more like a
> focused state initiative. How can we turn renewable energy more into a peer
> or local initiative? Or maybe it is happening by itself?
> --Paul Fernhout
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