By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, March 31st, 2011 -- 10:37 am
Humankind has the technology, resources and capabilities to adapt to and help avert serious climate change and the crunch of a dwindling energy economy, if only the political will can be mustered -- and it's not just idealistic progressives who are saying so anymore.
In a recent report, the British non-profit Institute for Policy Research & Development (IPRD) claimed that, with targeted investments by world governments, solar power could become humanity's main source of portable energy in 25 years or less.
The catch: "Spending priorities" must change -- something that seems remarkably difficult even in the U.S., ostensibly one of the world's most advanced democracies.
Starting with the assumption that hydrocarbon energy markets are dying and renewable energy tech is the inevitable future, the group calculated how much electricity humans consume today and how much growing populations are projected to consume by 2030.
What they found is that in 19 years from now, humanity will be consuming 724 exajoules (EJ) of energy annually. Today, that figure is about 39 percent less.
Figuring in the efficiency of today's solar and wind power tech, they were able to model what it would take to rapidly replace the current petroleum power infrastructure with renewables.And here is the rest of it.
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