Over the past decade, world wind electric generating capacity grew at nearly 30 percent per year, its increase driven by its many attractive features and by public policies supporting its expansion. Wind is abundant, carbon-free and nondepletable. It uses no water, no fuel, and little land. Wind is also locally available, scales up easily, and can be brought online quickly. No other energy source can match this combination of features.
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The great energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy is under way. As fossil fuel prices rise, as oil insecurity deepens, and as concerns about pollution and climate instability cast a shadow over the future of coal, a new world energy economy is emerging. The old energy economy, fueled by oil, coal, and natural gas, is being replaced with an economy powered by wind, solar, and geothermal energy.
Despite the availability of clean and sustainable energy sources like solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal and biomass, many states depend on outdated and dirty energy sources. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Missouri and Tennessee are among the most in need of an energy portfolio diversification.
Hawaiian culture is steeped in a delicate harmony with nature. The islands boast consistently strong wind densities, great insolation characteristics, enormous reservoirs of geothermal energy, plant life that is perfect for the production of ethanol, and an incredible oceanic wave resource, all of which could be exploited by renewable technologies without damaging the environment. As […]
By J. Matthew Roney In 1904, Italy’s Prince Piero Ginori Conti became the first person to use thermal energy from within the earth to turn on the lights — five of them, to be precise. Now, more than a century after his experiment, 24 countries are using geothermal power. The 10,900 megawatts of capacity installed […]
By J. Matthew Roney Nearly four weeks after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami devastated northeastern Japan, emergency personnel are still struggling to stabilize the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Beyond the immediate need to minimize further radioactive leakage and protect public health, the government is beginning to reconsider its long-term plans for nuclear power […]
By Lester R. Brown The heat in the upper six miles of the earth’s crust contains 50,000 times as much energy as found in all the world’s oil and gas reserves combined. Despite this abundance, only 10,700 megawatts of geothermal electricity generating capacity have been harnessed worldwide. Partly because of the dominance of the oil, […]
By Lester R. Brown As fossil fuel prices rise, as oil insecurity deepens, and as concerns about climate change cast a shadow over the future of coal, a new energy economy is emerging. The old energy economy, fueled by oil, coal, and natural gas, is being replaced by one powered by wind, solar, and geothermal […]
By Leslie Berliant Originally published on June 17, 2009, at SolveClimate By the middle of next year, the nine campuses that make up the nation’s largest community college system plan to be completely energy self-sufficient. It’s a huge step, and it will begin saving money immediately. The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) started down […]
Environmental Defense Fund: Discovery Channel Special Airs Tomorrow – The Promise of a Low-Carbon Revolution Comes to Life
Alaskan frontiersman Bernie Karl keeps his ice hotel frozen all summer long with the energy of hot springs. For a hundred years, Chena Hot Springs has attracted tourists who come to soak in its healing waters. But Karl — bearded and bursting with can-do spirit — saw the springs as a natural source of untapped […]
By Lester R. Brown As fossil fuel prices rise, as oil insecurity deepens, and as concerns about climate change cast a shadow over the future of coal, a new energy economy is emerging in the United States. The old energy economy, fueled by oil, coal, and natural gas, is being replaced by one powered by […]