Tuesday, January 08, 2008

100% Renewable Energy

I have had my disagreements with Gristmill's Dave Roberts from time to time, primarily over his unabashed promotion of everything labeled Democratic Party. However, his blog at Gristmill is a very good source of the latest information / discussion topics on the issues surrounding energy and Global Warming. It is one of three that I read daily. (The others are Chris Mooney's Intersection and Andrew Revkin's Dot Earth.)

Today, Roberts points us all to the University of Kassel in Germany and their discussion of the combined power plant. This is viewed as the first step in being able to deliver 100% if Germany's power from renewables by 2050.

Where the hell is the US?

The State of Massachusetts has just approved a major upgrade to the Coal Fired Somerset plant that will dump even more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than it currently does. This prompted N.A.S.A.'s Dr. James Hansen to express his opposition in the Boston Globe.

California's Kalmran Alavi has talked about widely distributed power generation. However, the University of Kassel has essentially solved the problem at a much higher level, that of a fully operational power plant system. They even provided a short (7.24 min) film that gives a very clear explanation of how this can work.

Still, if you listened to ABC's Debate Night, every one of the Republicans talked about "clean coal" and "nuclear" solutions. Where is the vaunted American technology that we hear so much about? If the University of Kassel can do it, why can't MIT and Cal Tech? Have we fallen so far behind? Or have we become so inured to the blatherings of free-market ideologues who are afraid to challege the utility industry and the powerful coal state Senators like Byrd of W. VA, that we have just given up trying?

Here is yet another challenge to Green Presidential candidates. Build a new scenario for America's future. Clean, not dirty; growing corn for food, not for transportation; challenging us to be our best, not servile. We can do this. It is only a matter of want to.

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