AMSTERDAM – The technology that we have nowadays provides us with the possibility to transition to a mostly green energy future by 2050. This means that with proper investment in renewable energy sources, we could reach sustainability by then, without any extra business costs.
According to research by the Rocky Mountain Institute in the US, energy experts have laid out the vision for a shift to clean energy. This blueprint is detailed in their book “Reinventing Fire”, which discusses matters from how to redesign trucks in order to make them more fuel-efficient to ways to make factory pipers conserve more energy. The proposed plan for the future entails cars fully powered by hydrogen fuel cells, electricity, and biofuels. Additionally, 84 percent of all trucks and airplanes would be running on biomass fuels and 80 percent electricity would be produced by renewable power. Only in the US this would mean $5 trillion in savings and an economy that has grown by 158 percent.
The following video offers a quick summary that, despite being based mostly on US data, could also be implemented in many other countries in the world:
World-renowned environmentalist Amory B. Lovins stresses that both business and society can bring about this transformation, which does not necessarily have to be based on strict legislation. He is of the opinion that climate change does not even need to matter that much, if the necessary steps are taken, and that eventually even the oil industry will have to turn to green energy sources. Despite the fossil fuel boom in emerging economies like China and India, he notes that even in those countries there is a shift occurring towards more renewable and efficient energy, especially among the burgeoning private enterprises. Oil is, on the other hand, a business overflowing with all kinds of risk — technical, political, financial. This leads to even big players in the oil industry looking for alternative solutions for the future.
The old system is slowly dying and other new ones are coming to the surface. The transitions that are required involve how we design vehicles, buildings, and factories, and how we allow efficiency to compete with supply. All these are well under way.
For a more in-depth explanation, here is the relevant TED Talk: