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Principle 19: Clean and Renewable Energy
Alex Steffen, 1 Jun 07

We need new sources of energy for a whole variety of reasons, especially the fact that we're changing the climate (perhaps even driving it towards tipping points like permafrost melt and ocean acidification much more quickly than we thought -- indeed, NASA scientists say we now have less than ten years to act).

There is no simple answer to the question "How do we fuel our society sustainably?" Indeed, there probably isn't even an answer. Instead, we've got to be willing to explore a whole variety of technologies, approaches and business models, and to acknowledge that the answers change with the context. Wind turbines, for instance, make a lot of sense in California, with its well-established grid and coast-to-mountain winds, while distributed independent solar photovoltaics may make a lot more sense in the rural developing world. The best approach will be one which emphasizes diversity

What's called for is lots of research, open debate and investment. We need a decade or two of furious exploration, collaboration and competition.

We've written a lot about this issue, hundreds of articles, in fact, but here are some pieces we hope you'll find informative and thought-provoking:

Spherical Solar

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Airborne Wind Power

How to Wean a Town Off Fossil Fuels

Biomimetic Ocean Power

The New Energy Companies

Weza and the Challenge of Leapfrogging Daily Life

BikePower! (Pedal-powered Electricity)

Things That Should Exist: Light Storage

The Utility of the Future


Energy's 'Three Rs': A Primer

The Lungs of the Library

New Zealand's Green Energy Future

Microgeneration Potential

Hydrokinetic in the UK

Interview with Idealab

Skystream Residential Wind Turbines: An Interview with Frank Greco

Geothermal "Hot Rocks" for Home Energy

Solar Stirling Engines

Ribbons, Sheets and the Nanofuture

More Energy or Smarter Use?

A 30 000 MW Wind Farm in Canada?

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Are these principles in order of importance? If not, I nominate this one for the top of the list.

Great job on the whole concept, btw. Very informative.

Posted by: a on 1 Jun 07



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