Lester Brown has written a nice summary of the renewable energy economy. There is good reason to hope that sooner than expected America will be significantly powered by renewable energies.
This reminds me of some of the great benefits of going renewable with our energy supplies. The top reasons for going renewable are:
- Greater overall economic stability and growth - without fluxuations or potential cutoffs in our energy supply we can plan for the longer term with less risk. Less risk = greater efficiency = greater profit.
- Domestic Investment - If we stop sending a significant portion of our incomes overseas to the oil producing countries we'll necessarily spend it here in America. Imagine if even half of the 25 Billion USD a year that we send to the Persian gulf stayed home instead.
- Eliminate Terrorism resource wars without a war - terrorists don't hate us because of our freedom, they hate us because we keep stepping on their sacred soil and meddling in their sordid affairs, all because we absolutely must secure a healthy oil supply for our economy (and probably for our freedom too). And besides.. what happens when China wants in on the fossil fuel action as much as we do?
- Greater national defense - it takes oil, and lots of it to run any war, just or not. It would be a real bummer to get caught in a resource war with a nation that could cut out our energy supply
- Better Environment - Who doesn't want cleaner air?
And also my top 3 renewable energy sources:
- Solar Thermal - shines on average 12 hours a day and for some vast regions of the world for about 300-340 days a year. And it's no more complicated than mirrors, black pipes and currently existant steam turbines.
- Geo Thermal - it comes right out of the ground hundreds of degrees C, if we can drill for oil, we most certainly can drill for geothermal.
- Wave and tidal - 90% of all major cities in the world are locate right next to an ocean, why not harness the energy contained in waves and tides (moon power!)