Is the conventional wisdom about clean energy decades out of date?
Chris Nelder looked into that very issue by reviewing the REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report. It appears the conventional wisdom on clean alternative energy is stuck in the late disco era. The following excerpt gives some examples of just how far off the marks past forecast concerning the growth of clean energy has been.
…“[t]he history of energy scenarios is full of similar projections for renewable energy that proved too low by a factor of 10, or were achieved a decade earlier than expected.” For example, the International Energy Agency’s 2000 estimate for wind power in 2010 was 34 gigawatts, while the actual level was 200 gigawatts. The World Bank’s 1996 estimate for China was 9 gigawatts of wind and 0.5 gigawatts for solar PV by 2020, but by 2011 the country had already achieved 62 gigawatts of wind and 3 gigawatts of PV.
Whether you are a skeptic on renewables or a proponent Chris’s review is a good starting point. Then hit the full 76 page report which is available here.
Combining wind and tidal currents to generate power
This device to be tested in Japan would generate power from both wind and tidal currents (not waves). The design could at maximum generate enough power for 300 homes. The problems come when cost is considered. This device is very large, expensive to deploy and maintain in the marine environment. It is an interesting concept but will it be economic? The only way to know is to get on with testing it.
The video below if from CBS News. More information here.
The Financial Times video below takes a look at the need for energy efficiency improvements. Note the graphic that illustrates the percentage of GDP consumed by energy and the discussion that concerns that relationship.