Seminar: Fall-out from Renewable Energy Systems

Event Details

  • Speaker(s): Jesse Ausubel
  • Date:
  • Time: 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: University Centre Room 103

By the end of the 21st century, the energy system will provide 5 to 10 times more power than the present system but fit within its present footprint and emit little or nothing harmful. Growth in demand, which continuing efficiency gains fail to offset and even spur, will bring stringent requirements for zero-emission power plants (ZEPPs) and vehicles and for sparing of land for nature. The large-scale need for land-sparing and decarbonization will bring disillusion with renewables, which may be renewable but are not green. Observed fall-out from renewables may span abandonment of faith in resource exhaustion (as evidence for alternate theories of origins of so-called fossil fuels lifts estimates of methane abundance), a new wave of growth of nuclear power, and, sadly, landscape raped by windmills and biofuels. For context, see Big Green Energy Machines (http://phe.rockefeller.edu/PDF_FILES/BigGreen.pdf) and Elektron: Electrical Systems in Retrospect and Prospect (http://phe.rockefeller.edu/Daedalus/Elektron).