Our Renewable Future

“There is probably no credible future scenario in which humanity will maintain current levels of energy use.”

Transition to 100% renewable energy? Sure.

Maintain current levels of growth and consumption? Not gonna happen.

Note the current percentage renewables contribute to total global energy…

web-figure-i-3-world-primary-energy-consumption-by-fuel

Note this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t roll out as much renewable energy generation as we can… It’s just that the lower ‘energy profit’ from creating renewable energy machines and processes, relative to fossil fueled ones, means that the ‘net energy’ left after gathering the energy resource is so low that it won’t allow us to continue the rate of material throughput our industrial civilisation requires to function in its present form. There’s also the issue of non-substitutable uses of liquid fuels for heavy transport vehicles, and many other considerations.

To learn more, this highly readable book, ‘Our Energy Future’ from the Post Carbon Institute comes highly recommended! The book is freely available online here: www.ourrenewablefuture.org

View the book’s authors presenting on the report, go to this link. NZ refrigerated food exports get a mention in the discussion of decarbonising the food supply chain in this segment of the presentation.

For a very encouraging, up to date as at June 2016 presentation about ‘The Winning of The Carbon War’ by Jeremy Leggett, click here. The playing field is shifting fast!

I’ve been actively writing and engaging with local and national government on this issue for several years now, and have created quite a few resources of my own, as submissions to various consultation processes. I focus on the “3 E’s” – Economics, Energy and Ecosystems, and the fundamental limits these place on the solution spaces available to us going forwards. Here’s a selected bibliography to date:

As an individual citizen:

As co-founder of the Love Local Charitable Trust:

  • For the Sustainable Southland blog: Love Local. Why, How and What: http://bit.ly/1TaCJnv
  • For the Sustainable Southland blog: How sustainable are we, really? http://bit.ly/14oMDiO
  • Presentation to the Innov8 evenings regarding Love Local’s place in the big picture of resilient local food systems for Southland: http://bit.ly/ll_pk_innov8

And as part of Wise Response, a group of concerned citizens, I’ve collaborated in the research, production and delivery of a variety of content to inform government about the issues we face:

 

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2 Comments

Filed under How, Uncategorized, What, Why

2 responses to “Our Renewable Future

  1. Josh Floyd

    Hi Nathan,
    Just wanted to send appreciation your way for the work you’re doing here. Your public submissions are a great resource for staying on top of developments in the energy transition and related areas.
    All the best,
    Josh

    Liked by 1 person

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