Why is Clean Energy so Slow?

March 11th, 2012 | Posted by Joep in Renewables

I recently viewed the webinar “Why is Clean Energy so Slow” from Craig Shields editor of the 2GreenEnergy site: He reviewed what his 2011 survey revealed as the top 13 beliefs hindering progress to renewable energy. Each of his conjectures was rated from 1 to 10. The top 5 were: 

8.3  Lobbyists perpetuate overwhelming subsidies for fossil fuels

6.7  Short term leadership view

6.7  Private investors see renewables as unproven

6.6  Not an urgent need

6.5  Inadequate grid transmission capability

The webinar will give you some of the facts and misperceptions that drive these beliefs.

* There are more than 7,000 lobbyists for the fossil fuel industry in Washington DC. For every $1 spent by the fossil fuel lobby they have received $59 in “aid” from the Federal government. For the recent 111th Congress that totaled more than $20 billion to aid the fossil fuel industry.

* The health costs of our petroleum habit start at $64 billion a year and could be as high as $250 billion (related to aromatic disorders like asthma). What fraction of this could be avoided if spent on creating pollution free energy sources?

* Worldwide the ocean’s carbonic acid content is increasing. This is attributed to absorption from the higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Since 1751 it has increased 30%. This ongoing acidification of the oceans pose a threat to the food chains connected with the oceans.


Another interesting webinar is from Dan Arvizu Director of the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) on “Renewable Energy and the Economy.” This was a 2009 address at Stanford but I believe most of the information is still pertinent. Dr Arvizu is still the Lab Director. One of his remarks was that the he sees the slow movement Federal government being expedited by grassroots movements at the municipal and state level. Dr. Arvizu is an excellent speaker.



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