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Published on October 19th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

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Change Energy Use Forever — “Reinvent Fire” (VIDEO)

October 19th, 2011 by  


This is a pretty sweet new video from the Rocky Mountain Institute on our transition to a clean energy economy (already taking place, but how much more we can and need to do):

And from Climate Progress, where I ran across is today, here are some of the facts from the Rocky Mountain Institute’s plan:

Much as cold warriors cast about for a new enemy after the Soviet Union collapsed, many feel that coal is now the irreplaceable fossil fuel. Electricity is essential to modern life, they say, too expensive to store, and far too asset-intensive to change even over a generation.  We suspect they suffer from a dearth of practical imagination, as illustrated by this list of what approximate equivalent percentage of U.S. coal-fired electricity could be saved by:

  • Using electricity only as efficiently (per GDP) as the top ten states averaged four years ago: ~60 percent (ert.rmi.org/cgu/index.htm);
  • Systematically using electricity with cost-effective efficiency: 100–150 percent, at a lower cost than just buying the coal;

We mean to speed the transformation from pervasive waste to elegant frugality, from causing scarcity by inattention to creating abundance by design, from liquidating energy capital to living better on energy income.

  • Adding windpower in available windy sites: over 400 percent, at or below wholesale power prices;
  • Building just the windpower now stuck in the interconnection queue: 50 percent;
  • Properly exploiting profitable industrial cogeneration: 40 percent (plus more in buildings); and
  • Running coal plants less and existing but partly idle combined-cycle gas plants more: 35 percent immediately, at an extra cost much less than displacing coal with new nuclear plants. In practice, a combination from this far from exhaustive menu can create a practical transition beyond coal, with cleaner air, right-side-up landscapes, more jobs, greater energy security, and lower electric bills.

  
 
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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.



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