Monday, April 25, 2016
Renewable Energy Unsustainable
Energy demand is much more than electricity. Electricity is only 18% of energy demand worldwide. 82% of energy demand is for manufacturing, transportation, housing and food production--using fossil fuels.
Solar and wind energy currently provide 3% of total world energy demand. Switching to electric vehicles would double electrical demand, requiring burning more fossil fuels and mining of rare earth minerals for batteries, often in regions that are militantly resistant to having their homelands ravaged.
Electrical storage and grid infrastructure for solar and wind energy creates increased energy demand to mine minerals, as well as to manufacture and transport materials for this new infrastructure. Mining and manufacture of solar and wind infrastructure generates toxic waste, as well as polluted air and water.
Solar and wind energy systems have to be replaced every 30 years. It takes a ton of coal to make a dozen solar panels. Renewable energy without massive cuts in energy demand is thus unsustainable. With two million people born every week, consumerism and militarism are wasteful energy habits we can no longer afford.