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By Peter Droege

The maximum problem of our time is to construct a global in response to the sustainable use of renewable energy. Our titanic dependence on fossil fuels has disillusioned the very climatic method that made human evolution attainable. the worldwide economic climate and its economic climate are in jeopardy, operating sizzling on brazenly reasonable but more and more high priced and quickly depleting oil. A a hundred% renewable international is visible through many as an very unlikely dream in whatever however the very long-term. yet not just do increasingly more tasks and plans dare to make the swap yet many have already accomplished it.

This wealthy assortment provides a chain of pioneering efforts and their champions, and the trails to their successes. starting from projects by means of contributors to visions for corporations, groups and full international locations, it defeats drained financial and technical counter-arguments, displaying how the schemes featured not just can and do paintings yet accomplish that economically and with to be had know-how. The e-book is brought by way of incisive writing by way of Peter Droege, explaining the demanding situations and framing a roadmap in the direction of a a hundred% renewable fact.

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5 per cent of the 250,000 square miles of available land in the US southwest are said to be required to match the country’s total 2006 energy consumption, along with the high-voltage, direct current (DC) power lines required to ship the electricity to consumers, for only $420 billion in subsidies between 2011 and 2050 (Zweibel at al, 2008). Geothermopolis The escalating search for urban-scale clean power sources substituting for conventional sources raises the spectre of geothermal new towns rising – expanding cities and suburbs located near geological heat stores, much like 3474 EARTHSCAN 100% Renewable:Layout 1 21/9/09 12:25 Page 19 THE ESSENTIAL TARGET 19 early coal towns in the UK forming near mines, rather than in association with established urban areas.

While there are still shrinking pockets of more and less sustainable – or attractive – forms of energy independence in remote areas of the world, these have tended to be seen as the impoverished pockets left behind by development and modern civilization. Today, these pockets of relative underdevelopment emerge as frontiers of hope, for leapfrogging over the past stages of what has rapidly become old technology – fossil and nuclear power. 10 Boys and solar module, Caoduo school, Rongbo, Yu: Bringing affordable, high-quality solar lighting to rural China as part of the Renewable Energy Development Project (REDP), China Source: Ashden Awards/Martin Wright pursuing a ‘renewable leapfrog’ in developing countries and their cities would be aided if national frameworks and international agreements were reached to ban the promotion and funding of fossil or nuclear fuel-based systems, prioritizing renewable energy-based urban and regional development programmes.

The Bavarian capital of Munich houses Germany’s largest municipal enterprise, the Stadtwerke München. This diverse public works and utility operation has consistently invested in innovations as diverse as its venerable district heating networks, geothermal resources, distant offshore wind parks and partnerships in small local bioenergy or waterpower investment funds, or photovoltaic fields. Stadtwerke München disprove the myth that municipal utilities are too costly: in early 2009 municipal energy services in Munich were the second most affordable of the ten largest cities in Germany (SVM, 2009).

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