Monday, January 21, 2013

the answer, my friend

As usual there's good news and bad news, but this time I think there's more good than bad.

There were 13 gigawatts of new wind-powered electrical generating capacity installed in the US in 2012, plus one and a half gigawatts of solar power. Altogether, nearly half of the country's new generating power brought on-line last year is from renewable sources.

The bad news is that 1.4 gigawatts of energy from coal-fired generators also came on line last year. Coal is the main culprit in atmospheric mercury poisoning. At this stage of the game there's no reason to keep permitting such installations.

Found this info at Juan Cole's Informed Comment blog.

Three things are very clear as the future begins to come into focus: 1) We need to replace oil with electricity, to the greatest feasible extent; 2) We'll need to dramatically increase our generating capacity; and 3) Electrical generation of the future needs to be 100% from renewable sources.

What's needed is clear, and there's no time to lose. So let's get with it.

Painting: The West Wind and nymph; detail from Sandro Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, 1486.

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