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We absolutely can reduce the ecological footprint of humanity all the way down to zero!
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Urban farming utopia in India produces more energy than it uses

Urban farming utopia in India produces more energy than it uses | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Vincent Callebaut unveiled designs for a self-sustaining urban utopia in India that not only grows organic food, but also produces more energy than it consumes.


Designed in collaboration with agroecologist Amlankusum, Hyperions was created to achieve two major objectives: energy decentralization and food deindustrialization. The result combines urban agriculture, bio-based materials, and dense mixed-use planning into a self-sufficient development. The project comprises six 36-story connected towers built from cross-laminated timber sourced locally and sustainably from a Delhi forest. Reinforced with steel, the timber towers sit atop a steel and concrete substructure engineered for earthquake resistance and to take advantage of the earth’s thermal inertia for stable natural heating and cooling. The project is designed to achieve a net-zero environmental footprint with a recycling system that takes care of gray water, black water, and food waste on site. Energy for the buildings is generated via wind turbines and photovoltaic systems.

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What Will It Take For America To Go 100 Percent Renewable?

What Will It Take For America To Go 100 Percent Renewable? | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Is 2016 the year that switching to 100 percent renewable energy becomes mainstream?

 

It took just three years for three U.S. cities to make the transition to 100 percent clean energy — and experts in the field of renewable energy, as well as several prominent environmental groups, expect that pace only to quicken in the coming years.


In total, 12 U.S. cities — including San Francisco, CA, Georgetown, TX, and Ithaca, NY — have made commitments to transition to 100 percent clean energy, though many have yet to solidify those commitments as law.


But even if cities pledge to make the transition, there are still a number of barriers to overcome before 100 percent renewable energy can become a widespread reality.  While the price of renewables has been falling in recent years — with solar dropping 70 percent since 2009 and wind becoming cost-competitive with natural gas — there are still technological barriers to overcome, especially in the area of energy storage.


The numbers support the economic argument for transforming a city’s energy infrastructure — over the last year, the solar industry added jobs twelve times faster than the rest of the economy. Many experts and elected officials also view the Paris climate agreement reached last December as sending a clear signal to global markets that the world will be moving towards renewable energy.

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How The US, UK, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, & Italy Can Each Go 100% Renewable

How The US, UK, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, & Italy Can Each Go 100% Renewable | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

As you are probably well aware, the good folks at The Solutions Project have published plans for how each of the 50 states in the US could switch to 100% renewable energy.  Importantly, they didn’t just paint a broad stroke — they actually looked at electricity needs by region in 15-minute segments for the entire year and matched those with the most logical renewable energy resources in the region.


What you might not know is that The Solutions Project crew (led by Mark Z Jacobson on the research end) has been doing the same thing for countries across the world.

 
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Top Renewable Energy Author “Bullish” on the Future

Top Renewable Energy Author “Bullish” on the Future | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
"There are many possible events that could accelerate the demise of fossil fuels—but none is required to phase them out in favor of renewables, a process that will be driven primarily by pure market economics—and far faster than most people understand." - Craig Shields, 2015

 

Though Craig Shields was pleased that his first two books became #1 best-sellers in their respective categories on Amazon.com, looking back, he has some reservations about their content.


With his current release, however, all that has changed.  “Bullish on Renewable Energy - Fourteen Reasons Why Clean Energy Investors Can’t Lose” takes a radically different tack.   [...] the book points to a remarkable truth: according to Shields, “The battle has been won. The forces of market economics are in the process of changing so rapidly that planet Earth is headed for a clean energy future far faster than anyone could have predicted.”


80% of the world’s energy is derived from burning hydrocarbons—processes that are clearly unsustainable—but I contend that we’re living in a time where fossil fuels will be replaced with clean energy in a very short period of time. But the final nail in the coffin of fossil fuels will prove to be simple economics, rather than changing public sensibilities.  ... Under the right conditions (that are becoming more prevalent every day), we can generate clean energy far less expensively than we can generate electricity with coal-fired power plants. 

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

The inevitable demise of the fossil fuel industry can't happen soon enough.  How long will it take?  Since declining renewable energy prices are becoming increasingly more competitive than fossil fuels, the transition to 100% renewable energy is likely to happen as fast as the renewable energy sector can ramp up.   If we merely continue the growth rates we've seen over the last several years, we could be there in as little as 15 years.

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Scotland Aiming for 100% Clean Energy by 2025 - EcoLocalizer

Scotland Aiming for 100% Clean Energy by 2025 - EcoLocalizer | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

While the U.S. may aim for a 15% Renewable Energy Standard by 2021, and Northern Ireland has just confirmed a much stronger target of 40% renewable energy by 2020, Scotland is aiming a bit higher. It announced today that it plans to get “at least” 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. Wow.

 

Scotland is planning to export a lot of its clean energy to its neighbor to the south, England, which has lagged behind the rest of Europe on clean energy.

 
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RMI Blows The Lid Off The “Baseload Power” Myth (Video)

RMI Blows The Lid Off The “Baseload Power” Myth (Video) | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Lovins very effectively debunks the myth that a reliable electricity supply from renewable resources will need either giant “baseload” power stations or yet untested cheap mass electrical storage. 


In plain language and with statistical proof from an hourly dispatch simulator (see graph above), Lovins makes the point that baseload energy does not have to start with fossil or nuclear fuels. In fact, that method appears to be one of the costliest ways to ensure the grid flexibility necessary to counter variable supply and demand. A “renewables first” strategy can both even the power load and keep spilled power to only about 5%.


Give the Lovins model a look. If you already get the point, the presentation of stats in these graphics is really first-rate and may help you educate others less knowledgeable than yourself—or more cynical.


Via D'un Renard
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Tech Companies Lead in Move to Renewable Energy - CleanTechies

Tech Companies Lead in Move to Renewable Energy - CleanTechies | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

If the Internet was a country, its electricity use would rank sixth highest in the world. That huge power demand, and the potential to drive a renewable energy solution to its sourcing is the basis for Greenpeace’s report on tech companies that are moving toward one hundred percent renewable energy to power the Internet.

 

Five companies—Apple, Facebook, and Google, along with B2B companies Rackspace and Salesforce—have committed to a goal of powering their operations with one hundred percent renewable energy.

 Microsoft was noted for its carbon neutrality effort, for which it increased its renewables by 70 percent from 2011 to 2012. And SAP’s recent announcement that it would power all its data centers and facilities worldwide with one hundred percent sustainable electricity by the end of this year.
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

It's great that the tech companies are leading the way, but everyone should be making a similar commitment to reach the 100% renewable energy goal.

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The Solutions Project - YouTube

"If properly harnessed, there's enough sunlight that falls on the earth in just one hour to meet the world's energy demands for a whole year." Get educated, get involved, and join the conversation:
http://thesolutionsproject.org/.

 

The Solutions Project is an amazing new initiative led by Hollywood celebrities, brilliant civil engineers, the popular will of some of the smartest men the world who have come together to leverage their brains, to create a plan to take us 100% renewable here in America.Literally, 50 plans for 50 states by 2050 using technology that already exists today. The proposal is straightforward. Eliminate combustion as a source of energy. We need to realize that this is already possible-- now, today with existing technology. We change minds, we change paradigms.

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Our Renewable Future By Richard Heinberg & David Fridley

Our Renewable Future By Richard Heinberg & David Fridley | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
The next few decades will see a profound and all-encompassing energy transformation throughout the world. Whereas society now derives the great majority of its energy from fossil fuels, by the end of the century we will depend primarily on renewable sources like solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal power.

Fossil fuels are on their way out one way or another, and nuclear energy is a dead end. That leaves renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and biomass, to shoulder the burden of powering future society. While it is probably an oversimplification to say that people in the not-too-distant-future will inhabit a 100 percent renewably powered world, it is worth exploring what a complete, or nearly complete, shift in our energy systems would actually mean. Because energy is implicit not only in everything we do but also in the built environment around us (which requires energy for its construction, maintenance, and disposal/decommissioning), it is in effect the wellspring of our existence.

Via Share The World's Resources
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How world can go 100% renewables by 2050 – and save money

How world can go 100% renewables by 2050 – and save money | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Stanford study says that 139 countries could power their economies with 100% renewable energy - wind, water and sunlight - by 2050, create millions of jobs and save trillions.

 

The Stanford study focuses on what is has dubbed “WWS” – wind, water and sunlight. And it includes not just electricity but transportation, heating and cooling, industry, and agriculture, forestry and fishing.

 

They have even broken now the equipment and installations needed into each country. It appears eye watering, but Stanford says the land use requirements are minimal – just 0.29 per cent of the land area, mostly for solar PV, not including reclaimed fossil fuel plants.

 

Stanford says the major benefits of a conversion to WWS are the near-elimination of air pollution morbidity and mortality and global warming, net job creation, energy-price stability, reduced international conflict over energy because each country will be energy independent.

 
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Basically, it would be stupid NOT to switch to 100% renewables ASAP!

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Hawaii is On Course to Go 100% Renewable by 2040 - SolarEnergy.net

Hawaii is On Course to Go 100% Renewable by 2040 - SolarEnergy.net | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
The sun-drenched state is about to strengthen its energy legislation to require 100 percent renewable energy by 2040

 

“Even our utility is saying we can hit 65 percent by 2030, so 100 percent is definitely doable,” Sen. Mike Gabbard (D), sponsor of the Senate bill.


As recently six years ago, more than 90 percent of Hawaii’s yearly electricity generation came from coal and oil. With renewable technologies rapidly advancing, Hawaii’s abundant solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal sources are moving in quickly as replacements for costly fossil fuels.


“We shouldn’t forget that Hawaii has some of the world’s steadiest wind resources, sun that shines almost every day, waves that pound our shores, and a volcano in our back yard,” he said. “So if anywhere can solve these challenges, Hawaii can.”

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Expert energy council to advise policy-makers on 100% renewables

Expert energy council to advise policy-makers on 100% renewables | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Group of 12 experts launch International Energy Advisory Council to advise governments on how best to ditch fossil fuels and switch to 100% renewables.

 

“The world no longer needs or wants centralised energy, fossil fuel or nuclear power plants, and we believe that 100% renewable energy systems are achievable based on a combination of energy efficiency measures and local decentralized renewable-energy systems providing the remaining energy requirements,” said Chairman of the IEAC team, the UK’s Allan Jones, in a statement on Monday.



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Political will is only barrier to 100% renewables

Political will is only barrier to 100% renewables | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
A report published ahead of next week’s UN Climate Summit illustrates that poor and prosperous nations, tiny islands and great cities, can achieve all their energy needs from renewables.

 

LONDON, 20 September, 2014 − A new handbook shows how forward-looking communities around the world are already moving away from reliance on fossil fuels and generating their own power with 100% renewables − while also becoming more prosperous and creating jobs.

 

The report, How to Achieve 100% Renewable Energy, is being released today, ahead of the UN Climate Summit in New York next Tuesday (September 23), when the UN Secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon, will call on world leaders to make new commitments to cut fossil fuel use.

 The World Future Council, based in Hamburg, Germany, has issued the report to show that it is only lack of political will that is preventing the world switching away from fossil fuels. It believes that the leaders at the UN summit need to set ambitious targets and timetables to achieve the switch to renewables. 

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Stanford study shows how to power California with wind, water and sun

Stanford study shows how to power California with wind, water and sun | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
New research outlines the path to a possible future for California in which renewable energy creates a healthier environment, generates jobs and stabilizes energy prices.

 

Jacobson's study outlines a plan to fulfill all of the Golden State’s transportation, electric power, industry, and heating and cooling energy needs with renewable energy by 2050.


The study concludes that, while a wind, water and sunlight conversion may result in initial capital cost increases, such as the cost of building renewable energy power plants, these costs would be more than made up for over time by the elimination of fuel costs. The overall switch would reduce California’s end-use power demand by about 44 percent and stabilize energy prices, since fuel costs would be zero, according to the study.

 

The plan is analogous to one that Jacobson and other researchers developed for New York state.  The study’s authors are developing similar plans for all U.S. states.


Via Wiser Capital
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

All states, cities, and nations need to make similar plans for how to transition to 100% renewable energy as soon as possible.

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Wiser Capital's curator insight, July 30, 2014 4:26 PM

Study predicts lower energy costs, huge savings from avoided health impacts, and more jobs for California. Sounds like the right path to us. 

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Is There Enough Solar Power for the Entire World? - CleanTechies

Is There Enough Solar Power for the Entire World? - CleanTechies | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

It’s been a while since I wrote a post reminding us all exactly how little area is required, in relative terms, to provide enough solar power for the entire world.  Numbers are cool, but graphics are better.  [Here] is a map that shows the swath that we’d need to take out of Northern Africa in order to get the job done.

 

We all need to keep the truth in mind as we contemplate the appropriate energy policy for Earth in the 21st Century, i.e., our planet receives 6000 times more energy from the sun every day than all seven billion of us can consume here.  We have it within our grasp to transform ourselves into a civilization that pulls itself back from the brink of extinction by migrating to clean energy.  Let’s do it.

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