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Towards Energy Democracy: A Vision Statement

Unlimited growth and consumerist culture is incompatible with a finite world. We call for an urgent paradigm shift, from the currently dominant model of consumption-led development, to creating frameworks of human and ecological well being. This transition should be defined by the principles of sustainability, equity, and justice. (Adopted at the Bijli Vikalp Sangam, Bodh Gaya)

Vikalp Sangam
Read more…

Greenpeace Energy (R)evolution Study: Updated Version

gp
This is the year when the fight against climate change could take a dramatic turn. The conference in Paris in December presents political and business leaders with the opportunity to take the critical decisions needed if we are to keep average temperature rises to no more than 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius. According to the IPCC, humankind cannot emit more than 1,000 giga-tonnes of CO2 from now, if we are to stay within this limit. At the current and projected rate of consumption, this entire carbon budget will be used by 2040.

Dynamic change is happening in energy supply, but the change needs to happen faster. this Energy [R]evolution scenario proposes a pathway to a 100% sustainable energy supply, ending CO2 emissions and phasing out nuclear energy, and making redundant new oil exploration in the arctic and deep sea waters such as off the coast of Brazil. It also demonstrates that this transformation increases employment in the energy sector.

What is required is for the political will to be there.

Greenpeace has been publishing its Energy [R]evolution scenarios since 2005, more recently in collaboration with the scientific community, in particular the German Aerospace Centre (DLr). While our predictions on the potential and market growth of renewable energy may once have seemed fanciful or unrealistic, they have proved to be accurate. the US-based Meister Consultants Group concluded earlier this year that “the world’s biggest energy agencies, financial institutions and fossil fuel companies for the most part seriously under-estimated just how fast the clean power sector could and would grow”. It wasn’t the IEA, Goldman Sachs or the US Department of Energy who got it right. It was Greenpeace’s market scenario which was the most accurate.

Article: Greenpeace updates Energy (R)evolution study 

Energy Revolution 2018 Full Report

Energy Revolution 2018 Executive Summary

Energy Revolution 2018 Key Messages

 

Odanthurai – Tamil Nadu’s energy self sufficient village

Odanthurai powers

Times of India

COIMBATORE: Just a fortnight after the civic body elections, a village panchayat in Coimbatore has decided to offer free electricity to its residents within the next five years.

Having already won international acclaim through its unique welfare schemes and energy self-sufficiency drives, Odanthurai near Mettupalayam has begun efforts to develop a corpus of Rs 5 crore to install wind and solar energy farms.

This project will enable free supply of electricity to over 8,000 residents. This effort is quite remarkable at a time when the rest of Tamil Nadu suffers power deficiency. Read article

Read about Odanthurai’s many achievements
Read researcher B. Priyadharshini’s report of a visit to Odanthurai

Odanthurai – Tamil Nadu's energy self sufficient village

Odanthurai powers

Times of India

COIMBATORE: Just a fortnight after the civic body elections, a village panchayat in Coimbatore has decided to offer free electricity to its residents within the next five years.

Having already won international acclaim through its unique welfare schemes and energy self-sufficiency drives, Odanthurai near Mettupalayam has begun efforts to develop a corpus of Rs 5 crore to install wind and solar energy farms.

This project will enable free supply of electricity to over 8,000 residents. This effort is quite remarkable at a time when the rest of Tamil Nadu suffers power deficiency. Read article

Read about Odanthurai’s many achievements
Read researcher B. Priyadharshini’s report of a visit to Odanthurai

News update

G7 leaders bid ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to carbon fuels
Reuters
Leaders of the world’s major industrial democracies resolved on Monday to wean their energy-hungry economies off carbon fuels, marking a major step in the battle against global warming that raises the chances of a U.N. climate deal later this year. The Group of Seven’s energy pledge capped a successful summit for host Angela Merkel, who revived her credentials as a “climate chancellor” and strengthened Germany’s friendship with the United States at the meeting in a Bavarian resort. (Also read: Merkel convinces Canada and Japan on CO2)

India’s energy consumption increase at all-time high: BP
Livemint.com
India’s energy consumption increased by 7.1% in 2014, reaching an all-time high and accounting for 34.7% of the global consumption increment in 2014, said British oil and gas giant BP Plc. in its review of world energy consumption in 2014. The note by BP, called as the BP Statistical Review 2014, said India’s domestic energy consumption reached an all-time high in 2014 with the year seeing the fastest growth for the last five years.

BP boss widens transatlantic rift in energy industry over climate change
The Guardian UK
Bob Dudley,CEO of British Petroleum, said the UN’s global warming summit in December needed to broker agreements that encourage energy efficiency, renewable power such as wind and the use of gas. His comments came amid signs of a transatlantic rift in the oil and gas industry over how to tackle global warming. Last week, BP and a group of European oil companies including Shell and Total of France wrote a letter to the Financial Times calling for “widespread and effective” carbon pricing to be part of a Paris deal. It was dismissed by John Watson, chief executive of US-based Chevron, who said he believed that putting a price on carbon emissions was unworkable.

No, BP, the U.S. did NOT surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production
Kurt Cobb
Even the paper of record for the oil industry, Oil & Gas Journal, got it wrong. With the release of the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy, media outlets appeared to be taking dictation rather than asking questions about which countries produced the most oil in 2014. If they had asked questions, they would have ended up with a ho-hum headline announcing that last year Russia at 10.1 million barrels per day (mbpd) and Saudi Arabia at 9.7 mbpd were once again the number one and number two producers of crude oil including lease condensate (which is the definition of oil). The United States at 8.7 mbpd remained in third place.

Why EIA, IEA, and BP Oil Forecasts are Too High
Gail Tverberg
It is easy to get the idea that we have a great deal of oil resources in the ground. Given these large amounts of theoretically available oil, it is not surprising that forecasters use the approach they do. There appears to be no need to cut back forecasts to reflect inadequate future oil supply, as long as we can really extract oil that seems to be available.

We Could Power Entire World on Renewables by 2025, Says Global Apollo Program
Ecowatch.com
The authors of an initiative called the Global Apollo Program say that, given the required high level of investment, it should be possible within 10 years to meet electricity demand with reliable wind and/or solar power that is cheaper—in every country—than power based on coal. They say the scale of ambition needed to produce “baseload” power from renewable energy that is generated consistently to meet minimum demand matches that which sent the first humans to the Moon in 1969—at a cost, in today’s prices, of about $230 billion.

The Difficulties Of Powering The Modern World With Renewables
Roger Andrews, Energy Matters
Even if the world succeeds in developing wind and solar to the point where they supply 100% of its electricity the job is still less than half-done because electricity supplies the world with only about 40% of its energy. The remaining ~60% comes from the oil, gas and coal consumed in transportation, heating etc. How to decarbonize that? Again no solution is presently in sight.

Renewable Energy Will Not Support Economic Growth
Richard Heinberg
The world needs to end its dependence on fossil fuels as quickly as possible. That’s the only sane response to climate change, and to the economic dilemma of declining oil, coal, and gas resource quality and increasing extraction costs. The nuclear industry is on life support in most countries, so the future appears to lie mostly with solar and wind power. But can we transition to these renewable energy sources and continue using energy the way we do today? And can we maintain our growth-based consumer economy? The answer to both questions is, probably not.

News update

Will Tesla’s home battery really transform our energy infrastructure?
The Guardian UK
“The goal is complete transformation of the entire energy infrastructure of the world,” Tesla founder Elon Musk told reporters as he launched the electric car company’s new home power storage battery. “This is actually within the power of humanity to do. It is not impossible.” Electricity storage is the “missing link” in weaning the economy off fossil fuels, said the entrepreneur with characteristic understatement.

Audi has successfully made diesel fuel from carbon dioxide and water
Science Alert
German car manufacturer Audi has reportedly invented a carbon-neutral diesel fuel, made solely from water, carbon dioxide and renewable energy sources. Audi has now set up a pilot plant in Dresden, Germany, operated by clean tech company Sunfire, which will pump out 160 litres of the synthetic diesel every day in the coming months.

India: Solar Will Be the Most Competitive Energy Choice
Tobias Engelmeier
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has just published its new “Energy Technology Perspectives” outlining the global trends until 2050 (refer). Here are some of the key findings and the implications they might have for India. (Also read: A New Tariff Policy to Accelerate India’s Renewables Growth)

Overview of Our Energy Modeling Problem
Gail Tverberg
We live in a world with limits, yet our economy needs growth. How can we expect this scenario to play out? My view is that this problem will play out as a fairly near-term financial problem, with low oil prices leading to a fall in oil production. But not everyone comes to this conclusion. What were the views of early researchers? How do my views differ?

As Planet Warms, One in Six Species Face Total Extinction: Study
Common Dreams
One in six of all animal and plant species on Earth could become extinct from impacts related to climate change if human society does not dramatically reduce its emission of greenhouse gases, according to new research published in the journal Science. Mark Urban, the lead author of the new study, says its most worrying findings are not set in stone but should come as a warning to humanity and world leaders that action on climate must come soon if the planet is to maintain its existing biodiversity and ability to support life.

Vatican convenes major climate-change meeting
Nature
On 28 April, scientists, religious figures and policymakers will gather at the Vatican to discuss the science of global warming and the danger posed to the world’s poorest people. The meeting comes as Francis prepares an encyclical letter to bishops on climate change for release this summer, ahead of United Nations climate negotiations in December. The Pope’s strong feelings on the matter are apparent: in January he said that people were “mostly” responsible for recent warming and that they have “slapped nature in the face”.

War and Peace and the Steady-State Economy
Herman Daly
Peace is necessary for real progress, including progress toward a steady state economy. While peace should be our priority, might it nevertheless be the case that working toward a steady state economy would further the goal of peace? Might growth be a major cause of war, and the steady state a necessity for eliminating that cause? I think this is so.

Video: Climate Change – Delivering on 2°C

 Kevin Anderson, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Exeter University 

Read Kevin Anderson’s open letter to the UK Prime Minister on Climate Change
The letter summarises why the IPCC’s carbon budgets for a “likely” chance of not exceeding the international community’s 2°C commitment, requires the EU to reduce the emissions from its energy system by 80% by 2030, with complete decarbonisation just a few years later.

Report: Weaving the Community Resilience and New Economy Movement

From the Post Carbon Institute
(Editor’s Note: The Post Carbon Institute has been at the forefront of spreading awareness about Peak Oil and exploring solutions and alternatives. Their new report is an instructive look at emerging grassroots initiatives that are building alternatives to a centralised, energy-intensive, global economy.)

A movement is emerging in many places, under many guises: New Economy (or Economies), Regenerative Economy, Solidarity Economy, Next Economy, Caring Economy, Sharing Economy, Thriving Resilience, Community Resilience, Community Economics, Oppositional Economy, High Road Economy, and other names. It’s a movement to replace the default economy of excess, control, and exploitation with a new economy based on respecting biophysical constraints, preferring decentralization, and supporting mutuality. This movement is a sign of the growing recognition that what often are seen as separate movements—environment, social justice, labor, democracy, indigenous rights—are all deeply interconnected, particularly in the way that the current economic system is a root cause of much that they seek to change.

We interviewed eighteen leaders (read the interviews) and held group conversations with dozens more leaders by phone and via an in-person workshop at the New Economy Coalition’s CommonBound conference in June 2014. Our interviews had an “appreciative” focus (an approach taken from the Appreciate Inquiry model of analysis); they gave participants the opportunity to step back and reflect on what is and has been “most alive” in their work, to dream about what “wild success” might look like five years from now, and to imagine the next steps we might collectively take to achieve that success. Many of them reported that this was an experience they valued—one that was not generally afforded during the day-to-day flow of their work.

 What emerged was a portrait of a rich and vibrant movement, full of promise and hope for a better future—and still very much in formation—with many opportunities for creative engagement, collaborative movement-building, visioning, and developing strategy.

Download a PDF version of the report.

News update

Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we’re nearing collapse
From The Guardian
The 1972 book Limits to Growth, which predicted our civilisation would probably collapse some time this century, has been criticised as doomsday fantasy since it was published. Research from the University of Melbourne has found the book’s forecasts are accurate, 40 years on. If we continue to track in line with the book’s scenario, expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon.

India blackouts casts shadow over Modi’s economic recovery
From Moneycontrol.com
More than half of India’s thermal power stations have less than a week’s supply of fuel – the lowest levels since mid-2012 when hundreds of millions of people were cut off in one of the world’s worst blackouts. Coal stocks at thermal stations have hit critical levels as payment disputes escalate, unleashing power cuts that could choke off an economic recovery before it takes hold and hurt Modi’s prospects at forthcoming state elections.

When Will The Peak Oil Crisis Begin?
By Tom Whipple, Post Carbon Institute
For those following the world oil production situation, it has been clear for some time that the only factor keeping global crude output from moving lower is the continuing increase in U.S. shale oil production, mostly from Texas and North Dakota. Needless to say, once the fabled “peak” comes oil and gasoline prices are certain to move higher, triggering a series of economic events – most of which will not be good for the global economy.

Why Peak Oil Refuses to Die
By Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute
Perhaps you’ve seen one of the recent barrage of articles claiming that fears of an imminent peak and decline in world oil production have either been dispelled (because we actually have plenty of oil) or are misplaced (because climate change is the only environmental problem we should be concerned with). I’m not buying either argument.

EU energy-saving rules cut power of vacuum cleaners
From The Telegraph, UK
Britain’s domestic vacuum cleaners will become less powerful under European Union rules designed to cut energy use that come into force next year. New machines will be banned from having motors that exceed 1,600W from September 2014, and they will be limited to 900W from 2017.

Geothermal Power Approaches 12,000 Megawatts Worldwide
J. Matthew Roney , www.earth-policy.org
In 2013, world geothermal electricity-generating capacity grew 3 percent to top 11,700 megawatts across 24 countries. Although some other renewable energy technologies are seeing much faster growth—wind power has expanded 21 percent per year since 2008, for example, while solar power has grown at a blistering 53 percent annual rate—this was geothermal’s best year since the 2007-08 financial crisis.

At War With Reality: The Absolute Insanity of Humanity’s Rulers.
By Michael Byron, OpEd News
Imagine that somewhere out in the vastness of the Cosmos, there exists a species that knows, or reasonably should know, that its economy is organized in such a manner as to inevitably trigger its own total extinction, likely within the lifetimes of all but the oldest members of that species. Suppose that this species’ collective reaction was to simply ignore this unpleasant reality and continue with business as usual!

Alternative Energy Fetishes and Temples to Technology
From Collapse of Industrial Civilization blog
Surely if we had some sort of techno-fix to halt the cascade of biospheric tipping points we have breached, we would have deployed them by now. Nevertheless, the carrot of a civilization-saving technological breakthrough is forever dangled before our eyes. By all accounts, we appear hellbent on doing everything humanly possible to maintain and perpetuate industrial civilization by deploying “earth-friendly” renewable energy technologies which, in the end, turn out to be nothing more than “reconstituted fossil fuels”.

Peak Everything: 1970
By Peter Goodchild, Survive Peak Oil
Perhaps the most common response to the peak-oil problem is: “The oil isn’t going to disappear overnight. We have a century to prepare.” Unfortunately, the fact that the decline in oil is a curve, not a vertical line, makes it difficult to comprehend. What matters is that the serious damage will have been done long before we get to those tiny remaining drops. That damage started around 1970, and it was not confined to oil.

Proposal: An Alternative Energy Strategy for India

ENERGY STRATEGY FOR INDIA BY 2035

Presenting a new vision for a totally clean and green, fossil fuel-free energy strategy for our COUNTRY
(by Concerned Members of NGOs)

There is a pressing need to think about a fossil fuel-less future, because according to many experts, fossil fuels have already peaked, and may be exhausted by 2030 or too costly. Multiple scientific studies have also proven that fossil fuels are the biggest cause of environmental pollution and global warming. This proposal presents a strategy for our country, which is at present completely dependent on fossil fuels. To avert the forthcoming energy crisis and to become totally fossil fuel-free and become clean and green by 2035, this plan would help.

While most countries including ours, are already adopting Alternative energy sources, we propose that India goes a step forward and make ourselves free from fossil fuels, and thus make ourselves the cleanest possible country on the planet in terms of emissions and as this also brings us prosperity. We are burning nearly about 83 million Dollar worth of crude every day !

To reach the goal, some essential steps we must take are:

  1. With clean and able leader like Shree Narendra Modi ji at the helm, it should not be a difficult proposition to curtail, if not totally eliminate, corruption.
  2. A clean country is also a prerequisite and essential for becoming a totally green country. Cleanliness is said to be next to Godliness. Basically we Indians speak about it, but are careless otherwise.
  3. To plan for a strategy to reduce the population level, although it may not be possible to bring it to a desired level, even by 2050.

(One of the proposals is to advice women to have just one child in their life time, irrespective of their caste, creed or number of times she may get married. This would require change in some social norms as well, but those should not be too difficult if this option is accepted by society). This step is very essential for sustainability as well and will also bring about empowerment of women. Reduced population would also mean increase in prosperity.

Read the full text of the proposal (Download PDF)

(Editor’s Note: This is the full text of a submission to the new Govt. at the Centre, drafted by POI member Dr Ashok Kundapur. Dr Ashok is an inventor and well-known expert in alternative energy technologies. For more information on his work, visit: http://www.kapalishakti.com and http://www.solcooker.net)

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