What’s the ultimate solution for replacing fossil fuels with affordable alternatives? A detailed study by the Post-Carbon Institute says the only good answer available now is reduced demand and intensive conservation.
Energy sources are rarely located close to the areas of concentrated demand for energy, so in addition to shifting to a diverse array of renewable power generation methods, nations will also need to find ways of transporting electricity and other forms of energy to the places it is most needed. Heinberg predicts that will lead to hardships for the populations most reliant on energy imports.
Not only has the United States failed to conduct such a study of its own—something Heinberg suggests should be done ASAP, but he worries that the larger question of long-term energy policy planning is also getting scant attention, even as the oil continues to leak from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico.
Richard's reflections and analysis of the larger implications of the Deepwater Horizon disaster are the subject of his most recent "Museletter," which you can read here.