Realistic Renewables

For a future of renewables to be meaningful behavior must change. The future is likely poorer with a decline process so this means more reality tested applications of renewables for a world in decline otherwise there will be expensive stranded assets the world in decline cannot afford. $50K fancy EVs are not it. There is the definite need for more localization of renewables with micro grids but also home owners with less expensive solar and batteries to cover needs when the grid is down plus cover some of their daily usage such as refrigeration or even lite HVAC. This provides resiliance but also allows the paying down of the investment. Thermal insulation and passive thermal are ideal additions to turbo charge renewables abilities. Renewables that have thermal efficiencies combined with conservation strategies are what will make the biggest impact in the future for sustainability and resilience. This equates to a lower planetary footprint which combined with degrowth policies will see the greatest results. Vastly complicated Green New Deals are just for political consumption not reality based.

The problem today is large renewable farms are the most power efficient for the money and get the investments. They feed into a dirty grid of fossil fuels but also bad behavior. So these renewables are just status quo extenders. The reality is renewables are dirty too with lifecycle costs so to be greener requires human behavior intervention. Even if the statistics show a positive renewable penetration situation it is marginal compared to what is needed. There seems to be a ceiling of renewable penetration since grid upgrades and storage are so difficult and expensive. Much more needs to be developed with storage strategies but not much is really promising with cost benefit.

So, this is a muddle at the status quo level. It could be different if behavior changed at all levels but it won’t except on the margin. The status quo is yield dominated and government investment pork orientated. Behavior changing policy is hardly on the radar if it was significant degrowth polcies would be on the table. Nowhere do we see this at meaningful levels. What we see is FAKE Green policy and poor human attitudes of cake and eat it behavior. A $50K Tesla of green righteousness is fake. A power wall and solar roof in a McMansion is fake. If you can go simple but effective with thermal efficiency strategies, use renewables, and practice conservation as an individual. Embrace localism and back off from the car culture. Be a simple and sober green source of change. If enough are like you a noticeable change will bubble up from the grass roots. Only so much can be done becuase of the carbon trap in path dependencies everyone is in but many can do a dramatic first change. Society may chip in someday because many do not have the time nor the money to get greener. It is not cheap and it requires embracing a way of life.


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