One Cent Energy

There is an upside to our future that is often overlooked by the eminent destruction of runaway greenhouse gas emissions caused by our addition to oil and coal? What if we painted a picture of a prosperous world with omnipresent substantially cheaper energy instead? Rather than accepting a future of chaos and destruction, why not picture a prosperous world that is attainable with cheap energy? It is more than reasonable to assume that the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) from clean energy sources will be $0.01/kWh in the near future, eliminating the need for dirty coal fired plants (that produce energy for $0.04/kWh at best). Cheap energy will lead to products being one-fifth their current cost and reduce transportation to at least one-third its current cost.

Philosophically, we believe in prosperity rather than austerity.   Belt tightening won’t save the world.   A short VIDEO describes our perspective. The Anthropocene Institute is supporting all innovations capable of enabling One Cent Clean Energy ($0.01 / kWh LCOE unsubsidized).  These include:

Smart Grid

Enhancing renewable integration with the require with solar micro-inverter and energy software platform.
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Storage

Innovations in utility and commercial scale energy storage will make renewables dispatchable by overcoming their intermittency and variability.

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Wind

Airborne wind turbine can potentially bring down the cost of wind power by ten times.makani-logo-web

Hydropower

Micro-hydropower improves access to sites and reduces ecological damages from conventional hydro.
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We need to plan for success if humanity is to thrive in the Anthropocene. While it is possible that renewables such as wind and solar and storage are coming along fast enough to have a chance at saving the US economy and the planet, having a chance of success isn’t good enough. In fact, an all-of-the-above approach is needed. Success means transitioning to a low carbon energy system while stimulating the economy. Success means increasing production efficiency while protecting the middle class lifestyle. Success means enabling global development while promoting the sustainable use of resources. world’s people to at least a lower-middle class lifestyle.  And while protecting the world’s biodiversity from the ongoing Anthropocene extinction. That’s a tall order, but we can do big things quickly.

The first thing that’s required is the opposition to and creative-destruction of activities that are part of the problem. The next thing that’s required is leadership to establish fixed goals, fixed timelines, fixed budgets for the things we need to do- and the courage to cancel those too if they don’t make the expected progress.

Government is not managed in such a way to make such choices easy.  We haven’t seen good management from DC like we need to combat climate collapse since the challenge of WWII.