Digging a bit deeper into descriptions outlined in the book, DRAWDOWN, the compendium on HOW TO DRAWDOWN carbon in our atmosphers, we see alternative energy is way less expensive than conventional energy systems – and therefore apt to win out longterm in the energy wars. Our planet can survive and even possibly thrive if we learn enough about how to save it from the ravages of climate crisis now not later!
MICROGRIDS and GEOTHERMAL energy can add winning cards to the game of drawing carbon out of our air and helping move us toward an actually sustainable future.
While the MACROGRID is what we currently live with, “a massive network of …utilities, energy generators, storage,” our future will encompus MICROGRIDs, changing our whole energy story by supplying localized groupings of distributed energy sources including solar, wind, in-stream hydro and biomass with energy storage, stand alone or part of a larger network. With microgrid newables and storage, we can truly go “off the grid” or work toward local power generation and sharing. The book DRAWDOWN lists Microgrids as solution #78.
Low income countries will benefit a great deal potentially as these countries use highly polluted sources of energy like kerosene lamps so electification will bring cleaner air.
Develop microgrids in areas without electricity using wind, in-stream hydro and biomass paired with distributed storage instead of extending the already “dirty” grid or which use off grid oil or diesel generators. For developed nations, the benefit is in greater flexibility of the grid.
GEOTHERMAL energy, listed here as climate change solution #18, is generated deep within the earth from the formation of our planet. This “earth heat” creates underground reservoirs of steamy hot water which can be piped to the surface and drive turbines used to generate electricity. As early as 1904, geothermal energy was used to power light bulbs in Italy, where geothermal energy is still used. While about 10% of landmass can utilize geothermal, new exploration techniques are opening up additional areas.
DRAWDOWN claims GEOTHERMAL is #18 in its list of solutions to climate change, and could generate nearly 5% of global electricity generation, thereby reducing emissions by 16.6 gigatons of carbon dioxide saving $1 trillion dollars in energy costs over 30 years and $2.1 trillion over the life of the system. GEOTHERMAL also supports expansion of various renewables by providing baseload electricity.
“I am optimistic about our future,” says Tom Steyer in the book’s intro. “Paul Hawken and Project DRAWDOWN give us a road map with a moral compass, an extensively researched view of the future we can build together. This book, destined to become a living, breathing plan…returns us to a vision of cooperation with nature and with one another,” says Steyer.