Rocky Mountain Institute had a webinar on “The Energy Future Is Now” on December 13:
“Rocky Mountain Institute CEO Jules Kortenhorst, electricity expert Leia Guccione, and Marketing Director Kelly Vaughn discuss the urgency facing today’s energy decisions, what solutions exist to address the climate challenge, and where we need to invest our innovation, capital, and collective effort to drive a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.”
They address the question “Is it [the green transition] happening fast enough? Will we get there in time?”
And, at least, in terms of electricity, John Koltenhorst seems to say yes:
“In some parts of the world, including here in the United States, building a new solar unit or building a new wind plant is actually already cheaper than operating an existing coal plant. So we can start to think about closing down existing polluting capacity and replacing it with new clean capacity.”
This is confirmed by Nathaniel Keohane, senior vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund:
“If you look at renewable energy, like wind and solar, the costs of that energy are plummeting. In some places in the United States, wind and solar are cheaper than existing coal as an means of generating electricity, so cheaper to run than current coal plants.”
While Leia Guccione adds:
“Leadership in the face of adversity…. We have about 12 years to make some of the greatest improvements and changes in global energy use and the time for leadership is now… It must be us. It is our problem to solve… We have most of the tools we need to solve them. It’s just about action and moving faster, not about necessarily going back to the lab.”
Rocky Mountain Institute has some of those tools we need and has published The Carbon-Free City Handbook (https://rmi.org/insight/the-carbon-free-city-handbook/) and The Carbon-Free Region Handbook (https://www.rmi.org/insight/carbon-free-regions-handbook/)
“offer a set of actionable guidelines for cities, state, provincial, and regional governments to move their communities toward climate neutrality.”
The Handbooks cover not only electricity but also buildings and energy, land use, industrial production, mobility and transportation, waste, and finance.
Their materials on net zero energy building as well as net zero and other positive building codes alone are extremely useful.
Nearly zero-energy buildings
Zero net energy Project Guide
Santa Monica City Residential Zero Net Energy Guide for New Construction
Green Building Energy Code Overview
The renewables transition is happening faster than even experts expected and is accelerating even now. The more people realize that reality the more speed it will pick up. Pass the word, new solar and wind are cheaper than operating coal plants now, in many places around the world, including the USA.