I bought a recent scientific paper on Sunday for just over 40 British pounds to learn what a low cost solution to global warming, air pollution and instability of the world energy system could look like. Very exciting! Cost: $62 trillion. Payback period: 6 years. Normally I would think this is crazy, but the lead author is one of Stanford University’s most renowned professors. I need to understand the paper and the background better, then I will tell you about it in detail.
Just before I discovered and bought it, I posted a short article on LinkedIn called “The energy transition in three simple steps.” You can find it here: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6949438193280679936/.
I know that these three simple steps are only simple to write, and not simple to implement for nearly 200 countries around the world.
But after all, the problem for most people, companies and politicians is not that they don’t know what saving the entire world looks like, but how to take small steps in the right direction. Simple things like: Thermostat on the radiator. Saves an average of 10% of heating energy, according to experts, because you don’t overheat and the temperature is lowered a bit when you’re away. ROI: a few months.
My three steps are as follows:
- Produce as much renewable energy as possible (e.g., with PV on the roof).
- Postpone consumption to the time when solar energy is available (e.g. with predictive control, smart-whatever)
- Store the excess energy and use it when you have no production (e.g. with a battery).
Of course, there is still point 4: saving. This can be done either by avoiding consumption or by reducing specific consumption (a battery car is much more efficient overall than a V8 SUV).
Regarding point 1: Electricity from photovoltaics is the cheapest source of electricity worldwide. It almost doesn’t matter what country you are in. I make my own electricity on the roof for 5.5 cents per kWh, and there is no “magic” involved at all. The feed-in tariff is 10 cents. I will reach the ROI after about 8 years.
To point 2: That is a question of habits, but above all of software. Everything can be solved well. No idea why this is not state of the art yet.
To point 3: Batteries are the solution to many problems. Either the battery is in the car, or it is in the basement. Both work without problems. Batteries are also getting cheaper and cheaper. Just do it. The only problem are the experts, who do not exist in sufficient numbers to select and install all the technology in the best possible way.
I know, I will get now many mails with “everything is different where/how I live” and “however, there is still this-and-that problem, which is not solved with your approach”. Of course. I know that. But we should not wait for the perfect moment to solve climate change or political problems. We will not live to see that moment. We should take the second best moment.
And that moment is now!
I wish you to use your mouse and keyboard now to ask Google about this. And then to decide for yourself “I’m in, and at the same time I’m investing my money profitably for the long term.”
Have a nice rest of your day (and I am looking forward to the discussion on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6949438193280679936/.)
PS: Today at 8am (Los Angeles), 5pm (Berlin), 11pm (Beijing) we’re doing a webinar on Hydrogen in California: www.mission-hydrogen.de We’re expecting more than 1,000 attendees, so be sure to come early….