A strategy for a no-nuclear, low-carbon, highly efficient, sustainable energy future
This came my way several weeks ago, but I ran across it again while hacking my way through my inbox and I thought it was worth sharing, particularly in light of the long list of endorsements. It comes from the Sustainable Energy Network, “a network of 450+ organizations, businesses, and individual advocates promoting aggressive deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies as a strategy for phasing-out nuclear power, eliminating energy imports, and making deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.”
The following statement outlines an ambitious but doable strategy for dramatically reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, phasing out nuclear power, and ending energy imports while simultaneously creating new domestic jobs and businesses, improving energy, homeland, and national security and the economy, and enhancing the environment and public health.
The three primary, longer-term objectives for the nation’s energy policy should be:
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level consistent with a world-wide goal of global climate stabilization (assumes curbing U.S. CO2 emissions by 60-80% from current levels by mid-century);
- eliminate U.S. energy imports (i.e., oil and natural gas – now 58% and 15% respectively), while reducing overall use of oil and natural gas;
- phase out the current generation of nuclear power while substantially curbing the production and consumption of fossil fuels, by increasing the use of energy efficiency and making a transition to sustainable, environmentally safer renewable energy sources.
The following targets approximate what is technically and economically feasible given the necessary policy support and leadership as well as what would likely be necessary if the above-listed objectives are to be achieved.
- reduce total energy consumption by at least one percent/year from 2005 levels, through efficiency improvements in housing, manufacturing, vehicles, airplanes, government facilities, and businesses, so that by 2025, U.S. energy use totals no more than about 80 quads.
- increase from 2005 levels, production of renewable energy from biofuels, biomass, geothermal, hydropower (and other water power sources), solar, and wind plus renewably-based hydrogen – in an environmentally responsible manner – by about 0.5 quads/year so that by 2025 renewables provide at least 17 quads.
- phase out the current generation of nuclear power plants by not relicensing currently existing reactors and not building new ones.
- reduce oil consumption by at least one percent/year below 2005 levels so that by 2025, U.S. oil imports are no more than one-third of total petroleum use.
- reduce natural gas consumption by one percent/year below 2005 levels so that by 2025, the U.S. will no longer be importing any natural gas.
- reduce coal consumption by at least one percent/year below 2005 levels
- reduce carbon dioxide and other GHG emissions by at least one percent/year so that by 2025 they are at least 20% below current levels.
- continue to reduce total energy consumption by at least one percent/year below 2005 levels through efficiency improvements so that by 2050, total U.S. energy use is no more than 60 quads.
- continue to expand use of renewable energy sources by at least 0.5 quads per year from 2005 levels so that by 2050, renewables contribute at least 30 quads to the nation’s energy supply.
- continue to reduce oil consumption by at least two percent/year below 2005 levels so that by 2050, oil imports will be eliminated and total oil use is no more than one-fifth of today’s levels.
- continue to reduce coal consumption by at least one percent/year below 2005 levels and phase out all single-cycle pulverized coal power plants, so that by 2050, coal consumption is no more than one-third of today’s levels.
- continue to reduce natural gas consumption by about one percent/year below 2005 levels so that by 2050, natural gas consumption is one-third below today’s levels.
- continue to reduce carbon dioxide emissions so that by 2050, they are no more than one-third of current levels.
The following table provides an estimate of what the nation’s energy mix would be if the above-listed targets are realized.
|2005 Energy Consumption (quadrillion BTUs)||2025 Energy Consumption (quadrillion BTUs)||2050 Energy Consumption (quadrillion BTUs)|
|Natural Gas (Domestic)||19.0||18.0||14.0|
|Natural Gas (Imports)||3.5||0.0||0.0|
|CO2 Emissions||6,000 million metric tons||<4,800 million metric tons||2,000 million metric tons|
Proposed Policy Initiatives:
The following policy initiatives are not exhaustive but are illustrative of the type necessary to realize the targets and objectives outlined above.
- By 2025, fuel economy standards for cars and trucks should be at least double what they are today, beginning with a 50% increase in fuel economy for new vehicles by the year 2015.
- By 2025, total annual person-miles traveled by automobile and truck should be back to levels no higher than today through expansion of mass transit, better land use planning, telecommuting, etc.
- By 2025, no less than 25 percent of the nation’s liquid transportation fuels should be provided, or displaced, by renewable sources, including renewably-generated hydrogen.
- By 2025, no less than 25 percent of the nation’s electricity should be mandated to be generated by renewable energy sources and increased by at least one percent/year thereafter.
- By 2025, state and/or federal standards should mandate that the energy efficiency of appliances, motors, and lighting should be improved by no less than 20 percent as measured on a total fuel cycle basis.
- By 2025, state and/or federal standards should mandate that 20 percent of all new buildings must be zero energy buildings (moving twoards a goal of all new buildings being zero energy by 2050), using a combination of efficient design and clean on-site energy production;
- By 2025, energy use in the electricity sector should be reduced by at least 10 percent through the use of clean distributed generation such as combined heat & power, district energy, fuel cells, and improved energy storage and transmission technologies.
- Energy efficiency resource standards for electric and gas utilities should be established with a target savings of at least one percent of annual sales each year, on an incremental basis, such that savings build on previous years’ impacts.
- Expansion of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean distributed generation technologies should be promoted through national interconnection standards i.e., (net metering and transmission access reforms), production and investment tax incentives, government procurement, updated resource assessment, and state and local planning programs.
- Annual federal funding for the research, development, and deployment of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies should be at least doubled over the next five years and expanded to no less than five times current levels by 2025.
- Funding to support sustainable energy budget outlays and tax incentives, as well as to alleviate low-income consumer impacts, should be drawn from a mix of gradually increased dedicated taxes on carbon-based fuels, energy imports, and fossil fuel leases on federal lands.
- Any new coal-based power plants should be required to achieve energy efficiency and environmental performance equal to, or better than, the best-available Integrated Combined Cycle Coal Gasification technology, and must include full and permanent carbon capture and sequestration.
- Unless all of the following conditions are satisfied, licenses for existing nuclear power plants should not be renewed or extended and federal nuclear funds should be directed towards plant decommissioning and waste clean-up, storage and disposal:
- greenhouse gas emissions from the nuclear fuel cycle are reduced by 60 percent;
- designs are developed for passively-safe reactors that cannot melt down, explode, or release radioactivity, under any conditions, including direct hits from bombs, aircraft impacts, earthquakes, floods, or terrorist acts;
- radiation exposure standards are established that ensure no radiation exposure hazards to workers or the public;
- waste handling and disposal technologies are developed that preclude the need for long-distance waste transport or long-term storage;
- fuel cycle and waste handling technologies are developed that preclude any risk of nuclear weapons proliferation or theft of potentially fissionable materials; and
- private liability per nuclear power plant under the Price-Anderson Act is increased to no less than $50 billion.
ENDORSEMENTS TO DATE:
Frank C. Subjeck
William Ozier, Operations Manager
High Performance Building Team
North East Arizona Energy Services Company
Larry E. Bell, President
Paul Huddy, Director
John F. Neville, President
Arkansas Renewable Energy Association
Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility
Rochelle Becker, Executive Director
American Association for Fuel Cells
American Society of International Law – International Environmental Law Group
Dr. Wil Burns, Co-Chair
Pamela S. Meidell, Director
California Communities Against Toxics
Jane Williams, Executive Director
Chong Partners Architecture
William Randolph Pearson, AIA
Community Environmental Council
Donald Aiken Associates
Donald Aitken, Ph.D., Principal
Barbara Harwood, Co-Principal
Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo
Morgan Rafferty, Executive Director
Environmental Priorities Network
Lillian Light, President
Geothermal Education Office
Marilyn Nemzer, Executive Director
Casey Coates Danson, President
Healing Ourselves & Mother Earth
Jennifer O. Viereck, Director
Loving Earth Gardens
Nicole Paul, Co-director
National VegOil Board
Cynthia Shelton, Director
Occidental Arts and Ecology Center
Eric Corey Freed, Architect – Principal,
San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace
Jane Swanson, spokesperson
San Luis Sustainability Group
Kenneth Haggard, Principal
Sierra Solar Systems
Jonathan Hill, Solar Applications Engineer
Sustainable Energy Solutions
Bernhard O. Voelkelt
Tahoe Solar Designs
Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment)
Marylia Kelley, Executive Director
Colorado Energy Group
George Burmeister, President
Nicole V. Langley, Director
Ecological Architecture P.C.
Sven Erik Alstrom AIA, President
Jews Of The Earth
Daniel Ziskin, PhD; President
Leonardi Executive Health Institute
David Leonardi, M.D., FA4M, CNS
SunJuice Solar LLC
Alison Mason, Owner
Canton Advocates for Responsible Expansion, Inc.
Citizens Awareness Network – CT chapter
Sal Mangiagli, Board Member
Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone
Nancy Burton, Director
Don’t Waste Connecticut, please.
Mitzi Bowman, Coordinator
Environmental Energy Solutions
Joel N. Gordes
Environmental Futurists of New Haven
Colin Bennett, Outreach Coordinator
Great Land Conservation Trust, Inc.
Colin Bennett, President
People’s Action for Clean energy
Judi Friedman, Chair
Ben Rosenthal, Mac Guru
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Environmental Market Solutions
Ken Langer, President
New Uses Council
William Holmberg, Executive Director
Public Citizen’s Energy Program
Tyson Slocum, Director
The Stella Group, Ltd.
Scott Sklar, President
Donna Lomangino, President
(also Krystal Planet C+D in New York)
Elaine Nichols, Karen Lowman
Safe Earth Alliance
Dr. Dorthy K. Cinquemani, Chair
Space Coast Progressive Alliance
Cammie Donaldson, President
David Nicholson, President
Nuclear Watch South
Glenn Carroll, Coordinator
Sterling Planet, Inc.
Alden Hathaway, Sr. VP – Business Development
Snake River Alliance
Jeremy Maxand, Executive Director
Chicago Media Watch
Bob & Linda Babcock
New Community Project
David Radcliff, Director
No New Nukes
Nuclear Energy Information Service
Dave Kraft, Director
Organic Energy Works
Jim and Mary Maginel
Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana
Grant Smith, Executive Director
Indiana’s Green Network for Innovative Technology and Enterprise, Inc.
Nicholas Harter, President
Save the Valley, Inc.
Richard Hill, President
Kansas Natural Resource Council
Robert Haughawout, President
Paradigm Design, LC
Michael Almon, co-owner
Coalition for Health Concern, Inc.
Yggdrasil (project of Earth Island Institute)
Mary Davis, Director
Alliance for Affordable Energy
Micah Walker Parkin, Program Director
Karen Wimpelberg, Board President
Gulf Restoration Network
Cynthia Sarthou, Executive Director
Louisiana Solar Energy Society
Jeff Shaw, Director
Cheaper, Safer Power
William S. Linnell, Spokesperson
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Bruce K. Gagnon, Coordinator
Maine Solar Energy Association
Richard Komp PhD, President
American Contracting & Environmental Services, Inc.
Reggie Godin, Renewable Energy Specialist
Anacostia Watershed Society
Robert E. Boone, President
Chesapeake Solar LLC
Richard E. Deutschmann, PE, Chief Executive Officer
Henry S. Cole Environmental Consultants, Inc.
Henry S Cole, Ph.D., President
MD-DC-VA Solar Energy Industries Association
Peter Lowenthal, Director
Maryland United for Peace and Justice, Inc.
Paulette Hammond, Co-convenor
Nuclear Information & Resource Service
Michael Mariotte, Executive Director
SUN DAY Campaign
Ken Bossong, Executive Director
Neville Williams, Chairman
Sandra Gavutis, Executive Director
Cape & Islands Self-Reliance
Richard Lawrence, Director of Special Projects & Education
Chris Fried Solar
Chris Fried, Principal
Citizens Awareness Network
Flannery’s Green Guide
Peter M. Flannery, Designer
Green Decade Coalition/Newton
Ana Zarina Asuaje Solon, President
Northeast Organic Farming Association / Mass Chapter
Julie Rawson, Executive Director; Frank Albani, President
Solar Design Associates, Inc.
Steven and Marilyn Strong, Principals
Traprock Peace Center
Sunny Miller, Executive Director
Citizens’ Resistance at Fermi Two
Coalition for a Nuclear Free Great Lakes
Michael J. Keegan
Don’t Waste Michigan
Alice Hirt, Corrine Carey, Kathryn Barnes
Home for Peace and Justice
Joan McCoy, Co-ordinator
Institute for Global Education
Chuck Neller, Office Coordinator
Full Circle Service Center, LLC
Nancy Lee Bentley, Wholistic Health Expert
Michigan Environmental Council
Lana Pollack, President
Honor the Earth
Winona LaDuke, Executive Director
Mankato Area Environmentalists, (MAE)
Sister Gladys Schmitz, Coordinator
Prairie Island Coalition
Bruce A Drew, Steering Committee
Mark Green, CEO & Co-Founder
Missourians for Safe Energy
Oasis Montana Inc.
Sunelco, The Sun Electric Company, Inc.
Tom Bishop, President
Flatwater Chapter U.S.Green Building Council
Nicolette Amundson, AIA Chair
Western Nebraska Resources Council
Buffalo Bruce, Board Chair
Aqua Sun International
Greg Hanson, President
Nevada Conservation League
Scot Rutledge, Executive Director
Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force
Judy Treichel, Executive Director
Jim Callihan, President & CoFounder
Roy Morrison & Associates, LCC
Coalition for Global Warming Solutions
Coalition for Peace and Justice
UNPLUG Salem Campaign
Norm Cohen, Director
Citizens Nuclear Information Center
Lee Cheney, Founder
Eugene Duran – Solar, Wind & Efficient Energy Consultants
Eugene Duran, Owner
Partnership for Earth Spirituality
Joan Brown, osf, President – Ecology Ministry
Los Alamos Study Group
Rainshine Unlimited LLC
James C. Wernicke, P.E., LEED AP; President
Bright Power Inc.
Jeff Perlman, President
Cancer Awareness Coalition, Inc.
Rose Marie Williams, Pres.; Helena Baldyga, VP
Citizens Regional Transit Corporation
Gladys Gifford, President
Council on Intelligent Energy & Conservation Policy
Michel Lee, Esq.; Chairman
Grass Roots Action Center for the Environment
Law Offices of Stephen Filler
Motorworks Clean Vehicles, Inc.
New York Solar Energy Industries Association
Christine Donovan, Executive Vice President
Renewable Energy Long Island
Gordian Raacke, Executive Director
Rochester Solar Technologies LLC
Shawn Lessord, President
Rockland Friends United for Safe Energy
Susan Shapiro, Esq.
Salem Financial, Inc
J. Peter Lynch, President
Sierra Club – NYC Group
Dan Miner, energy committee chair
Solar and Wind FX Inc.
Rona Fried, President
Tristate Solar Inc
Douglas F Roether V.P.; N.Y.C. Licensed Master Electrician
Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo
Justin S. Booth MS
Westchester Citizens Awareness Network
Margo Schepart, Co-Founder
Western New York Sustainable Energy Association
Wind Action Group
Bill Nowak, Chair – Communication Committee
Avram Friedman, Executive Director
Charlotte Area Green Party
North Carolina Green Party
Kathryn Kuppers, Clerk
Common Sense at the Nuclear Crossroads
Anne Craig, Campaign Felicitator
Long Branch Environmental Education Center
Art Horn, President – Board of Directors
North Carolina Citizens Research Group
Wells Eddleman, Staff Scientist
Physicians for Social Responsibility – Western North Carolina Chapter
Lewis E. Patrie, M. D., Chair
Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville
Jean Larson, Peace and Environment Team co-chair
Farmers Green Power
Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy
Dave Rinebolt, Executive Director and Counsel
R.A.Energy International, Inc
Bergey Windpower Co.
Mike Bergey, President
Cylvia Hayes, Executive Director
Alliance For A Clean Environment
Donna Cuthbert, Vice President
David Hughes, Executive Director
Common Sense Energy
Concern About Radiation In the Environment
EFMR Monitoring Group
Eric Epstein, Coordinator
Radiation and Public Health Project
Ernest J. Sternglass, PhD., President
Joseph Mangano, Executive Director
Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
Tom McCaney, Associate Director, Corporate Social Responsibility
Three Mile Island Alert, Inc.,
Kay Pickering and Bill Cologie
Abruna & Musgrave, Arquitectos
Dr. Fernando Abruna, FAIA
Dr A Colon Negron, CEO
Rhode Island Solar Energy Association
Domenic Bucci, President
U.S.A. Nica Windpower, Inc.
Wm. Wharton Smith III
Carolina Peace Resource Center
Gerald Rudolph; Allison Peeler, Nuclear Issues Coordinator
Global Energy Designs, Inc.
Dewaine Nelson, Vice President
Aaron "A.J." McCann – CEO
Sustainable Energy Resource Group
Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
Beth Sachs, Executive Director
Vermont Solar Energy Association
Bob Lawrence & Associates
Bob Lawrence, President
The Carmel Group, LLC
Elizabeth C. Battocletti
Precursor Systems, Inc.
Aviv Goldsmith, President
Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC
Sandra Leibowitz Earley, RA, CSI, LEED AP; Principal
American Elevator Corporation
Marc Vendetti, President
Black Mountain Technology
Heather Rhoads-Weaver, Owner and Development & Market Research Consultant
Meg Gluckman, Research and Community Development Consultant
Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development
Port Orchard United Methodist Church
Rev. C. Scott Harrison
Waste Action Project
Greg Wingard, Executive Director
Peter Alexander, Executive Director
Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin
Charlie Higley, Executive Director
Great Northern Solar
Midwest Renewable Energy Association
Tehri Parker, Executive Director
Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation
Janet Brandt, Executive Director