This is Rio de Janeiro right now: “Hey, London, nice job with the terrifying brain slug mascots and logo that evokes cartoon incest. We’ve also been doing some design innovation for our Olympics! Yeah, we just made this giant beautiful waterfall that will generate renewable energy for the Olympic Village. But yours is good too!”
But generates zero gold, silver, or bronze medals in London.
My recent post about off-base energy projections glossed over the main reason that renewable energy has grown faster than predicted: policy. Good policy works!
Renewable energy evolves quickly and is hard to quantify, but experts' predictions last decade were way off. It makes you wonder what today's projections will look like in 2020.
If the Internet has taught us anything, it is that everything is better when it is smaller. Kittens are better than cats. Cake pops are better than cakes. LEGO models of anything are pretty great, even if the full-sized version is pretty iffy (say, a meth lab). Thus: Solar panels? Good. Teeny tiny solar cells? BETTER. Solar cells so tiny they can be sprayed onto windows? SO COOL.
Swedish designer Eddi Tornberg has turned the plight of modern workers — sitting like lazy larvae in front of computer screens all day — into a form of renewable energy. He uses the heat of our rear ends to create electricity. You’ll still die from sitting, but at least your energy bills will be lower!
The Washington Post's Charles Lane argues we should abandon clean energy investment and cede that industry to China.
A study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory demonstrates that an energy mix that is 80 percent renewable in 2050 could operate fine. If only we had the will to create it.
OK, well maybe they're not overly worried just yet. But the investment trend – particularly in the United States – is encouraging.