Exponential growth on a finite planet, as we are trying to do now, will never work I’m afraid, Frederick Bott. However, I do not agree that solar is our only option. I rather think we need a layered approach. Keeping far from technological lock-ins and mass-produced, uniform solutions.
First of all, on the consumption of energy side: let’s start innovating on using less energy. Use more factors, such as time e.g. and be inspired with the technologies nature uses. I wrote about it. There are still so many nature-based solutions not yet developed. There is a load of opportunity here.
Technology, a Different View
Two graphs changed my way of thinking about technology. How does biological technology work? And how can we learn?
Second of all, let’s be very creative on the energy production side. Let’s use decentral, smaller DC grids (12V or 24V) so energy doesn’t have to be transported over long distances. Learn from the car industry or boat industry… Use the batteries from cars to power small, local grids… and choose in every bioregion what the best method for energy production is.
The Blue Economy says: let’s use gravity as a source of energy. Practically this could mean: use e.g. the pressure of a roof on a house to create energy with piezo electronics. I know, we need movement for piezo, but just small movement is enough. So why not use bamboo as a building material then? That’s flexible and will always move a little. it’s earthquake resistant and abundantly available. And how beautiful these buildings can be…
In short, we really have to think differently. Decentral. Use what’s locally available. Use batteries made of the waste stream from the paper industry. Or use no battery at all (replace something with nothing), such as the mobile phone that works on the energy of breath and the warmth of your body.
We are so much more creative than we think. Let’s use it to the full!