by: Anthony Kinslow II, Ph.D., CEM
Find out how we can power 100% of the nation with renewable energy, rather than from polluting gas stations.
We have the technology and the capability to move America to 100% renewable energy
Professor Mark Jacobson from Stanford’s Atmosphere and Energy Program with the support of his graduate students have provided the blueprint to achieve 100% renewable energy in America.
Reaching 100% renewable energy simply by increasing the current capacity is to slow
Humanity, yes humanity - as this is a global problem – has roughly ten years to make extraordinary reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions to have the best chance of mitigating the most devastating effects of global warming. Those devastating effects include:
Rising water levels, resulting in flooding of all major coastal cities, Miami is just the start.
Even if we assume the political and institutional barriers that current exist were removed…that still would not be enough. In America, the time needed to:
Renewable energy should be the last step in the movement to a low carbon-society
This statement may seem contradictory to you but bear with me. First let me provide a few clarifications. First, a low carbon-society is a society that functions at a high level while only releasing greenhouse gases that can be managed by our planet naturally without increasing the planet’s global average temperature.
NOTE. A low-carbon society includes transportation emissions so moving away from crude oil as the main source for powering our transportation. However, for this article we are focusing on carbon emissions from buildings.
Second, when I state - “renewable energy should be the last step” - I am referring to a general rule for any particular situation. That rule is this: The renewable energy capacity added should be based on the energy consumption after conservation and efficiency measures. This means a homeowner can and should add solar panels to their roof immediately. However, the number of solar panels should not be for their current energy consumption but for the forecasted energy consumption AFTER conservation and efficiency measures are implemented. This rule should also be applied to commercial building owners and municipalities alike.
Shameless plug: Gemini can help commercial building owners and municipalities calculate the renewable energy capacities they should be trying to reach.
There are three reasons renewable energy should be the last step:
Cost. Renewable energy is almost always more costly than conservation or efficiency measures. Typically, from a cost perspective it goes:
Time. Implementing renewable energy is almost always slower that implementing conservation or efficiency measures. In fact, you should start planning for your renewable energy immediately after receiving an energy audit report to get the process started.
Impact on Environment. Remember our goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Purchasing 10 solar panels when you only needed five if you reduced your energy consumption through conservation and efficiency measures hurts our goal. Constructing a solar photovoltaics (PV) panel, transporting, maintaining, and eventually disposing all release greenhouse gas emissions.
NOTE. Renewable energy like solar PV is considerably less impactful than fossil fuels like coal.
So… save your money, save your time, and save the planet by choosing renewable energy last.fi
Your major takeaways should be:
About the author: Anthony D. Kinslow II, Ph.D.
Anthony Kinslow II, Ph.D., CEM, is the Founder and CEO of Gemini Energy Solutions. Gemini democratizes the small commercial energy audit sector, creating affordable investment-grade energy audits and supporting efforts to increase workforce diversity in the energy efficiency sector drastically. Dr. Kinslow is also a Commercialization and Equity consultant for Clean Energy Works. This nonprofit organization seeks to accelerate private capital utility investments in inclusive clean energy solutions at the grid edge.
Anthony also lectures at Stanford University, where he co-teaches two courses Racial Equity in Energy and Quest for an Inclusive Clean Energy Economy.
His efforts center around accelerating the U.S. transition to a clean energy economy. And he argues that without prioritizing inclusive and affordable solutions for marginalized communities, the transition will be slow, expensive, and inequitable. Dr. Kinslow II's work to drive equity and inclusion extends past his professional responsibilities. For example, the City of San Jose recognized his active involvement in understanding wage theft in the construction industry. Moreover, Dr. Kinslow II's role in designing and implementing Stanford's workforce program has introduced the concept of environmental justice to hundreds of high school students.
In addition to being a Historic Black Church and University (HBCU) alum (North Carolina A&T), Dr. Kinslow earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University in Civil and Environmental Engineering, where he incorporated Bayesian statistics in building science analysis to improve the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency programs. His M.S. (Sustainable Design & Construction) was also from Stanford. In his free time, Dr. Kinslow II enjoys walking trails with his wife, Maria, and sons, Marcus and Samuel.
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