Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Earth Policy Institute Joins

"Sustaining our early twenty-first century global civilization now depends on shifting to a renewable energy-based, reuse/recycle economy with a diversified transport system.

Business as usual - Plan A — cannot take us where we want to go. It is time for Plan B, time to build a new economy and a new world."

So writes Lester Brown, President of the Washington-based Earth Policy Institute, a member of the Plug in Partners Coalition.

Plan B has three components.

The first is a restructuring of the global economy so that it can sustain civilization. The second is an all-out effort to eradicate poverty, stabilize population, and restore hope in order to elicit participation of the developing countries. And the third is a systematic effort to restore natural systems.

Hybrids of the future

For the U.S. automotive fuel economy, the key to greatly reducing oil use and carbon emissions is gas-electric hybrid cars. The average new car sold in the United States last year got 22 miles to the gallon, compared with 55 miles per gallon for the Toyota Prius.

If the United States decided for oil security and climate stabilisation reasons to replace its entire fleet of passenger vehicles with super-efficient gas-electric hybrids over the next 10 years, gasoline use could easily be cut in half. This would involve no change in the number of cars or miles driven, only a shift to the most efficient automotive propulsion technology now available.

Beyond this, a gas-electric hybrid with an additional storage battery and a plug-in capacity would allow us to use electricity for short distance driving, such as the daily commute or grocery shopping. This could cut U.S. gasoline use by an additional 20 per cent, for a total reduction of 70 per cent.

Then if we invest in thousands of wind farms across the country to feed cheap electricity into the grid, we could do most short-distance driving with wind energy, dramatically reducing both carbon emissions and the pressure on world oil supplies.

Using timers to recharge batteries with electricity coming from wind farms during the low demand hours between 1 and 6 a.m. costs the equivalent of 50 cents a gallon of gasoline. We have not only an inexhaustible alternative to dwindling reserves of oil, but an incredibly cheap one." more

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Blogger Felix Kramer said...

Lester Brown has been a strong advocate for plug-in hybrids powered by wind and other renewables. Ten days ago, when he was in San Francisco on his book tour for Plan B 2.0, he got his first ride in a PHEV when we showed him the CalCars PRIUS+. See CalCars Photos

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