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posted on 13 June 2016

Renewable Energy Survey Results

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Econintersect: Reverse Engineer at Doomstead Diner has released results from the survey he has been running on the prospects for future use of renewable energy. The results are not that encouraging for those who think that renewable energy sources can "save the world" and produce a "bright economic future".

dutch.windmills

From the article at Doomstead Diner:

As a long time reader of the Collapse Blogosphere, the aggregate results of the survey didn't surprise me at all. Does this mean the survey is correct in its predictions of timelines and numbers? Not necessarily, but it does tell you what most of the people reading collapse blogs THINK will occur and when it will occur. Given these readers follow the trends more closely than the average J6P, they're making a more informed decision than most people would. It's also a very highly educated sample, with over 75% of respondents with Baccalaureate degree or above. One of the most interesting things to do is to parse the data by the demographics, to see the differences in attitudes by things like age, gender, education level and so forth. I'm not going to do that in this post

The majority of the 276 responses came from six websites:

Cassandra's Legacy

Our Finite World

The Archdruid Report

Economic Undertow

Reddit r/collapse & r/globalcollapse

The Doomstead Diner

Smaller numbers of responses came from:

Global Economic Intersection

Reddit r/solar

Some Results

These results were tabulated after 237 repsonses so the current numbers would be different but Doomstead Diner says the percentages are little changed. More than half the respondents think that it is impossible to convert to 100% renewable energy (either never or in time to impact climate change).


Note: Econintersect Managing Editor John Lounsbury participated in the survey and he is one of the 10 people in the lowly 4% at the righthand side of the table below.


survey.possibility.re

In a poll run among energy experts (mainly working in renewable energy) by Ugo Bardi, a physical chemistry professor at the University of Florence, Italy, the results were much more positive, with option 4 garnering the most votes, followed by 3 and then 5 (numbering the choices from the left). Very few chose either 1 o 2 which garnered more than 60% of the votes in the Doomstead poll. (Those respondents follow Doomstead Diner for a reason?) For discussion of the Bardi poll, go to his blog.

The report from Reverse Engineer also discusses the results for what might the biggest obstacles be to implementing renewable energy as a major source of energy. The top four obstacles (listed in ranked order, although they were not very far separated):

1. Storage: Battery technology is not sufficient to hold enough energy in portable form, and mining & processing of materials to make batteries requires fossil fuel input.

2. Financial: Renewable energy is generally unaffordable.

3. Political: Vested interests in perpetuating the fossil fuel system prevent renewable energy from growing.

4.Technical: Intermittancy problems and grid infrastructure create too many problems.

These four problems were clearly distinguished from lower ranked concerns.

There are more results discussed in the article at Doomstead Diner.

The following video is a discussion of the latest results by Reverse Engineer, Ugo Bardi and Gail Tverberg (Our Finite World), who has contributed to GEI.


Note: The survey is being kept open a little while longer so you can still add your thoughts to the collection. The poll is very user friendly, only taking a couple of minutes unless you chose to add some "essays". Take the Renewable Energy Survey now!


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