Saturday, November 1 2014

Sometime in the near future…

What would a zero-emissions life look like? This isn’t science fiction. In 2050, we could find ourselves living in a net-zero energy home and commuting to a smart office in an electric car powered with green electricity.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the San Francisco-based energy consulting firm Energy and Environmental Economics have worked together to publish a study that appeared last month in the journal Science.

Entitled “The Technology Path to Deep Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cuts by 2050: The Pivotal Role of Electricity,” the article takes the state of California as a case study for how to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent below 1990 levels.

So how would it be achieved? The solutions may not surprise a Bullfrog Power supporter. The study has three central suggestions:

  1. Transitioning from oil and gas to electricity for cars, heating systems and equipment that use these dirty fuel sources.
  2. Changing how we use and generate our energy by working to improve efficiency and decarbonizing electricity.
  3. Using wind and solar for up to 74 per cent of the state’s electricity needs.

How many of us are already on the path to sustainable living? When many people imagine a carbon-free future, they envision a radically different world, hampered by restrictions and restraints. What is most surprising is how little our lives could change.

At today’s pace of innovation, “the scientists say that all of this will be technologically feasible by 2050.”

If Canada committed to an equally aggressive target, how soon might we be living in a zero-emissions future?


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