Video: The Challenges Facing Renewable Energy

Here’s a short video in which I speak about the overall trajectory for integrating large amounts of renewable energy onto the grid. It’s a discussion of my book, Is Renewable Really Doable? on the local cable access channel in Ventura, CA.

As I like to say, this is a subject that has a great number of “moving parts.” Sure, there are technological issues, as we develop better and less expensive ways of harvesting the energy from solar, wind, geothermal, hydrokinetics and biomass. But there is a complex and ever-changing set of economic and political issues as well.

I hope you enjoy the video.

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9 comments on “Video: The Challenges Facing Renewable Energy
  1. greg chick says:

    Craig is correct to say everyone needs to smart up on this issue. The opinions and “News” passing around are part true at best. Polarized at worst, and incomplete to be clear enough. The real internal and external costs and retail prices are not all face value. Ability to control economy at will is a luxury afforded the Oil Companies. Billions of Tax dollars support the status quo. The effect of sending billions to the openly violent enemies is only one issue. I ask no one to believe in anything, in fact I suggest you do not ! get the facts Global warming, to Oil Subsidies to the visually available pictures on Google earth of what Coal does.

  2. Jim stACk says:

    Is renewable really more expensive? Or are the exiting susbsidies so big and have been in place for 30-50 years that we can’t see clearly?
    How many people in the US have installed a coal power plant in their home and had it pay off ? How many have a nuclear plant in their hoe , etc.

    Solar ,Wind and Geo-thermal have been added to homes and pays off. It helps the environment too.

    Electric cars are fast, smooth and efficient with long lasting lithium batteries that get better each day. The aplications like Vehicle To GRID and back up are growing.

  3. Ted McNamara says:

    The problem is Greg, governments, federal and state are not trusted. We do not trust what they say. It is just a political rant. We have to preach this at the local level. You and I have to talk to our neighbors, and present the facts and a solution to them. Governments only react in a big way when they have a big crisis,like 9-11 or Katrina. The rest of the time it is just politics. When we in California had a water shortage in the mid 70ties we were put on water rationing. I have a well now. When Enron jacked our electric rates through the roof, I put solar on my roof. About the coming gas crisis,I have been driving a electric Leaf for the past year, powered by the solar panels on my roof. I am not one of the 1% either.

  4. Dear Craig,

    Congratulations to your latest RE Book. You are really making a big change in protecting our mother earth. RE is the way of the future. More power to you and may our tribe increase. Cheers and HAPPY EASTER to all ….. VerR.

    • Craig Shields says:

      Thanks for the kind words. It’s gratifying to see this community grow; it’s obvious more people every day are catching onto the importance of what we’re doing here and at hundreds of other sites.

  5. Craig is right: All of the arguments over renewable energy sources like wind and solar will end with cost-feasible electricity storage. I’ve collected research sources on that topic here:

    Craig, how about a full book/video JUST on that, since $1/watt Solar PV is just around the corner (I erected the largest residential Solar PV array in Central Georgia for just $1.40/watt in October, 2010):

    Finally, I agree with Craig that life’s full of trade-offs, and that it’s silly to jam-up desert-based solar power projects because of tortoises when far more wildlife perishes from “brown-power” sources elsewhere.

    • Craig Shields says:

      James: Thanks. Re: the book/video concept: great idea; let’s talk. Please see the email I just sent you.

  6. My bottom line: I am encouraging the brightest minds out there to focus on this one critical area of renewable energy: cost-feasible electricity storage. The first person to solve the problem wins the instant-zillionaire prize.

    The problem? Invent an electric storage device that Joe Six Pack can – like an electric water heater for his home — buy at Home Depot and easily install in his closet or garage. It will store all the unused power flowing from his rooftop or backyard Solar PV array so that he can use it at night if not sell any excess to his local utility for reverse meter credits. It must cost no more than $2000 and, like a water heater, require very low maintenance. It must last for no less than 20 years and require no water or special permitting (just like buying an electric water heater for your home, for example).

    I would also encourage an open (non-proprietary) design so that it can web-presented and thus fetch the benefit of crowd-sourcing (ideas and suggested improvements from all over the world, much like the route taken by Linux and other open-source software). Here’s an example of crowd-sourcing in this area:

  7. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Blessings to you.

Download a free e-copy of Craig’s first book, a #1 best-seller in energy on “Renewable Energy–Facts and Fantasies.”

Want to understand the thorny challenges in technology, economics, and politics that face the clean energy industry? Download the book.