The potential of energy conservation

via America’s Best Places For Alternative Energy – Forbes.com:

Interesting stats:

The “cubic mile of oil”–a metric roughly equivalent to the amount of oil consumed worldwide each year–is frequently used to explain the challenge facing solar, wind, geothermal and biomass power.

So what would it take to replace the amount of energy in a cubic mile of oil? Roughly 4.2 billion solar rooftops, 300 million wind turbines, 2,500 nuclear power plants or 200 Three Gorges Dams, according to Menlo Park, Calif., nonprofit research institute SRI International.

….

The U.S. spends roughly $1 trillion each year–approximately 10% of gross domestic product–on the fuel needed to power 114 million households, 82 billion square feet of commercial building space, 130 million cars, 95 million trucks and the countless computers, ovens and alarm clocks that drive the metabolism of the modern economy.

A note to those who think energy conservation is for tree-huggers: Conserving 5, 10, or 20% off of that $1 trillion number means tens to hundreds of BILLION dollars that can go towards growth, and profits. It’s not money going into some liberals’ pockets. We’ll all benefit.

Imagine a wartime type of appeal to cut energy usage by some percentage (similar to California’s water rationing, or, again, California’s rolling blackouts, except more voluntary). There are plenty of issues facing this nation making a wartime appeal not an outrageous notion. In fact, one could argue that 9/11 should have been a perfect time for such an appeal.

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~ by mz on December 3, 2008.

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