Red Sky At Morning

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Written by James Gustave Speth

The potential for renewable energy to meet U.S. energy needs is widely underappreciated.  Wind power is becoming competitive with coal-fired electricity generation today.  Stanford engineers Mark Jacobson and Gilbert Masters have calculated that deploying about 250,000 new wind energy turbines in the United States could eliminate the need for almost two-thirds of U.S. coal-fired electricity generation. 

Another renewable power technology with great promise for the future is photovoltaic energy.  Not yet competitive, its potential is enormous.  John Turner of the U.S. National Renewable Energy laboratory puts it this way:  "A square 100 miles o­n a side would, during o­ne year, produce the energy equivalent to that used annually in the United States.  Although 10,000 square miles is a large area, it is less than o­ne-quarter of the area that this country has covered with roads and streets."

Excerpted from James Gustave Speth, Red Sky at Morning, pp.66-67. 

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