Today, 145 businesses, environmental organizations, and other groups (representing 37 states) released the “Sustainable Energy Blueprint” – a policy paper that outlines a “plausible strategy for achieving a no-nuclear, low-carbon, highly-efficient and sustainable energy future.”
It provides a timeframe and series of policy recommendations for rapidly expanding the use of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies to enable a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gases while simultaneously phasing out nuclear power and ending most energy imports.
The “Sustainable Energy Blueprint” argues that three primary, longer-term objectives for the nation’s energy policy should be:
1.) reducing greenhouse gas emissions to a level consistent with a world-wide goal of global climate stabilization (assumes curbing U.S. CO2 emissions by 60-80% from current levels by mid-century);
2.) eliminating U.S. energy imports (i.e., oil and natural gas – now 58% and 15% respectively), while reducing overall use of oil and natural gas;
3.) phasing out the current generation of nuclear power while substantially curbing the production and consumption of fossil fuels, by increasing the use of energy efficiency and making a transition to sustainable, environmentally safer renewable energy sources.
Towards this end, it suggests a 2025 energy scenario in which total energy use is reduced by 20%, renewable energy provides more than 20% of domestic energy supplies, natural gas imports are eliminated, oil imports are cut by more than 40%, greenhouse gas emissions are 20% below current levels, and nuclear power is almost completely phased out.
By 2050, the “Sustainable Energy Blueprint” envisions a domestic energy mix in which energy efficiency improvements have reduced energy use from present levels by 40%, renewables account for at least half of total energy supplies, greenhouse gas emissions have been slashed by two-thirds from 2005 levels, fossil fuel imports have ceased, and nuclear power is no longer in use.
The authors of the “Sustainable Energy Blueprint” acknowledge that the mix of options presented are intended to be illustrative and is by no means the only combination by which the Untied States could achieve a sustainable energy future.
In the coming months, as additional institutional sign-ons continue to be solicited, the “Sustainable Energy Blueprint” will be forwarded to government officials, candidates for elective office, and other persons/institutions that are looking for ideas on how to advance a sustainable energy agenda. This will be an on-going effort over the next two years – at least through the 2008 presidential election.
The full text of the “Sustainable Energy Blueprint,” can be downloaded from www.nirs.org/alternatives/sustainableenergyblueprint.pdf