Posts Tagged ‘fossil fuels’

4 May

The Great Transition, Shifting From Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

The Great Transition by Lester Brown and co-authors Janet Larsen, J. Matthew Roney, and Emily E. Adams

The Great Transition by Lester Brown and co-authors Janet Larsen, J. Matthew Roney, and Emily E. Adams

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Do you feel the change in the air? We truly are living in an exciting time! Every where I turn, I see the sign of change and transition, including an email that I’ve received few days ago from Earth Policy Institute, about the arrival of a new publication. This is a recently released book titled, The Great Transition, by Lester Brown with co-authors Janet Larsen, J. Matthew Roney, and Emily E. Adams. It is a summary presentation for the worldwide transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy, Solar and Wind Energy. It lays out the rapidly evolving global shift toward cleaner sources of energy, driven by economics, policy, and the reality of accelerating climate change. The authors stress the fact that this shift represents a lasting change in the way we power our world in centuries to come.

As fossil fuel resources shrink, as air pollution worsens, and as concerns about climate instability cast a shadow over the future of coal, oil, and natural gas, a new world energy economy is emerging. The old economy, fueled largely by coal and oil, is being replaced with one powered by solar and wind energy.

The Great Transition details this trend, focusing on falling prices and rising adoption for wind, solar, electric vehicles, geothermal energy, and energy efficiency; and the emerging turn from coal, nuclear power, oil, and traditional transportation that is happening faster than anticipated.

Yes, as seen in some of our previous posts, the change will always be faster than many have previously anticipated.

The authors of The Great Transition have also kindly provided us with slides to be shared among people who are interested in the course of energy in human history. They have also helped to shatter some of the old myths popularized by detractors of Renewable Energy in this book. It’s a great read for those who want to have a better understanding of how our world have and will continue to transition from fossil fuels into Renewable Energy Age.  Educators and policy makers from different locations are encouraged to utilize this well synthesized information to mobilize or fix our energy system.

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

~have a bright and sunny day~

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5 December

Hurray For Kaua’i & KIUC-Part II


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Below is an interview with Jim Kelly, the Communication Manager of KIUC (Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative), who worked tirelessly in preparing for the Koloa Solar Dedication ceremony of the 12 MW (the largest solar farm in the state of Hawaii).  More details of the Koloa Solar Dedication ceremony may be found at Sun Is The Future at

For better understanding of KIUC, it is worth mentioning that in the 1970s, Kauaʻi burned sugar cane waste to supply most of their electricity. Today, the majority of the Kauaʻi’s energy is produced by importing liquid petroleum. As of 2008, KIUC’s fuel mix was 91.9% fossil fuels, 7.6% hydroelectric, 0.2% biomass, and 0.2% solar. KIUC offers $1,000 rebates to residential customers who have solar water heating systems installed on their homes by Energy Wise Participating Contractors.

With about 30,000-31,000 customers on the island of Kaua’i in Hawaii, KIUC is the only electric cooperative in the state of Hawaii. This 12 MW solar installation of Koloa Solar will enable Kaua’i to stop burning about 1.7 million gallons of fuel oil and reducing 36,000 tons of carbon emission per year. It is with a conscious decision to reduce their dependence on fossil fuel and to make the transition toward the clean and renewable energy future that the island residents invested in this project of $40 million (comparable to building a conventional power plant). With this investment, they will not only be able to lead the way in renewable energy use  on the planet earth now, but it will also benefit future generations of Kaua’i in sustaining the most clean environment for many decades to come.

Some background information about KIUC from Wikipedia below:

Kauaʻi Electric was incorporated in 1905 as a subsidiary of McBryde Sugar in order to construct a 2.4 MW hydroelectric plant on the Wainiha River. Kauaʻi Electric merged with Lihue Plantation’s Waiahi Electric Company early in the 1950s. Kauaʻi Electric became a division of Citizens Utilities Company in 1969. In the late 1990s, Citizens Utilities announced its intentions to divest from the electric utility business and a group of business leaders from Kauaʻi joined to found the Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative. KIUC purchased Kauaʻi Electric Company on 1 November 2002 for $215 million.

In December 2009, KIUC participated in hearings regarding its plan to minimize the effects its operations have on three endangered Hawaiian birds, the ʻUaʻu, the ʻaʻo, and the Band-rumped Storm-Petrel

Yes, Kaua’i is definitely blessed with island residents who aim to live in harmony and spirit of conservation with Mother Nature. We will look forward to hearing/reading more about Kaua’i experience in the pursuit of a Clean and Renewable Energy Future!

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, posted, and uploaded by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker and filmed by Michael Nunamaker

More related posts:

1. A Chat With KIUC On The Solar Paradise of Kaua’i

2. Kauai Is Going Strong With Solar in 2012-Be Empowered by Going Solar

3. Kauai Leading The Way For Solar In Hawaii

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at

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23 August

U.S. Military Going Solar


Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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In recent years, with all the cut backs of U.S. military and rising oil prices, “The U.S. military, across the board, has decided that energy is a strategic issue that affects their operations and budget in profound ways,” said former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry. “When oil goes from $60 to $100 a barrel, the amount that the Air Force and the Navy have to spend on fuel goes up dramatically…. A spike in the price of oil means fewer airplanes they can buy.” He added, “From an operational point of view, getting fuel to a site in Afghanistan is very expensive.”  With the cost-conscious Pentagon and Department of Defense, there had been many projects in the U.S. military, aiming to rely on renewable energy sources for 50% of their power by 2020.  Besides the Navy’s pledge to have a “Green Strike Group” by 2012 (using biofuels and nuclear rather than fossil fuels), Army being the biggest purchaser of electric cars in U.S., and U.S.Army working on “zero-footprint” camps (using self-sufficient vehicles and base camps), it is clear that renewable energy and many of its applications are simply more cost effective and safer in many ways than fossil fuels.

According to Secretary of Navy Ray Mabus,  “Fossil fuel is the number-one thing we import to Afghanistan, and guarding that fuel is keeping the troops from doing what they were sent there to do, to fight or engage local people.” The convoys delivering fossil fuel are often targets of insurgent attacks, which can impair both the delivery system and the lives of civilians and soldiers–a study found that roughly one civilian or soldier is killed for every 24 fuel convoys sent (New York Times). And given that fuel often makes up, 30%-80% of every convoy’s load, that’s a lot of danger.

Among its many renewable projects that will prove safer and more cost effective: such as portable solar panels; energy-conserving lights; solar tent shields providing shade and electricity;solar chargers for computers and communication equipments, etc. These flexible, portable, lightweight photovoltaics, the solar-powered tent structures converting light energy into electricity, would remove the need to haul

Using flexible photovoltaics, this solar tent/shade can generate up to 2 kilowatts of electricity from the sun (Credit: U.S. Military)

U.S. Military Solar Panel in Afghanistan (Major Paul Greenberg-U.S.M.C.)

large amounts of fuel or heavy generators.






As these military projects continue to evolve, I would like to share with you several of these that will likely make its/their way into civilian/main stream applications in the future.  Can you visualize yourself camping out in the forest in one of these tents some day:

Mobile Home Design of the Future-Solar Tent...all started from U.S. Military

As our society becomes even more mobile or if you belong to the group of modern and dynamic people who wants to move from one place to another to avoid boredom, or if you prefer to live close to the nature, then this mobile solar tent/home design may be what you are looking for.

Below, you will see a video clip of such a summary by some one who share the same view as I do :

I would like to share another interesting item in our next post, also resulting from initial military needs, but have proven to meet the needs of many.


Mobile Home Design Concept (solar powered, at night) (Credit:U.S.Military)

Until we meet again, I wish you will

~ have a bright and sunny day~

researched, written, & posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,

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