Renewable energies such as sunlight and wind power are more diffuse so it makes sense to make their generation more diffuse i.e. small-scale and distributed. Burning wood doesn’t make sense for making steel from iron ore but it will heat individual houses just fine. You could say the same about solar panels. For household and many small businesses, using small-scale renewable energy for cooking, lighting, space heating and water heating makes sense. Distributed renewable energy is more efficient too because there are less transformation and transmission losses. There is also the added benefit that it aids self-sufficiency. There is no doubt that energy will be more expensive in the future as fossil fuels become scarcer. If people generally become more self-sufficient in energy they’ll be able to offset the higher costs.
The best use for fossil fuels
Our view is that fossil fuels are wasted for doing things like running cars, heating houses and cooking. Econation believes it would be prudent to use fossil fuels only for the production of renewable energy generation as well as large-scale manufacturing and high energy uses such as steel and cement making. This would have the effect of reducing fossil fuel use overall and increasing renewable energy use. It would also effectively increase the net energy of the renewables.
If we just wait until all the fossil fuels are used up before we start ramping up the generation of renewable energies we will have lost this opportunity to ‘fund’ renewables and reduce current emissions.