Energy World or Back to Apehood?
Renewable energy currently makes up 18 percent of worldwide electricity production, which is more than nuclear power. In 2003, worldwide investments in the renewable energy sector exceeded the $20 billion mark.
The Chinese expect 10 percent of their electricity to come from renewable sources of energy in a few years. Deutsche Bank estimates that more than $150 billion could flow into this development.
We do not have much time -- especially since every decision to build a new large-scale power plant ties up new billions in capital for 30 to 60 years, the plants' average life expectancy. The issue, on the one hand, will revolve around how to convert the present energy structure with its giant power plants and long-distance power lines to a sustainable, efficient and decentralized supply.
On the other hand, the experts agree that the world needs a new consciousness about how much energy is wasted and evaporates unused on a daily basis. "Energy saving through efficient use is the fastest and most economical solution for nearly all energy-related problems," says Wuppertal researcher Hennicke. A third savings, a third renewable and a third fossil energy is Hennicke's general rule for the "soft path" into the future. A new energy world may be the last chance for us not to be forced to walk backwards down the path to apehood. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,474218-2,00.html