Relying on renewable energy can make us oil-free: Lovins

HT Correspondent

New Delhi, Nov. 17 -- Imagine fuel without fear. No climate change. No oil spills, dead coal miners, dirty air, devastated lands or lost wildlife. No energy poverty. No oil-fed wars, tyrannies, or terrorists. Just energy in abundance, benign and affordable, for all and forever.

This is how co-founder, chairman and chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute Amory B Lovins summarised his latest offering - "Reinventing Fire: Bold Solutions for the New Energy Era" - while talking about it at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on Friday.

"Today energy systems are built on costly and inefficient fuels.I have analysed the possibility of making the United States a oil and coal free nation by 2050 with total reliance on renewable energy sources," Lovins said.

This changeover, he said, that needs support from the policymakers will result in nothing less than a $5-trillion saving for the US while supporting a 158% bigger economy.

Lovins quoted the chief economist of International Energy Agency, Faith Birol, who said, "We must leave oil before it leaves us."

"To me oil is incompetitive even at low prices," he added.

"Game changing technologies, advanced materials can help make energy systems more efficient..why just the US but China, India, Japan can all be part of this revolution," he said.

A shift to renewable energy sources can help countries such as India and China - that depend heavily on oil imports - save billions of dollars each year that they spend on importing oil.

Speaking on the sidelines of the summit, Lovins said to begin with these countries can look at more energy efficient technologies and then gradually shift to better sources of fuel that includes solar, wind and hydro.

India, he said, is already getting more solar and wind power projects leading to environment friendly means of power production.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.