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10 Countries Best Placed for Energy Transition

Rich Heap, Community Editor, Future Cities
Thursday, December 12, 2013 05:00 EST

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makabusi
makabusi  
12/19/2013 6:02:06 PM
User Rank Town Crier
Re: Knee Jerking Energy Pathways?
Please share with me if you find this reference helpful. Read thoroughly.  "Sustainable Energy - without the hot air" by David JC MacKay UIT Cabridge England. I would much appreciate your analysis of this revealed process. Maybe this would help those who are analysing the different energy alternatives. Don't skim these ideas posed by the author.

I await your comments in eager anticipation.

richheap
richheap  
12/16/2013 9:40:00 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Knee Jerking Energy Pathways?
@kq4ym: Well, a large disaster can certainly bring issues to the fore and be a catalyst for quick change. As the saying goes: "Never let a crisis go to waste."

As for your question about why there are differences, I can't really answer that. Different countries' energy policies will all be determined by different factors including historic and geographic differences, technological innovation, geopolitics etc. If countries could work together on energy policy and coordinate investment then that could help some of the issues you identify (efficiencies/cost savings etc.) but, if history's anything to go by, sounds very idealistic.

Venks
Venks  
12/15/2013 1:24:41 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Energy usage...
Hey Rich, Thanks for your pat reply. Yes, I see your point and agree with it. Even I feel, it would be worth doing some research in this regards because that can help a country to plan and spend its time, money and resource to effectively get the maximum out of its available resources.

kq4ym
kq4ym  
12/14/2013 5:27:00 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Knee Jerking Energy Pathways?
Sometimes I wonder if a nation's energy path may just be a reaction to a recent disaster, emergency, or public relations nightmare. Japan, of course is the most obvious. Take a gigantic failure of it's energy infarstructure and quickly new ideas float to head the nation in a different energy direction.

If nations seems to come up with different strategies, even though some have similar resources and economies, why the differences? Could it be that political forces are pointing to different energy plans that may just be in conflict with true green rewards and efficiencies? Maybe coordination between countries in energy investments might make for some improved efficiencies and cost savings?

richheap
richheap  
12/13/2013 1:24:46 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Energy usage...
Hi Venks. One point made in the report is the right balance differs for different countries. For example, it would make sense for an island to have hydroelectric power in their energy mix but perhaps not for a landlocked country; solar power would make more sense in the Middle East than Iceland; or it might make sense for the UK to use nuclear as it's not in an earthquake zone but you wouldn't want nuclear power plants in, say, California. But perhaps there is an ideal percentage and it'd be interesting to find out. I'll do some more research.

Venks
Venks  
12/13/2013 1:10:14 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Energy usage...
Can anyone just tell me, how much percentage of the country's energy usage be most efficient if it uses Solar power, Nuclear power, Fossil fuels, Hydro power etc?

I mean I just want to know if there is any empirical formula to know how best it is for a country to utilize all its available set of resources to its maximum extent without affecting nature hazardously.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/13/2013 9:57:25 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Where's the US?!
I share your frustration, Flanagan. It's embarassing that the US appears nowhere on this list. In fact, this list should serve as evidence of how far behind we're going to fall when it comes to energy. And it doesn't stop there... because you could go look at another list, like our report on the top Internet cities, and realize that the US is barely anywhere to be found on there, either.

So what will the future of the US be if we're not intending to lead on energy, or technology, or infrastructure? What makes our government leaders think that we're going to remain a "superpower" when we have less and less to show for ourselves?

richheap
richheap  
12/13/2013 7:08:54 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Where's the US?!
Thanks for your points, Flanagan55. I agree with you. It makes sense for countries to try to increase the amount of energy they generate within their own borders so they're less exposed to external risks, and so they actually control their own infrastructure.

The slightly weird analogy I see if with household finances. I don't like to take on large amounts of personal debt because I'm then very exposed if interest rates go up, or if there are changes in the financial markets that mean I can't re-finance those debts. I don't like the idea of being personally over-exposed to changes in world markets and businesses, and so I also don't like the idea of my country being too heavily reliant on other countries for energy. Perhaps it's an odd analogy but it's what came to mind with your comment.

Flanagan55
Flanagan55  
12/12/2013 3:54:10 PM
User Rank Village Voice
Where's the US?!
Not shockingly, the United States is far from this list. I feel that government's role is to facilitate policy the allow the private sector to facilitate energy producing transformations. Is it a coincidence that the nation stays dependent on a majorly foreign, expensive and contested energy source, derived from nations that generally don't like us? No, it's instead the working of incredibly powerful oil corporations, with deep-pocketed lobbyist, who manipulate corruption in Washington to remain on that path. 

From a morality standpoint, how can a government, "for and by the people," not push for a change in energy production that is safer, cleaner and more efficient? Why wouldn't the government push to bring energy consumption within its borders, to seek out renewable sources (wind and solar) and implement them into the power grid? There are is ample space in the Midwest for wind farms by the thousand. There is likewise ample unoccupied desert land that would be ideal for large solar farms. I believe that the US is doing its population an injustice in not pushing, truthfully and whole-heartedly, for a change in energy production that is sustainable and equitable. Oil is meant to stay in the earth, that much is abundantly clear. It's time for citizens to stand up and demand change. We have become far too complacent in just flipping a light switch and assuming it will work, ignorant on how that electricity was provided. 

I hope that when I'm old, sitting on a beach out on Long Island, that I can look out far in the distance and see windmills swirling about, producing clean renewable energy. 

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
12/12/2013 11:07:19 AM
User Rank Staff
Another puzzling example
I'm curious to throw out here some news I just read about how Mexico plans to privatize energy production, including petroleum production. This move is meeting with some opposition from the left.

Does it make sense to privatize energy production? Or will that lead to more aggressive pursuit of fossil fuels?

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