An article from the BBC’s Science and Environment caught my attention recently which proposed an interesting way to stimulate development of renewable technology to a point where it was economically feasible to be implemented on a wide scale.
When the US government wanted to put a man on the Moon during the space race in the lead up to 1969, the government committed large resources to developing the Apollo program.
A group of experts think that a similar effort needs to be made with renewable energy in an effort to make it a cheaper energy source than coal within the next decade. The project, called Global Apollo, calls for major nations to invest 0.02% of GDP into research, development and demonstration of clean energy technology.
This group believe that unless renewable energy becomes cheaper than coal, we will continue burning fossil fuels and warming the earth, and that renewable energy has been starved of investment. The article says that $101bn has been spent worldwide on subsidies for renewable energy, and $550bn on counter-productive subsidies for fossil fuels.
The group proposes co-ordinating research to reduce wasted effort, and say that solar energy has the greatest potential, and a lot of work needs to be done to bring down the cost of energy storage.
Overall, more subsidies and support from governments is needed for renewable energy, and an end to fossil fuel subsidies.