In every dark cloud there is a silver lining. Our perfect storm
of crises around energy, climate change, credit, job losses and recession has
forced us to re-examine the fundamentals of our energy infrastructure and economic
policy. As a result, we're now seeing local and national leaders in business
and government re-evaluating old positions and taking stands that make
From the bottom up, a small town mayor in Portugal supported a solar farm for his town. The solar array produces twice as much as the city
needs, allowing them to sell that excess renewable energy to
neighboring communities. His simple idea has now expanded to 8 nations
in the European Union, creating cities that will run entirely on renewables!
Any sunny region can follow this path.
From the top down, the EU recognizes this clean potential,
but also realizes that best solar and wind sites aren't always where we live
and work. Transmission acts as the freeway to deliver that abundant renewable
potential to markets across the continent — and between Europe and North Africa. These Supergrids would accelerate the transition from polluting fossil
fuels to sustainable resources; reducing CO2 emissions, creating new
jobs and a sustainable economy. Each continent could follow this path.
Noted environmental economist, Lester Brown of the Earth
Institute is calling on the United States to construct a strong national
grid. He compares it to "the electrical equivalent of President
Eisenhower's interstate highway system, in order to unleash the full potential
of renewable energy wealth." Every nation should follow this path.
Change is happening, just way too slow.
Today, solar, wind and geothermal energies supply just 3% of the global energy
needs... yet they have the potential to generate 100%. That's the gap — and that's why we need to continue pushing through the rhetoric into investment
and steel in the ground. You have been a critical partner in driving the GENI
Initiative and I acknowledge your commitment. Please forward this letter to a
leader who can make the difference in your region.
Happy New Year,