- Ed Barrett
- United Kingdom
Writer / Director,
Is the quest for cheaper, cleaner energy a flawed idea? Shouldn't we be focusing instead on energy efficiency?
Most unbiased scientists seem to agree the use of fossil fuels is having a profoundly damaging effect on the environment, not least because of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. Imagine for a moment we find a cheaper, cleaner alternative - for example, we find a much more efficient way of turning solar power into electricity. What happens to this cheaper, cleaner energy? Much more of it gets used, to do whatever work we want it to do. Most work generates heat energy as a by-product. So instead of affecting the climate via the production of greenhouse gases, we would be affecting it directly by adding heat to the atmosphere. Just imagine the increased number of air-conditioners, and the increased hours of their use, with cheaper electricity. Lots more cooler homes = far more 'waste' heat being vented.