The debate as to whether there is global warming due to human influence is over. The hard evidence that warming is taking place in the last few years not correlating to the sun’s activity as it had in the past but correlating to increased fossil fuel burning e.g. as in China and India as an example, is proof enough for any business. That is the reason why business is insuring itself as much as possible and taking onboard all possible actions to ameliorate the problem and keep in business. Risk management is not scare tactics and is normal rational behavior. One of the ways to do it is to embrace renewable energy power production but to date this has not resulted in a concerted effort in that direction simply because government and big business has been fossilized in a previous century and has the belief that coal and nuclear will be and will have to be used as major sources to provide jobs and wealth. And the belief there has not been a breakthrough and probably will not be for quite some time that renewables will displace coal and nuclear as major sources of power is as result of that fossilization. It is not a question of whether there is a breakthrough in technology that will displace fossil fuel and nuclear as major sources. It is because of a lack of awareness that renewables can do it and in fact we are at the crossroads of that happening now.
There has been a breakthrough in renewable energy base power production! I refer to solar thermal power using a cheap flat mirror system and storage by the disassociation of ammonia in an endothermic reactor then stored at ambient temperature and used at any later time even during wintertime the sun's energy is not lost being chemically locked up. Then reapplied to an exothermic reactor heat is produced at about 500 degrees to provide steam for power generation. This closed loop system enables 24/7 base power production for industry and it also is able to provide medium or peak power on demand. Not only that the storage system is easy to do and cheap and is based on mature technology and enables the sun’s energy to be stored any length of time without loss so that the energy can be extracted in the wintertime if necessary or any time in the future! No other storage system can do this and it is a real breakthrough. A gigawatt plant is right now being built in America financed by venture capitalist Vinod Khosla who says that solar thermal power is poised for explosive growth because of it’s low costs together with Australian scientist Dr David Mills who had to leave Australia because of our government’s unfavorable policies. We could have had this happening in Australia if our government had been receptive. There is certainly no need to have nuclear power here! And in Europe a TRANS-CSP report commissioned by the German government calculates that solar thermal power is likely to become one of the cheapest sources of power including the cost of transmission. Not producing any carbon and it does not have safety issues it’s easy to see why. This is the power that needs to be, and can be sent to third world counties and the rest of Europe via High Voltage Direct Current Transmission lines from solar thermal plants in North African deserts or the Middle East with only 3% loss in transmission. In fact the whole world could use this as a major power source as there are many deserts around. The potential for it to power the world cleanly and safely and reduce greenhouse gasses at the same time is a real bonus. And it is being done now. Lets get on with it and continue! A general understanding and awareness of solar thermal power (CSP) can be seen on http://www.trec-uk.org.uk/index.htm and http://www.trec.net.au/ and understanding of the storage system in schematic form can be seen at http://engnet.anu.edu.au/DEresearch/solarthermal/high_temp/thermochem/index.php