energy in just three forms: heating, transport, and electricity. The heating
consumption of cartoon-Britain is 40 kWh per day per person (currently
all supplied by fossil fuels); the transport consumption is also 40 kWh per
day per person (currently all supplied by fossil fuels); and the electricity
consumption is 18 kWh(e) per day per person; the electricity is currently al-
most all generated from fossil fuels; the conversion of fossil-fuel energy to
electricity is 40% efficient, so supplying 18 kWh(e) of electricity in today’s
cartoon-Britain requires a fossil-fuel input of 45 kWh per day per person.
This simplification ignores some fairly sizeable details, such as agriculture
and industry, and the embodied energy of imported goods! But I’d like to
be able to have a quick conversation about the main things we need to do
to get off fossil fuels. Heating, transport, and electricity account for more
than half of our energy consumption, so if we can come up with a plan
that delivers heating, transport, and electricity sustainably, then we have
made a good step on the way to a more detailed plan that adds up.
Having adopted this cartoon of Britain, our discussions of demand re-
duction will have just three bits. First, how can we reduce transport’s
energy-demand and eliminate all fossil fuel use for transport? This is the
topic of Chapter 20. Second, how can we reduce heating’s energy-demand
and eliminate all fossil fuel use for heating? This is the topic of Chapter 21.
Third, what about electricity? Chapter 22 discusses efficiency in electricity
Three supply options – clean coal, nuclear, and other people’s renewables
– are then discussed in Chapters 23, 24, and 25. Finally, Chapter
26 discusses how to cope with fluctuations in demand and fluctuations in
renewable power production.
Having laid out the demand-reducing and supply-increasing options,
Chapters 27 and 28 discuss various ways to put these options together to
make plans that add up, in order to supply cartoon-Britain’s transport,
heating, and electricity.
I could spend many pages discussing “50 things you can do to make
a difference,” but I think this cartoon approach, chasing the three biggest
fish, should lead to more effective policies.
But what about “stuff”? According to Part I, the embodied energy in
imported stuff might be the biggest fish of all! Yes, perhaps that fish is the
mammoth in the room. But let’s leave defossilizing that mammoth to one
side, and focus on the animals over which we have direct control.
So, here we go: let’s talk about transport, heating, and electricity.
Are you eager to know the end of the story right away? Here is a quick
summary, a sneak preview of Part II.
First, we electrify transport. Electrification both gets transport off fossil
fuels, and makes transport more energy-efficient. (Of course, electrification