It is an August morning in 2032. You curl up on the side of your organic mattress and turn off your electric alarm clock. The aroma of free trade certified coffee fills the air. Soon you will be taking a shower heated by an electric hot water heater. Refreshed and ready, you exit your building, unplug your car, and calmly approach the breakfast meeting. Such visions of the future seem quite attainable, don’t they?
The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 in the US has given hope that this is just the beginning, that other renewable energy and sustainability visions of the future may be within our grasp.
What might 2032 look like for you?
Let’s look into the full electric crystal ball and look at the social and lifestyle changes that could become commonplace if renewable energy becomes society’s default.
Sustainable Living in 2023 — Visions of the Future
In this all-electric ride to work in 2032, you’ll see that more than half of the new cars on the road are electric cars like yours. Along the way, EV charging is available at nearly every mile of your journey, with most of the older gas stations either closed or serving dual gas pump and electric charging purposes. You slow down as the electric mail truck turns to make a delivery.
A little further down the road, you see workers queuing for a huge battery factory. You’ve heard they work double shifts to keep up with demand.
You pass one of the formerly highly polluting heavy trucks that served ports and vast logistics hubs; Now electrified, the truck is efficient, clean and nearly silent.
There is a large recycling center near one of the windows. With plastic production bans in place in most states, turning existing plastics into products has become big business. The former dancer is now a wealthy entrepreneur.
You smile when you see the action around the former natural gas plant. After new local building codes went into effect to discourage the use of fossil fuels, you might not be surprised to learn that city moms and dads are decommissioning the plant. As you pass by, you determine its access to the beach; so that that’s it why ideas floating around to use the site as a base for offshore power generation and staging.
After work, you will stop at your mother’s apartment in a multi-family complex. He’s so happy that it’s warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than years ago — and improvements in energy building codes are putting his costs on par with or lower than fossil-fueled buildings. With heat pumps for water and floor heating and energy-saving electrical appliances, it feels safe and content.
Your mom’s building uses community solar, but it’s still not available everywhere. Your friends who work remotely from rural areas have applied for available (and great) discounts to install individual solar panels on their roofs. Some friends have even signed up for pilot projects to have solar windows. They just wish the waiting lists weren’t so long.
You plan your dinner while driving. Your induction hob is fast, so cooking is not difficult. You’ll be grateful to know that there are no more harmful indoor pollutants floating around the house from a gas furnace. Your CSA offered some interesting plant-based recipes for cooking with sorghum, a highly drought-tolerant crop, and you’ve tried this ancient grain for your gluten-free friends—a Greek sorghum vegetable casserole sounds delicious for dinner.
After lunch, you sit down and plan to research your next big trip. With the decarbonization of air travel moving very slowly—sustainable aviation fuel isn’t producing the promised nastiness—you’ll be taking a group sailing trip with some close friends. The essence of the ocean surrounding you, the simply prepared local food and the reconnection with the natural world is sure to be relaxing and invigorating.
What information is behind these visions of the future?
Are these dreams? Not necessarily. whom Canary media So succinctly described, the IRA would give a big boost to grid energy storage, revive solar power, transform the home electrification market, launch efforts to decarbonize air travel, provide funding for clean electric mail trucks, provide $60 billion to environmental justice efforts, and is revolutionizing manufacturing for solar, wind and batteries.
Here is some information to support dreams.
Electric water heaters They are safe according to South Central Power. There is no danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, burns or explosions. Electric water heaters are environmentally friendly and can use electricity from the sun, wind, water and other renewable sources. They are easy to install and do not require expensive gas lines, exhaust stacks or on-site fuel tanks. Compared to other types of fuel, the price of electricity is stable. In addition, electric water heaters are emerging as a building block of the future electricity grid. These previously commonplace devices are becoming smart devices and energy storage units that help make the grid more stable and more efficient. By heating water when electricity demand is low and storing the heat energy for later use, electric water heaters can save you money.
Battery Factory Growth: Batteries are emerging as an important component in the transition to a more sustainable future due to their role in electrifying transportation and balancing power grids. The US Department of Energy has announced $3.1 billion in funding from President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law. It will be set to help make more batteries and components, strengthen domestic supply chains, create good-paying jobs and lower costs for families. Infrastructure investments will support the creation of new, refurbished and expanded commercial facilities, as well as manufacturing demonstrations and battery recycling. McKinsey & Company predicts that the battery cell market will grow at an average annual rate of more than 20% until 2030, reaching at least $360 billion globally.
Decarbonized air travel: Air travel accounts for about 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions. If no action is taken now, this could account for 22% of global emissions by 2050 as other industries decarbonize faster. The International Air Transport Association, which includes nearly 300 airlines, has adopted a resolution to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 for the global air transport industry.
Shell has produced a white paper confirming that the aviation industry can and needs to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. It describes a sectoral approach where governments, business and civil society work together to achieve real and meaningful progress. This approach — where airlines, engine and aircraft manufacturers, airports, governments, the financial community and the beneficiaries of flight work together — is a way for megacorporations to avoid responsibility for all-electric air travel for short hops. More can and should be done to decarbonize air travel.
Regenerative farming, sustainable agriculture: In total, the IRA allocates nearly $40 billion to agriculture — specifically aimed at helping farmers of different sizes and creating more diverse agricultural systems — $4 billion to increase drought resilience, $14 billion to clean energy and economic growth in rural areas, and forest fires. $2.2 billion to increase mitigation and carbon sequestration projects and to help farmers affected by USDA discrimination.
More and more people surveyed want financial incentives that encourage farmers to adopt regenerative practices and certify that they are taking these measures, such as no-till farming or planting cover crops. These measures help store carbon in the soil, while reducing erosion, helping water quality, and improving or creating wildlife habitat. Due to the drought, the corn location has the potential to be a winner. Its advantages are that it doesn’t need irrigation, it doesn’t need pesticides, and it needs only one-third of the fertilizer that wheat requires.
The recycling/re-creation process requires chemical recycling of polymers for plastics—the process of selectively converting discarded plastics into chemicals, fuels, or higher-value materials. It promises to change the paradigm for disposable plastic from waste to valuable resource. There is a significant opportunity for fundamental research to provide the foundational knowledge required to move towards a circular life cycle for plastics, where the chemical constituents of plastics are converted to polymers or repurposed to give them another life.
Meanwhile, recreating new items as end products by producing them directly from waste informs the original material by giving it a completely different value.
Water and wetlands: Restoring wetlands, riparian areas, forests, meadows, and grasslands can help sequester carbon, act as natural defenses to absorb rain during storms, provide wildlife habitat, and help filter pollutants from rivers and streams.
Climate and local advocate Julian Brave told NoiseCat Bloomberg he hopes that in the next decade we will look to the IRA as a first step. The bill, he says, cuts the U.S. “politically enough” to allow better government policies to follow later this decade. “I think there is a legitimate concern that communities affected by contaminated land and left behind by the fossil fuel economy will not invest enough in this bill to benefit from a cleaner economy,” he said. He also acknowledges that “this bill represents a generational policy convergence on climate change.”
Forward climate momentum is happening rapidly around us. As reported The Washington PostMassachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has signed into law a major climate and clean energy bill that includes broad policies targeting renewables, transportation and fossil fuels — a key step lawmakers and advocates say is an important step in supporting the state’s goal of reaching net zero. Emissions by 2050.
— Senator Mike Barrett (@senatorbarrett) August 11, 2022
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