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TheDartmouth.com: Chu addresses renewable energy

United States Secretary of Energy Steven Chu presented his predictions, concerns and goals for the future of renewable energy — emphasizing the rapidly changing climate of energy-efficient technology development — to a packed audience in Cooke Auditorium on Thursday afternoon. Chu said he is optimistic that the United States can lead the rest of the world in clean energy invention and production by establishing a market in which technologies can be developed and sold within U.S. borders.
Chu began his presentation with two predictions — that the price of oil will continue to rise in coming decades as demand for oil from developing countries increases, and that humans will live in a “carbon-constrained” world in which carbon emissions aggravate rising global temperatures. While scientists still do not fully understand the land-biosphere interaction, data from the past 35 years show steep increases in greenhouse gases that cannot be attributed to natural fluctuations, he said.
The “energy race” to develop more efficient energy sources is an international undertaking that all developed and developing countries will need to join in the future, Chu said.
Past U.S. energy policies have been inefficient and only “hope for the best and plan for the best” — a mentality that could cause the nation to fall behind China and other countries that benefit from cheap labor and other production costs, Chu said. China, for example, employs the most high-voltage transmission lines — which travel 1,200 miles across the country and lose less than 70 percent of their energy in the process — of any nation. The transmission lines used in the United States, which are not designed to transmit energy over long distances, lose over 80 percent of the energy they carry, Chu said.
More http://thedartmouth.com/2011/04/29/news/chu

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