Focus On Renewable Energy Systems
“Environmental” has become trite, and does not convey the profound, urgent, and necessary changes in the way our species perceives and relates to our fellow species on Earth, and to its wonderful physical systems. The Leighty Foundation is especially interested in accelerating humanity’s transition to a sustainable, equitable, benign, affordable global energy system based entirely upon renewable energy sources — driven by radiant energy from our local star, the Sun, and by geothermal. Our earliest, most rewarding investments will be energy conservation and efficiency, while we invent and invest to “run the world on renewables.” We assist science education, so that we will better understand who and what and where we humans are, and to better understand Earth and our options for cooperation within its context and limits. Thus, we intend to invest wisely in Earth Protection, with both Foundation funds and with our personal involvement.
An urgent Grand Challenge is transforming the world’s largest industry from about 80% fossil to nearly 100% renewable, CO2-emission-free energy sources, as quickly as we prudently and profitably can. Prudently: with acceptable social and economic disruption. Profitably: the huge amount of capital needed will flow only to attractive opportunities for returns. Electricity systems may be inadequate or technically and economically suboptimal for this transformation. Therefore, we now need to think beyond electricity, to comprehensively consider alternatives. Hydrogen (H2) and Anhydrous Ammonia (NH3) are attractive, energy carriers, storage media, and fuels – as complete renewable energy systems. The Leighty Foundation Earth Protection program focuses on the Big Three challenges of time-variable renewable generation:
- Gathering and transmission;
- Low-cost, annual-scale, firming storage;
- Distribution, integration, and end-use of energy services.