Practical and Moral Outcomes with Renewable Energy

Author: Professor John Twidell, Director of the AMSET Centre and independent
academic consultant and writer in renewable energy and sustainability.


Slide 2. I want to talk about the practical and moral outcomes of using renewable energy.
Why is it practical? We have to remind ourselves that nothing lives, or moves, or
communicates, is heated, or is made, without energy. Everything needs energy: the houses
we live in, our own bodies, business, industry, transport and natural ecology. The need is so
familiar that we tend to forget that without energy supply there is trouble.
Slide 3. Indeed, without energy supplies there is death in every sense. Economies collapse,
commerce collapses, your life at home would collapse and biological organisms would
cease. So it is incredibly important to keep energy supply going. Why is it that the bulk of us
forget about energy and don’t think about it? It is because a continuing supply comes
naturally from the Sun; it is there every day, it wakes us up every morning, we have hymns
praising it and it continues without our intervention. It is there, it is part of our existence and
we tend to forget about it. But nevertheless, for our economies we obviously need
satisfactory forms of energy.
Slide 4. Energy is practically needed, but why do I say it is morally needed? It is because
sustainability is a moral issue. It is not just that we seek to exist; society seeks to become
richer in an economic, physical and health sense. ‘Sustainability’ is looking after future
generations. We have to learn to live with ecology. We have a duty for minimum pollution
and we want energy security. Governments are particularly conscious of this to have energy
supplies for their country that they can rely on.
Slide 5. So energy supply is both practical and moral. It is for governments, institutions,
commerce, schools, churches and for you in your home and in your life.

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