I just finished watching an excellent documentary on the History Channel: Modern Marvels – Renewable Energy. It is on again at 1am, and I think I’m going to stay up to watch it once more. If I had TiVo, I would be recording this episode for future reference. This particular Modern Marvels episode does not seem to be playing again in the next two weeks, but given the recurring nature of History Channel programming, I’m sure Modern Marvels – Renewable Energy will be on again.
Covering the green power gambit in 60 minutes, this documentary hits on all the major technologies of interest to renewable energy enthusiasts: solar, wind, ocean currents, tidal, hydroelectric, geothermal, deep-ground thermal, bio-fuels, plug-in hybrid vehicles, mine sequestration, and algae sequestration.
What Modern Marvels – Renewable Energy does expertly is highlight how easily the US could generate an energy surplus with realistic implementation of off-the-shelf technologies. This position is well juxtaposed against example countries like Iceland (which utilizes geothermal resources to be nearly energy-independent) and Brazil (which correctly tackled the ethanol problem by deriving the fuel from sugar instead of corn).
Usually, I am pessimistic about alternative energy opportunities in light of how invested the world is in non-renewable power sources. Nonetheless, I came away from Modern Marvels – Renewable Energy with a real sense of hope that we have at our fingertips the ability to transition from fossil fuels to green energies with minimum adverse impact to our economy and quality of life.