Circular Economy with exclusively renewable energy
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Theses on the current problems
1. Daily oil consumption worldwide is estimated at around 100 million barrels in 2020.
2. In 2019, the combined share of coal, oil and gas was still more than 84% of global energy consumption, hardly less than in 2009 when it was 87%.
3. Nuclear energy is still being expanded or even sold as "green energy", despite high risks, environmental damage (radioactive waste) and CO2 emissions during uranium mining.
Ideas for possible solutions
+basically produce no waste, solid, liquid or gas;
+utilize all raw materials, input materials and intermediate products completely;
+if waste is nevertheless produced, use it to create value through other industries.
The concept of "Zero Emission" involves upsizing economic processes and entrepreneurial activity. This approach originated from the "Zero Emission Research Institute" in Tokyo, which was founded in 1994 at the United Nations University in Tokyo. By 2010, some 2800 Japanese companies had already worked towards achieving the goal of zero emissions (cf. Pauli 2010:26). The basic idea of this approach is to build an industry whose companies are interconnected in such a way that the byproducts of one are used as raw materials by the others. When one considers that many raw materials as the basic processes for industrial production account for just 5 or 10 percent of the raw material base and that the rest is mostly thrown away or incinerated, it quickly becomes apparent what great potential lies in such an approach.
The zero emission approach is based on the fact that production processes are no longer understood as linear, one-
"In 2019, fossil fuels coal, oil, and gas still accounted for just over 84% of global energy consumption, up from 87% in 2009, little progress in 10 years to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Oil had the highest share with over 33%, ahead of coal with 27% and gas with 24.2%. Nuclear energy accounted for 4.3% and hydropower and other renewables combined for 11.4%. While the share of coal and oil in total energy consumption has decreased slightly over the past 10 years, gas has increased its share. In terms of CO2 emissions, this is a positive development, as gas emits much less CO2 when burned compared to coal and oil. Renewable energy production from hydropower has remained stable at 6.4%, while energy from other renewable sources has increased from 1.2% to 5% over the past 10 years" (Psenner 2020).
2016: Weiter Denken. Von der Energiewende zur Nachhaltigkeitsgesellschaft. Plädoyer für eine bürgernahe Versöhnung von Ökologie, Ökonomie und Sozialstaat. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer Vieweg.
2010: Neues Wachstum. Wenn grüne Ideen nachhaltig "blau" werden. Die ZERI Methodik als Startpunkt einer Blue Economy. Berlin: Konvergenta Publishing.