Acknowledging that it is not feasible to convert to 100% renewable energy overnight, transitioning represents a pragmatic problem that most are willing to acknowledge. The question that follows is what time frame is appropriate to expect industry to adapt. In the United States’ concentrated production model, generating plants produce vast amounts of energy that is then distributed to individual households. The construction costs of these large facilities are very significant and undertaken based upon capital planning models that rely upon relatively stable and predictable market conditions for decades into the future. Compounding the complexity of capital planning is the period of time and commitment required to construct a generating facility.
While it is understandably seductive to argue that renewable energy adoption is the correct decision, particularly in light of the wide range of environmental and human health concerns, the initial enthusiasm is blunted when real world feasibility is considered. There is not enough solar panels, windmills, or installation crews to enact overnight transformation of our energy infrastructure.
The question that follows is what timeframe is reasonable to compel action?