The author claims that Windpower Monthly has been mislead in its reading of the book Power Surge into believing that the World Energy Council (WEC) is a conservative agency. He says that if renewables development is proceeding slower than people would like, it is a reflection of general attitudes and behaviour among energy consumers and policy makers as the WEC options have been clearly stated.

M. Jefferson, British Member Committee of the World Energy Council, London, UK.

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You are misled in your survey of the book Power Surge (Windpower Monthly, January 1995) into believing the World Energy Council sees "unprecedented disruptions to the climate." By implication you suggest the WEC is a "conservative agency" which foresees a future "with only escalating use of dirty, conventional power."

In fact, the WEC report, Energy for Tomorrow's World, makes it clear we cannot foretell the future and has three cases to illustrate alternatives which are all realistic -- though with varying degrees of challenge. One of these cases indicates that by the year 2100 fossil fuels could account for only 15% of global primary energy supply. In the highest fossil fuel case the proportion is halved from current levels.

Even assuming the many uncertainties surrounding the climate change issue were to be resolved in favour of the general circulation models currently attracting widespread interest, global mean temperature rise would be barely over 1ยก C in the low case, and global annual CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion would be more than 50% below 1990 levels. In the low energy and fossil fuel demand case, new renewable forms of energy (excluding large hydro) could account for 50% of global primary energy supply, and wind energy for up to 1.8 Gtoe (gigatonnes oil equivalent), or 9%. Further details are available in the WEC's New Renewable Energy Resources: a Guide to the Future.

This is not the picture you portray. You have taken the interpretation of our work by Chris Flavin and Nicholas Lenssen at face value. It is, as usual, better to go back to the original if one wants an accurate portrayal. If we are proceeding more slowly along a low energy demand/fossil fuel use/energy efficiency trajectory than many would like, this is a reflection of general attitudes and behaviour among energy consumers and policy-makers. The WEC has made the options clear enough.

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