Jeff Vail concludes his series on the “Renewables Hump”:
It was my plan to conclude this series by answering (with pretty graphs, no less!) several questions like this. However, I fear that such an exercise is largely meaningless: I have been unable to come up with a verifiable proxy for EROEI measurement, and without that I would only be addressing hypotheticals. Worse, questions that will be permanently hypothetical.
Instead, I am left with only a confirmed sense of uncertainty. Perhaps that uncertainty is itself valuable. If I have poked holes in (what I believe to be) the widespread assumption that we can surely transition to a renewables-driven economy if only we make the decision to do so, then perhaps this series has been of value. If I shift the discussion (even only in my own mind) toward what to do in light of this uncertainty, then I will feel that this has been worthwhile. It is in answer to this last question that I am most excited: I plan to focus more in the future on decentralized, networked, open-source, platform-based systems that we can use to simultaneously build resiliency, address this fundamental uncertainty, and address the problem of growth by reducing the hierarchal nature of our civilization.