Last updated on: 11/26/2008 | Author:

David Morris, PhD Biography

Vice President of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Pro to the question "Can Alternative Energy Effectively Replace Fossil Fuels?"

“Oil generates only 3 percent of our electricity. Therefore a 100 percent renewable electricity system does little to reduce our oil dependency — unless that electricity is used to substitute for oil in our transportation system…

Converting our electric system fully to renewables would require us to shut down about 80 percent of our current electricity-generating capacity, much of it low-cost, already paid off and capable of generating electricity for another 25 years or more. Moreover, to reach very high penetration rates of renewable electricity would require that we overcome the principal shortcoming of wind and sunlight: intermittency.

Powering 100 percent of our transportation system would require about 30 percent of the electricity generated in 2006. With a massive effort, using a combination of solar and wind power, we could generate about that much electricity by 2020.”

“Electric Cars Are the Key to Energy Independence,”, Aug. 2, 2008

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Vice-President and Co-Founder, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, 1974-present
  • Advisory committee member, US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Energy committee on biomass and biofuels
  • Named one of the nation’s 100 most important thinkers by Utne Reader
  • Former Advisor, US Department of Energy (DOE)
  • PhD, Public Policy, Union Graduate School, 1976
  • MA, Political Science/Latin American Studies, University of Florida
  • BS, Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University
  • His columns have appeared in over 200 newspapers and journals including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.
Quoted in:
  1. Does Ethanol Generate More Energy Than the Amount Needed to Produce It?
  2. Should the US Increase Its Use of Natural Gas?
  3. Should Hydrogen Be the Dominant Energy in the US?