At my conference on the future of methane in Fort Worth last November, I found out about a documentary called Switch, about the future of energy in the US. I finally got around to getting and watching.  It is highly recommended for those interested in the subject.

It is largely non-partisan (though the protagonist is a geologist) and covers all of the important energy types in a serious and engaging way, with a bit more meat and less chrome than the typical PBS science show. You have to request a copy from the website, it is not available on iTunes or Netflix yet.

I don’t agree with everything.  I think it overestimates how long the switchover to renewables + nuclear being the largest share of energy  will take. It does this because it underestimates future technology advances — looking more linearly and less exponentially/logistically in terms of technology development and deployment. Similarly it underestimates the ability of larger inter-connected networks to mitigate reliability/availability problems from solar and wind, and advances in storage of various types. I don’t think this change will be overnight, but I hope it will be sooner than the 50 years the film estimates. The cost curves on solar and wind are getting very competitive, and the more interest they have, the more investment they will get.