Energy topics: data and computations

The following Excel file contains the estimates and cost calculations to replace all fossil energies (crude oil, natural gas, coal) with renewable energies. Since the investment cost of nuclear energy is not lower than the cost of renewables, it was not included in the calculations. In order to make the transition period as long as possible, however, it is assumed that the nuclear power plants are left in operation for as long as possible, provided they can be run safely. Upgrading existing nuclear power plants for safety reasons will cost less than building new plants and dismantling old ones. The investment calculations (CAPEX) are explained in the French book. The calculations and their assumptions can be downloaded here :

The Fraunhofer Institute publishes two detailed documents about decarbonization of industrial processes. These documents have inspired some of our calculations and estimates. Two documents in English can be downloaded from the following website :

The NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) provides a detailed Excel table with the costs of renewable energies and their storage. The tables contain the expected cost reductions between 2020 and 2050. The above calculations are based on the optimistic assumptions in this table. BP's Energy report offers similar, albeit somewhat less optimistic, cost reductions up to 2050. The optimistic assumptions were intentionally used to show that the costs are far too high to replace all fossil fuels with renewables. The NREL Excel table can be downloaded from this website:

Research carried out by students of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in a 2000-watt neighborhood in Zurich-Oerlikon called "More than Housing" and information about the neighborhood "Kalkbreite" can be found her :

Link to the WWF calculator that allows to calculate the ecological footprint of a household, expressed in CO2 emission equivalents. The calculator is based on answers given to 38 questions that cover several areas. A menu allows choosing the languages German, French and Italian :

Low-energy buildings and their standards

Practical and theoretical advice for constructing buildings according to the "Minergie-plus" and "Minergie-plus-eco" standards can be downloaded from the following websites. Implementing these standards allows buildings to be comfortable with very low energy consumption for heating and cooling.

Housing cooperatives

The suburban lifestyle has one of the worst ecological footprints. Making suburban areas compatible with net-zero CO2 will be really expensive. On the other hand, a group of people with a good mutual understanding can create their own  2000-watt neighborhood, if the building complies with the Swiss standard described above. Let's look at an example with 12 households who decide to create a housing cooperative rather than each buying a house in a housing estate. It is assumed that a house on a plot of 500 m² costs $ 250 000. Together, the 12 households will be able to afford some common infrastructures that individual families could not afford. At the same time, just as the Swiss 2000-watt neighborhoods show, they have the potential to drastically reduce energy consumption.

Infrastructure and building budget: 12 x 250 000 = $ 3 000 000

Housing for cooperative shareholders     : 12

Small appartments for visitors or Airbnb   : 3

Apartments for rent for non-shareholders:  2

Common infrastructures : Multipurpose room, DIY workshop, sewing workshop, library, room for non-perishable foodstuffs, common cinema, shared cars, ...

Real estate land area budget : 12 x 500 m² = 6 000 m²

Building and infrastructure area          : 1 000 m²

Playground and recreation area          :   500 m²

Gardening cooperative for inhabitants : 1 500 m² (*)

Land saving available for agriculture   : 3 000 m²

(*) The 2000-watt neighborhood called "More than just home" in Zurich also has a gardening cooperative that offers baskets of inexpensive organic vegetables to its members. In return, the members work 5 days a year for the gardening cooperative. Since combined food transports consumes more energy than food production including fertilizer production, reducing transport distances is essential and organic vegetables don't need energy intensive chemical fertilizers. Details in the (not yet translated) book.

If the number of people in a housing cooperative is greater, other common infrastructures and services would be theoretically possible: doctor's office and physiotherapist with balneotherapy whose swimming pool is open to the inhabitants on weekends, sauna, nursery, cinema, restaurant, etc. In order to carry out such projects, however, it is desirable that the participants have a creative, cooperative spirit capable of submitting to democratic decisions without becoming bitter against other members.

In Geneva, the residents' cooperative Équilibre and the engineering office ATBA have developed a sanitation system common to all the homes of the cooperative. Given the amount of sanitation taxes and the price of drinking water in France, such an investment is amortized less than 5 years. This sanitation system also helps to bring inhabitants of cities closer to rural people and thus create more fraternity in the country. The tensions between people from large cities and the rest of the country already run high and are a real danger for democracy. Reaching net-zero carbon is such a huge effort that it can be achieved together only !

A French description of the cooperative sanitation system can be downloaded here: Equilibre_Soubeyran_Gestion_des_eaux.pdfpdf932.37 Ko.

A brief history of thought in Islam and Christianity

The book contains some short descriptions of the history of thought in different cultures.

Concise documents, but more detailed than the descriptions in the book, can be downloaded here:

After four centuries of fierce mutual criticism, the Catholic Church and Mennonite-Anabaptists have found their way to reconciliation and peace. After five years of dialogue, they produced a common document "CALLED TOGETHER TO BE PEACEMAKERS". Their three-step method can inspire other institutions, even states and other religions, to find the path towards reconciliation. Here are the three steps:

  • Review history books together : agree on writing our common history.
  • Review theology together : theological convergences and divergences.
  • Work towards a healing of memories and good relationships.

The full report of the dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Mennonite World Conference can be downloaded here: