Complete Renewable Energy
A world void of nuclear energy and fossil fuels, just pure renewable sources—is it possible? Scientists Mark Jacobson and Mark Delucchi believe so. Pushing forward from their staggering paper “A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet With Renewables” published in the Scientific American, the two showed in a new study how 139 countries can each generate all the energy needed for homes, businesses, industry, transportation,—basically everything—from wind, solar and water power technologies, by 2050. Jacobson will take his case to the U.N. climate talks COP 21 in Paris on Nov. 29, where leaders of 195 nations will meet. The goal is to of course persuade them. The argument is that although international efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are meaningful, they would even be unnecessary if countries switched wholesale to renewable energy.
How Jacobson and Delucchi Think It Can Be Done
The two, along with other scientists, stated in the study details how the 139 countries could go 100% green. By 2050, the energy needs would be met by wind, water and solar technologies. The lot would be composed of 19.4% onshore wind farms, 12.9% offshore wind farms, 42.2% utility-scale photovoltaic arrays, 5.6% rooftop solar panels, 6.0% commercial rooftop solar panels, 7.7% concentrated solar power arrays, 4.8% hydroelectricity, and 1.47% geothermal, wave and tidal power. Moreover, through a combination of technologies that complement one another during different parts of the day and different weather conditions, storage of excess energy when sources such as the sun and wind are minimally available can be kept low. The study even provides detailed outlines for each of the 139 countries.
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