Is there enough space for all the wind turbines and solar panels to provide all our energy needs? What happens when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow? Won’t renewables destabilise the grid and cause blackouts? In a review paper last year in the high-ranking journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Master of Science Benjamin Heard and colleagues presented their case against 100% renewable electricity systems. They doubted the feasibility of many of the recent scenarios for high shares of renewable energy, questioning everything from whether renewables-based systems can survive extreme weather events with low sun and low wind, to the ability to keep the grid stable with so much variable generation. Now scientists have hit back with their response to the points raised by Heard and colleagues. The researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Delft University of Technology and Aalborg University have analysed hundreds of studies from across the scientific literature to answer each of the apparent issues. They demonstrate that there are no roadblocks on the way to a 100% renewable future. “There are some persistent myths that 100% renewable systems are not possible,” says Professor Brian Vad Mathiesen of Aalborg University, who is a co-author of the response. “Our contribution deals with these myths one-by-one, using all the latest research. Now let’s get back to the business of modelling low-cost scenarios to eliminate fossil fuels from our energy system, so we can tackle the climate and health challenges they pose.”
Eurek Alert 17th May 2018 read more »
The UK would need to cover 12% of its land with solar panels to be entirely powered by the renewable energy resource. That’s according to price comparison site finder.com, which reveals 87% of countries around the world could fully supply themselves with solar power using less than 5% of their total landmass. The organisation suggests the UK would need more panels due to its relatively high 327GW consumption and its more limited access to sunlight – in total, panels would need to cover around 29,690 square kilometres. It shows there are only three countries around the world needing more solar panel capacity than they have land, namely Singapore at 830%, Hong Kong at 213% and Bahrain at 156%.
Energy Live News 18th May 2018 read more »