Virtually all the world’s demand for electricity to run transport and to heat and cool homes and offices, as well as to provide the power demanded by industry, could be met by renewable energy by mid-century. This is the consensus of 47 peer-reviewed research papers from 13 independent groups with a total of 91 authors that have been brought together by Stanford University in California. Some of the papers take a broad sweep across the world, adding together the potential for each technology to see if individual countries or whole regions could survive on renewables. Special examinations of small island states, sub-Saharan Africa and individual countries like Germany look to see what are the barriers to progress and how they could be removed. In every case the findings are that the technology exists to achieve 100% renewable power if the political will to achieve it can be mustered. The collection of papers is a powerful rebuff to those who say that renewables are not reliable or cannot be expanded fast enough to take over from fossil fuels and nuclear power. Once proper energy efficiency measures are in place, a combination of wind, solar and water power, with various forms of storage capacity, can add up to 100% of energy needs in every part of the planet. Stanford puts one of its own papers at the top of the list. It studies the impacts of the Green New Deal proposals on grid stability, costs, jobs, health and climate in 143 countries. With the world already approaching 1.5°C of heating, it says, seven million people killed by air pollution annually, and limited fossil fuel resources potentially sparking conflict, Stanford’s researchers wanted to compare business-as-usual with a 100% transition to wind-water-solar energy, efficiency and storage by 2050 – with at least 80% by 2030.
Climate News Network 19th February 2020 read more »