A Roadmap to 100% Renewable Energy
For the world to reverse global warming, eliminate millions of annual air-pollution deaths, and provide secure energy, every country must have an energy roadmap based on widely available, reliable, zero-emission energy technologies. This article presents a roadmap to 100% renewable energy.
Energy security and air-pollution are some of the most severe issues facing the world today. These problems can be solved by changing the energy infrastructure to 100% renewable energy. About seven million lives are lost through air pollution after long suffering and pain. All these losses can be brought to an end by switching to an energy system that has no emissions.
“The main barriers to getting to 100% clean energy are social and political, not technical or economic”. – Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford University. From his sentiments, he further states that the use of solar, wind, water and geothermal in the electrification of sectors that are operated by power would cause a significant reduction in consumption of energy. This adoption will minimize cases of deaths caused by pollution, normalize energy cost, and provide job opportunities, save the health care expenses and other costs that are related to climate.
1. Changing the Energy Infrastructure of the Individual States and the World at Large
The 2050 power domain has been published by researchers as a roadmap to 100% renewable energy in the 139 countries. This report comes from the study that was conducted recently.
“There are specific plans in the pipeline for the 139 states, and these stand for over 99% of entire global emissions,” reported Jacobson to Live Science.
The study focused on the needs of energy globally starting from 2012 to the 2050 power domain. The energy consumption recorded in 2012 amounted to about 12 TW (12 trillion watts).
“If every country maintains its current approach in meeting energy demands, the world requires a total of about 20TW by 2050 with all factors kept constant.” Said the researchers.
The report also indicated that if business sectors shift to the renewable sources of energy in the electrification, there would be a requirement of about 11 TW to cover up the power demands worldwide based on the fact that the efficiency of electricity is higher than that of combustion.
Jacobson explained the key points of this study through a video. “Roughly 80 to 82% of the power used by electric cars supports the movement of the vehicle. The remaining bit waste as heat. Alternatively, merely seventeen to twenty percent of the energy in a gasoline-operated vehicle enhances the movement, and the remaining part is wasted through heat” he added.
“Furthermore, energy is beneficial in refining, mining, and transportation of fossil fuels. In this case, a shift to fully renewable energy will prompt for the elimination of these critical and power-intensive processes.” Said the authors.
2. Future Roadmap
“This would minimize deaths among the four to seven million people erupting from air pollution diseases and offer a saving that exceeds $20 trillion in countries’ health and climate expenses. Moreover, there would be an increase of about 24million permanent job opportunities. “The researchers outlined.
“It seems less challenging to me,” said Jacobson to the Live Science. Indeed, his previous work forms the basis of this study. His career started as a researcher scientist making efforts to investigate the effects of air pollution on climate. He outlined that his initial focus was a problem- based, though, by 1999, he began examining solutions.
Jacobson partnered with Mark Delucchi in 2009 to issue a publication of a Scientific American study that drew a plan to influence 100% renewable energy worldwide.
Later, the duo followed up to look into these problems at the level of the state. Presently, the study has been extended by the researchers to the 139 countries.
“Data bearing enough details for the rest of the 59 countries worldwide was not in existence earlier hence was exempted from the study,” said the scientists.
Although the total cost needed to transition to an arrangement of 100% renewable energy may appear to be restricted by the price at the beginning, Jacobson’s crew has simplified the digits to make things possible.
“As an average of countries around the world, the cost required to build renewable systems of energy inclusive of transmission and storage amounts to 8.9 cents per kilowatt-hour. However, the cost amounts to 9.8 cents/kWh in a world that maintains the present fossil-fuel scheme without transition. This is exclusive of the societal cost” Jacobson said.
3. Cost of Climate change
An estimation determined by the authors indicated that by the year 2050, the annual expenditure of countries would rise to $28 trillion in the value for malaria, ocean acidification, famine, dengue fever, influenza, air pollution, stroke, heat stress, wildfires, drought, agricultural loss, destruction of real-estate, floods and much more.
“With no step being taken by the world to address change of climate and the continuity of the melting at earth’s poles by ice, 7% of the coastlines worldwide will remain submerged,” Jacobson said.
He added, “The overall societal cost incurred on renewable energy (including costs climate costs, climate issues and cost of solar power, water, and wind energy) is about a quarter to that of the fossil fuels. In simple words, if you make a reduction of 75% from the overall cost to the society, the benefits of costs are great.”
Most countries are attaining a renewable portfolio at present to encounter 100% power requirements for entire business sectors as per the study. Some of the states on the list include Iceland (17.3%), Montenegro (18.4%), Georgia (18.7%), Switzerland (19.0%), Sweden (20.7%), Norway (35.8%), Paraguay (58.9%), Costa Rica (19.1%), and Tajikistan (76.0%).
So far, renewable sources power 4.2% of US overall electricity. Nevertheless, the researchers suggest that this state has a plus. The study revealed that countries which have a more significant extent of land estimated on a population like the US would quickly go through the transition.
Countries that are small geographically with huge populations are expected to experience the hardest time. According to Jacobson, cities such as Hong Kong, Gibraltar and Singapore will encounter the most challenges to shift to 100 percent renewable energy.
“Yet, there are means to curb the issues,” he said. “Such areas could resort to energy from the offshore winds, or merely partner with a neighboring country for energy exchange “he added.
“Along with this study, countries should be confident in being self-sufficient,” said Jacobson. “I do not doubt that some countries will obligate to 100% renewable energy by 2050 and 80% by 2030.”
Transitioning the 139 countries to 100% clean, renewable, and reliable energy systems has the potential to avoid millions of premature air-pollution mortalities, trillions of costs incurred on air-pollution damages, trillions spend on the values of global warming and an overall annual climate cost for every person throughout the 139 states. Besides, transitioning would save vast amounts on electricity sector fuels and provide millions of new long-term permanent jobs.