START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Is It Possible To Switch To 100 Percent Renewables By 2030?

Is It Possible To Switch To 100 Percent Renewables By 2030?

Is it possible for the fossil-fueled world we live in to switch to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030? Two U.S. researchers think it is possible. Mark Delucchi of the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California Davis, and Mark Jacobson of the civil and environmental engineering department at Stanford University did a study on what it would take to use 100 percent renewable energy. The results were published in the journal Energy Policy.

The researchers call for a wind, water and solar (WWS) system, with geothermal accounting for about six percent, and hydroelectric dams about four percent. Biomass is not considered. At present, all renewables provide 13 percent of the world energy supply, with biomass making up 10 percent.

Switching to renewable energy by 2030 would require four million wind turbines rated at five megawatts (MW), two to three times the capacity of most of the current ones on the market, according to the researchers. Switching to renewables would require 90,000 large-scale solar plants with a capacity of 300 MW, both photovoltaic (PV) panels and concentrated solar. Less than three dozen large-scale solar plants are operating globally. In addition to large-scale solar plants, 1.7 billion three kilowatt (KW) solar PV rooftop systems would be required, equaling one rooftop PV system for every four people in the world.

It would take a significant amount of steel and concrete to switch to renewables. The researchers concluded that it would be not be an economic or environmental problem to produce bulk amounts of concrete and steel. However, the production of rare earth metals such as neodymium could present a problem. Global production of neodymium would have to more than quintuple to build millions of wind turbines, but there should be enough because the current world reserves of it are about six times greater than what is needed. Rare earth metals could be recycled. Such a recycling program is not available currently.

“Technically you can do it,” Jacobson says. “It really depends on will power.”

“The real challenge is matching supply with demand,” Jacobson adds. “Wind and solar are very complementary…When the wind isn’t blowing, you usually have a clear, sunny day. And vice versa—when there’s less sunlight on a cloudy day, it’s usually windy.”

Read more: , , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

92 comments

+ add your own
5:50AM PDT on Apr 1, 2011

I wouldn't mind ear-marking and grandfathering for each fossil fuel company its subsidy PROVIDED they each have to produce renewable energy to claim their subsidy. I would love to see ExxonMobil actually produce bio-diesel from algae. I would love to see the Koch brothers invest in a joint venture with their utility company customers to buy and install windmills. I would love to see some natural gas companies collect methane from what leaks from fracking now, from landfills, from sewage treatment plants, from livestock manure, etc., clean it up and either make good use of it themselves or sell it to natural gas customers (methane from any source including natural gas wells is still methane).

7:01AM PST on Feb 8, 2011

NO! Go slow and do it right. Right now we need oil and gas pipelines. Our survival depends on cheap energy and it is available if we all pull together! One of the biggest road blocks are not the oil companies but pie in the sky idealists who would rush to judgment only to find the technology is obsolete!
Remember the "walkers from Star Wars the US army had those in the 1950's but it had to wait until now because the rest of the technology was not available. Remember the first calculator in the West was in the 1500's but could not be repeated due to no standardized measurements! There will be a lot of great ideas "one off" but that can be helped by R&D + inventors works in large databases cross referenced for purpose and possible uses.

8:02AM PST on Jan 31, 2011

" The idea that we must meet "demands" feeds overuse of the planets resources. We can consume much less (and will have to) and still lead enjoyable and fulfilling lives."

And what is it that grants you the authority to determine what is an "enjoyable and fulfilling" life for others??

6:30PM PST on Jan 30, 2011

This article ignores the two most important ways of reducing fossil fuel use and pollution. First, we must reduce our population. Second, we must reduce the amount that each of us consumes. With these two items as top priorities, it will be much easier for renewable energy sources to meed our needs. The idea that we must meet "demands" feeds overuse of the planets resources. We can consume much less (and will have to) and still lead enjoyable and fulfilling lives.

3:01AM PST on Jan 30, 2011

hopefully we will not end up in a MadMax kind of world

11:18PM PST on Jan 28, 2011

I hope road to renewables will mean less dependence on Big Energy concentrated in too few hands. Preferably, there will be movement to independent energy production where ever possible.There needs to be a Energy for Humanity patterned after Habitat for Humanity that will work to insulate, retrofit, maximize efficiency and make individuals, businesses and communities energy independent by providing expertise, and 0% loans for installing and generating their own clean green energy.

And energy efficiency is a low hanging fruit that is highly achievable. And of course we don't know what technologies are around the bend with wave-technology etc. And there is progress with bio-fuels created with algae - we will find replacements for those plastics Duncan is worried about. And of course simply being less disposable/wasteful will go a long way to help. Fewer humans would help too.

1:54PM PST on Jan 25, 2011

"Yes, Shane P, you may have the answer! Hemp and magnet generators ... but don't rule out solar and wind power.

Yes, it can be done, but everyone has to care. Just a few can't do it.

If we disallowed drilling for oil, those companies would invest in all the research needed to find and produce alternative sources. They're available, just hidden and not encouraged."

Why is it that no one suggest nuclear power?

Were they to succeed in baning oil drilling the rest of the world would own us and it would make no difference save for the price.
Succeed in baning world wide and the world economy would collapse. What you will have to do without:

Solvents, Diesel fuel, Motor Oil, Bearing Grease, Ink,Floor Wax,Ballpoint Pens,Football Cleats,Upholstery,Sweaters,Boats,Insecticides,Bicycle Tires,Sports Car Bodies,Nail Polish,Fishing lures,Dresses,
Tires,Golf Bags,Perfumes,Cassettes,Dishwasher parts,
Tool Boxes,Shoe Polish,Motorcycle Helmet,Caulking,
Petroleum Jelly,Transparent Tape,CD Player,Faucet Washers,
Antiseptics,Clothesline,Curtains,Food Preservatives,
Basketballs,Soap,Vitamin Capsules,Antihistamines,Purses,
Shoes,Dashboards,Cortisone,Deodorant,Footballs,Putty,Dyes,
Panty Hose,Refrigerant,Percolators,Life Jackets,Rubbing Alcohol,Linings,Skis,TV Cabinets,Shag Rugs,Electrician's Tape,Tool Racks,Car Battery Cases,Epoxy,Paint,Mops,Slacks,
Insect Repellent,Oil Filters,Umbrellas,Yarn,Fertilizers,Hair Coloring,Roofing,Toilet Seats,Fishing Rods,Lipstick

1:38PM PST on Jan 25, 2011

Joanne, I like your answer. Stop fighting and work together. What a novel concept! You have my vote, and don't let the naysayers discourage you.

1:37PM PST on Jan 25, 2011

Yes, Shane P, you may have the answer! Hemp and magnet generators ... but don't rule out solar and wind power.

Yes, it can be done, but everyone has to care. Just a few can't do it.

If we disallowed drilling for oil, those companies would invest in all the research needed to find and produce alternative sources. They're available, just hidden and not encouraged.

9:00PM PST on Jan 24, 2011

"Part of the problem with alternate energy sources such as solar is space. The facilities have to be large in order to generate enough energy."

Problem is not generation, but transmission!

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free
CONTACT THE EDITORS

Recent Comments from Causes

For women driving to parties and places where you're dressed up and you don't have your usual winter…

Kathyrn: I have never believed in mocking a religion rather than revealing the TRUTH about religious…

ads keep care2 free



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.