New research from Stanford University outlines how 145 countries could meet 100% of their business-as-usual energy needs with renewable energy like wind, water, solar and energy storage.
The study lead by Mark Jacobson finds that in all the countries considered, lower-cost energy and other benefits mean the required investment for transition is paid off within six years. It also estimates that worldwide, such a transition would create 28 million more jobs than it lost. The researchers recommend the world make the switchover by 2035, but in no event later than 2050. Their goal is to have 80% operating on renewable energy by 2030.
The researchers from Stanford University looked at onshore and offshore wind energy, solar power, solar heat, geothermal electricity and heat, hydroelectricity, and small amounts of tidal and wave electricity. Batteries were the most common electricity storage solution, with the team finding that no batteries with more than four hours of storage were necessary.
“We do not need miracle technologies to solve these problems. By electrifying all energy sectors; producing electricity from clean, renewable sources; creating heat, cold, and hydrogen from such electricity; storing electricity, heat, cold and the hydrogen; expanding transmission; and shifting the time of some electricity use, we can create safe, cheap, and reliable energy everywhere,” Jacobson says. He is a staunch supporter of the Green New Deal.
The cost of making the changeover to 100% renewable energy would be a staggering $62 trillion. It may look like a large amount, but Jacobson and his team say the savings from switching the world to 100% renewable energy would be $11 trillion a year. In other words, the initial investment would be paid back in just 6 years! Many people have a hard time distinguishing between an investment and an expense. They tend to see that $62 trillion as an expense and ignore the payback.
In the conclusion to their study, Jacobson and his research colleagues say, “Transitioning to 100% [renewable energy] in 145 countries decreases energy requirements and annual private and social costs while creating about 28.4 million more long term, full time jobs than lost. A 100% renewable energy economy uses only about 0.53% of the 145 country land area, with 0.17% for footprint and 0.36% for spacing.”
Also read What are the top environmental issues we are facing today
At Universal Kraft we are focused on developing renewable energy solutions that may contribute to a decarbonized society. We offer multiple solutions on solar energy, green hydrogen, wind, energy storage and waste-to-energy technologies. Discover our full offer here.