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Can We Reach 100% Renewable Power by 2030?

People around the world may be getting more accustomed to seeing wind turbines or solar panels, but most aren’t aware of how much of the population’s energy needs can be met through the sun, wind, heat and ocean waves.

According to a new study by U.S. researchers Mark Delucchi and Mark Jacobson, these natural resources could provide enough energy to power all—that’s right, all—homes, businesses and factories around the world by 2030.

To make the leap from small-scale usage to complete dependence on clean energy, a significant number of new systems would have to be built. According to the two-man team, this includes 4 million 5-MW wind turbines, 90,000 300-MW large-scale solar plants, and 1.7 billion rooftop PV systems at 3 kW each.

In order to make this happen, world production of rare earth metals would have to quintuple. That includes such materials at neodymium, used to make magnets.

Delucchi and Jacobson drafted this proposal with the intention of completely getting rid of fossil fuels, so they left out biomass and carbon-free electricity generation. Together these make up 10% of the 13% of renewable energy sources currently being used.

One main concern for such infrastructure is efficiency. Both wind and sunlight are fickle, but could be fully sound if the variables were synced together (on a cloudy day, wind turbines make up for less solar power, and vice versa).

While Delucchi and Jacobson’s vision maybe be viewed as extreme by some, their study concludes that 100% renewable energy is indeed possible. It is, as this point, simply a matter of will power.

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3 comments on “Can We Reach 100% Renewable Power by 2030?

Yep, it’s possible and the plan for the USA is already made: 100% clean electricity within 10 years

absolutely not. This certainty is based upon simple, life cycle costing considerations.

What are the TRUE costs of converting energy from resource harvest, through production, implementation and finally recycling?

If you understand how an exponential function works, (A. Bartlett, You Tube) and what physical constraints are imposed financially on the US grid -currently, and by the energy growth demands of an irresponsible society, then you may consider clear definitions by films such as “FUEL” or “What a way to go: The End of EMPIRE” as to fact defining considerations.

Renewable power must be localized, make sense economically by the life cycle costs of energy in vs. energy out, and be fully sustainable over the long run. Hence, with absolute clarity, NO to 100% renewable power by 2030.

According to The 2005 Congressional Paper by Hirsch on PEAK OIL, we have arrived. Across the board cheap oil is past, and there are no realistic substitutes. Our rapidly expanding global recession is going depression precisely due to increase in commodities fueled by fuel scarcity. Our paradigm shift required will not materialize. The core of H.L. Mencken’s social philosophy is this coda:

” It is the nature of the human species to reject what is true but unpleasant and to embrace what is obviously false but comforting.”

We can’t really tell what will happen on the future, but as what we have notice technology changes time after time. So, there is big a possibility that we can reach the goal of 100% Renewable Power.

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