If you don’t believe that we can kick our dependency on fossil fuels to the curb, think again. A newly released study says we can do it by 2030. Authored by Mark Delucchi and Mark Jacobsona, the eye-opening report recently appeared in the journal Energy Policy, detailing how renewable technologies that are available now can completely power our electric grid system in a relatively short 20 years time frame. While the hurtles are massive and the numbers are staggering the report is a hopeful look at how we can eliminate our very bad habit of pumping vast amounts of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere.
While the concept of climate change may be controversial for some, there is a near scientific consensus that this is a dire reality. The new study takes a hard look at the sheer scale of implementing renewable energy by focusing on only the current technology available, including wind, solar, geothermal and tidal power in its projections. The authors did not consider nuclear as a renewable resource, so while it is a viable alternative to many, it did not fit the studies criteria.
The numbers for a 100% renewable civilization are staggering – 90,000 300 MW solar power plants, 1.7 billion 3Kw rooftop solar arrays, 4 million 5mw wind turbines. The authors also note that the distribution infrastructure will need to be vastly improved. They are already envisioning tidal and geothermal energy providing the base load, with wind and solar being used when they peak. Transportation will need to be converted to renewable fuels and battery systems, and existing infrastructure will need vast upgrades in order to ensure that the energy resources are used wisely.
While it’s unlikely that the current political and economic climate will allow for such a speedy infrastructural change, the fact that a fossil free world is possible certainly is uplifting news.