Researchers at Stanford University and the Universities of California analyzed energy roadmaps for 139 countries to see how much energy each country would need by 2050. Their analysis includes electricity, transportation, heating and cooling, industry, and agriculture, and then calculated how renewable energy could cover those needs, where it could go, and how much it would cost. The upshot was that political will is the only thing holding us back from going 100% renewable. If the world's nations can agree to stop building new coal, natural gas, or nuclear plants, and transition to electric energy for new home appliances and transportation, we could "go clean" by 2050. According to the Fast Company article below, wind is the cheapest electricity in the U.S., costing just 3.5 cents a kilowatt-hour (unsubsidized). And keep in mind that renewable energy is only going to get cheaper. Of course this is not including climate and health benefits. "The study estimates that shifting infrastructure would save 4 to 7 million lives a year of people who would have died from air pollution—deaths that cost the world around 3% of the global GDP," reports Fast Company. Health professionals have every reason to advocate for renewable power. Why wait? Join Climate for Health today.
By Adele Peters I November 18, 2015
In a few decades, the world could be powered by nothing but wind, water, and sunlight. That's the conclusion of a new study released just before world leaders head to Paris to strike a climate deal.
"These are basically plans showing it's technically and economically feasible to change the energy infrastructure of all of these different countries," says Mark Z. Jacobson, director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program at Stanford University, who worked with University of California colleagues to analyze energy roadmaps for 139 countries (you can see a few above).
The researchers crunched numbers to see how much energy each country would need by 2050—including electricity, transportation, heating and cooling, industry, and agriculture—and then calculated how renewable energy could cover those needs, where it could go, and how much it would cost.
"People who are trying to prevent this change would argue that it's too expensive, or there's just not enough power, or they try to say that it's unreliable, that it will take too much land area or resources," Jacobson says. "What this shows is that all these claims are mythical."
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