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Good news: 100% clean energy for the world by 2050

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Brian Merchant has a very interesting piece in Motherboard:

Earlier this year, the energy consulting firm Meister noted that, of all the forecasts made by government agencies, non-profits, and industry investors, the group that most correctly predicted the rapid rise of clean power was Greenpeace. Sven Teske, an energy campaigner with an engineering background, has been authoring its annual Energy Revolution survey since 2005. In the beginning, the report, which mines market research to predict clean energy industry trends, may have read to an outsider like an activists’ wishful dreaming. Today, it mostly just looks correct.

Teske’s latest study, the tenth, argues that clean energy technologies can meet all of the world’s power demands by 2050. And, given his track record, perhaps we should take the conclusion seriously—the man who most accurately predicted our current clean power boom back in 2005 says we could see 100 percent clean energy by midcentury.

The takeaway is right there in its opening salvo: “100 percent renewable energy for all is achievable by 2050, and is the only way to ensure the world does not descend into catastrophic climate change.” Scientists say that the best way to ensure we don’t see mass destabilization is to limit global warming to 2˚Celsius, which means we can only burn 1,000 more gigatons of carbon before we tip the scales.

“We did a very detailed market analysis,” Teske told me. “It is not just technically and economically possible to make the transition to 100 percent renewables within one generation, it is a must-do to save our climate.”

There are two primary components of the latest report: a drawing down of coal, oil, and gas, and a buildup of renewable technologies. The survey proposes “a phase-out of fossil fuels starting with lignite (the most carbon intensive) by 2035, followed by coal (2045), then oil and then finally gas (2050).” Next, it examines which renewables can and will fill the gap.

Basically, the transition would look like this: . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 September 2015 at 2:52 pm

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