A new study published in the journal Energy Policy says that we could achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, and not just U.S., but the world. The study says that we have access to all the necessary technology, but strong political would have to exist for it to happen.
So, how can we get to 100 percent renewables by 2030? Well, to be exact, the study says we'll need:
- four million 5 MW wind turbines,
- 1.7 billion 3 kW roof-mounted solar PV systems,
- 90,000 300 MW solar power plants (including PV and concentrated solar), and
- a smattering of geothermal, wave and tidal power plants.
The calculations leave out biomass because of pollution and land use issues, as well as nuclear power. The wind turbines are larger than most currently operating today, but a few 5 MW offshore turbines have been built.
Two major hurdles to this plan are finding ways to interconnect the various power sources based on output and variability (wind being high output but high variability, tidal and geothermal being low output but low variability), and a supply bottleneck of rare earth materials. For those materials, mining would have to increase by five times the current rate and recycling would have to be introduced.
The authors say political roadblocks to such a massive build-up of renewable energy would be the largest challenge of all.
written by Zachary Stowasser, January 27, 2011
written by C'est La Mode, January 31, 2011
written by irene, February 25, 2011
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