Thursday, August 20, 2015

New Paper Shows that Renewables Can Supply 100% of All Energy (Not Just Electricity) Used in the 50 United States

Fig. 5 (from Jacobson et al 2015) Time-dependent change in U.S. end-use power demand for all purposes (electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, and industry) and its supply by conventional fuels and WWS generators based on the state roadmaps proposed here. Total power demand decreases upon conversion to WWS due to the efficiency of electricity over combustion and end-use energy efficiency measures. The percentages on the horizontal date axis are the percent conversion to WWS that has occurred by that year. The percentages next to each WWS source are the final estimated penetration of the source. The 100% demarcation in 2050 indicates that 100% of all-purpose power is provided by WWS technologies by 2050, and the power demand by that time has decreased. (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
A new paper:  "100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for the 50 United States" by Jacobson et al 2015 describes the wind, solar and other renewable technologies needed to supply all the energy used in the USA.  That is all the energy, not just the electricity.  They find that using wind to generate 50% of energy, solar photovoltaic (PV) for 38%, concentrated solar power (CSP) for 13% and a combination of hydro, geothermal, tide and wave power for the remainder (5%) allows all energy in the USA to be supplied at a lower cost than using fossil fuels.  (The total is over 100% as extra power is required to stabilize the power grid because the wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine).

The jobs required to build and run the renewable power supply would be greater than the jobs lost by closing down the fossil and nuclear power suppliers.  About 0.42% of land would be covered by the generators.  An additional 1.6 % of land would have wind generators spaced widely.  The land in between could be used for farming or other uses.

This paper quantitates the work required to bring carbon emissions down to zero and shows that it can be done in a cost effective manner.  There are few technical barriers that need to be overcome to implement this proposal.  The primary issue is lack of political will.

For this paper Jacobson et al set up enough renewable generators in each of the 50 states to generate all the power needed for that state.  A separate grid integration study (just accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science pending minor revisions) details the grid interconnections needed to provide 24/7 power coverage for all the states.  Since renewable energy varies over the USA, a stronger grid is required to ensure everyone has enough power all the time.

Jacobson et al. have previously developed roadmaps for California and New York.  This paper expands on that previous work and shows that all 50 states can generate the power they require.  Jacobson et al have developed similar roadmaps for many countries and for the globe as a whole.

Read more at New Paper Shows that Renewables Can Supply 100% of All Energy (Not Just Electricity) Used in the World

1 comment:

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