Sunday, March 6, 2011

All energy could be renewable by 2030

All energy could be renewable by 2030

Hopefully this news isn’t a big shock to anyone, but fossil fuels–which currently make up 80-percent of all the world’s energy supply—are running out, and at the current rate of consumption, the world will hit a cataclysmic energy crisis within most of our lifetimes. When that happens, the world will quickly fall apart, wars will be fought over the smallest surpluses, our technology will be pushed back centuries, dogs and cats will live together, etc., etc. In short, it would be bad. Very very bad.

But that doesn’t mean we should all begin stocking up on our ammo and sharpening our knives just yet. The grim future predicted by many, where even starting a gas guzzling V8 car would be ruinous to all but the richest people in the world, can be avoided, or at the very least slowed significantly.

A new study published in the Energy Policy Journal and recounted by, claims that with a concerted global effort, all energy could come from affordable and 100-percent renewable energy sources by the year 2030. We would also be able to continue to provide renewable and low pollution energy indefinitely.

So why aren’t the governments of the world lining up to be the first to stamp an “Energy Saver” sticker on their charters? The sad answer is, of course, money.

The study in question was written by Mark Delucchi from the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California, and Mark Jacobson from the Department of Civil Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. The duo created a mathematical formula that calculated the decline in costs associated with renewable energy, and proceeded to find an equation that would show how long it would take for those technologies to become cost effective to the point that they would be able to practically and affordably replace all forms of energy production in the world.

The study itself focused on wind, solar, wave and geothermal sources only, then determined how long it would take to replace the current sources of energy, including the 80-percent of the world’s energy that is reliant on fossil fuel, the 6-percent that uses nuclear energy, and the much smaller percentage that relies on biomass, which is currently the world’s most widely used renewable energy source—biomass was excluded from the study due to the pollution it causes.

Anumakonda Jagadeesh comments:

These are all tall projections. At best Renewables can supplement conventional energy sources like coal, petroleum etc. Enormous energy is wasted in lighting, irrigation pump sets etc. in developing countries. Energy saving and energy efficiency should be given top priority in developing countries.

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